• Katy Stavreva

    Katy Stavreva

    Professor of English

Biographical Sketch

Kirilka (Katy) Stavreva is Professor of English at Cornell College, where she served as the Richard and Norma Small Distinguished Professor from 2017 to 2019. Born and raised in Bulgaria, Stavreva completed a Ph.D. in early modern English literature 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 scholarship are informed by a passion for the power of words, the material book, and the lived experience of literature by writers, readers, and performers. Her students have explored global adaptations of Shakespeare, engaged with Shakespeare’s plays through their own creative work (performance, digital and visual art, creative writing, film), followed in Dante’s footsteps to study the resonances of the Divine Comedy in Italian architecture and art, created teaching editions of early modern plays and travelogues, composed and letterpress printed 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 Shakespeare Centre and the Shakespeare Institute in Startford-upon-Avon, the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerpen, the Historical Archive of the Biennale of Venice, 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. 

Link to Curriculum Vitae


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

Selected Awards/Honors

  • Fulbright Global Scholar Award, 2016-18. The only scholar of literature among the recipients of the award in its inaugural year.
  • NEH Summer Scholarships for participation in the seminars "Tudor Books and Readers" (Antwerpen, Belgium; London and Oxford, U.K., 2014) and "Dante's Divine Comedy and the Medieval World (Prato, Italy, 2009)
  • Affiliated Scholar of the ACM Program Florence: Arts, Humanities, and Culture Program, 2011
  • Newberry Library, Chicago/British Academy Fellowship for Study in Great Britain, 2006
  • Society for the Study of Early Modern Women Award for best article in the field in 2000
  • Invited lectures at the Congress of the International Shakespeare Association (2016), Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (2015), the Shakespeare at Kalamazoo Society of the International Congress on Medieval Studies (2008), Chicago's Newberry Library Seminar on Medieval and Early Modern Magic (2003)