Professor Simone Chess receives Board of Governors Award and Career Development Chair for 2017


Associate Professor of English Simone Chess has received the 2017 Board of Governors Award and the Career Development Chair. The Board of Governors Award was created in 1974 to recognize a particular accomplishment or achievement during the previous academic year.

Dr. Chess's award honors the publication of her book Male-to-Female Crossdressing in Early Modern English Literature: Gender, Performance, and Queer Relations, from Routledge Press.

The Career Development Chair includes an honorarium and additional funding for research. Dr. Chess is currently at work on another book, tentatively called Queer, Crip, Early Modern.

"The argument of the book is that, in early modern literary representation, disabilities can enable and encourage queer practices and relationships," says Dr. Chess. "This is the research that will be supported by my upcoming sabbatical and by the Career Development Chair award."

Dr. Chess's research interests have always centered on issues of gender and sexuality, specifically in 16th and 17th century England. More recently, she's focused on queer representations in the period, and has also incorporated disability studies into her work. The research relates directly back to her teaching, which "is grounded in the idea that early modern literature and culture can be relevant, and even radical, to modern readers," she says. "Because so much of my work is about reading early modern texts as in conversation with modern identities and theories of identity, I see teaching as a natural extension of that conversation."

Professor Chess is an affiliate of the Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program. She earned her B.A. from Smith College in 2002 and her Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara in 2008.

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