Jessica Beckman studies renaissance literature with a special focus on the material text. Her book project, The Kinetic Text, joins literary formalism and print history to demonstrate how early modern texts invite nonserial forms of reading—reading which is discontinuous, recursive, spatial, and tactile—in order to produce literary effects and invest print with meaning during the earliest age of mechanical reproduction.
Her teaching includes courses on print from the early modern era through the revival of fine-press printing in the late nineteenth century; poetry and drama including Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Milton; and topics of race, religion, and gender in the early modern Mediterranean.
She has held a number of grants and fellowships related to her research, including a W.M. Keck Foundation Fellowship from the Huntington Library, a Mellon Foundation dissertation completion fellowship, a Text Technologies Fellowship in the Stanford Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA), and a Francis Bacon Foundation Fellowship from the Huntington Library. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Spenser Studies and Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Early Modern Studies.