Biographical Sketch

Born and raised in Bulgaria, Stavreva completed a Ph.D. in English at the University of Iowa, and after a brief detour for a post-doctoral position at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., put down academic roots in Iowa. Her teaching and research are informed by a passion for words and the material book, and for the lived experience of literature by writers, readers, and performers. Her students explore the global adaptations of Shakespeare, write and perform their own transformations of Shakespeare’s plays, follow into Dante’s footsteps to find the resonances of the Divine Comedy in Italian architecture and art, create teaching editions of early modern plays and travelogues, compose and letterpress print broadsides and artists books. She is a founding member of Cornell's Foxden Press.

Stavreva’s research has taken her to The British Library, the Library of the Religious Society of Friends, the Guildhall Library, the Theater and Performance Archive at the Victoria and Albert Museum (all in London), the Bodleian Library, the libraries of Magdalen, Merton, and St. Johns Colleges and the Oxfordshire History Centre in Oxford, the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerpen, the National Library in Sofia, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the Newberry Library in Chicago, the Huntington Library in Los Angeles, the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., as well as to villages on England’s Channel shore, Bulgaria’s Rhodope mountains, and even a prison in Varna, Bulgaria. Her love of book arts has been nourished by the communities of the University of Iowa Center for the Book, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, and Ladies of Letterpress.

Outside the classroom, Prof. Stavreva enjoys traveling and blogging about it, studying and cooking Italian, and above all, getting her hands inky while printing on Cornell's 1876 Washington iron hand press

Link to Curriculum Vitae

cv Stavreva 2015

Areas of Expertise

  • Poetry and drama of the English Renaissance
  • Global Shakespeare
  • Early modern women's literature and rhetoric
  • Book history and book arts

Faculty-Student Research