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David Riggs

Emeriti Faculty
Mark Pigott OBE Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Emeritus
Ph.D., Harvard University, 1968
B.A., Harvard University, 1963
At Stanford Since: 


David Riggs specializes in Renaissance literature. He won a Frank Knox Fellowship to work in the Shakespeare Institute at Birmingham University during 1963-64, and continued his graduate work at Harvard, where he took his Ph.D. in English in 1968. He taught at Harvard in 1968-69, and joined the Stanford English Department as an Assistant Professor the following year. A full Professor at Stanford since 1985, Riggs has held year-long grants from the Arnold and Lois L. Graves Foundation, the Stanford Humanities Center (three times), the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities; and research awards from the American Council of Learned Societies, and the American Philosophical Society. His first book, Shakespeare's Heroical Histories: Henry VI and Its Literary Tradition (1971), traces the influence of Shakespeare's grammar school education and apprentice work in the theater on his earliest plays. "The Artificial Day," an article published in 1975, relates the revival of the classical unities to the origins of early modern subjectivity, and reflects Riggs's ongoing interest in links between classical and modern literary theory. His second book, Ben Jonson: A Life (1989, is a biography of Shakespeare's laureate rival. His new biography, The World of Christopher Marlowe, was published by Faber and Faber (2004) in the U.K. and Henry Holt (2005) in the U.S. Riggs is currently working on the life of Shakespeare. For a concise display of his research to date follow this link to Shakebase.