My name is Drew Heverin, and I’m a teacher and early modern scholar. While helping students developed an effective voice and delve deeper into the meaning of their favorite books, I spend my time investigating the flow of ideas and tropes through the public sphere of early modern London.
Working at the intersection of Renaissance drama, urban literature and the public sphere, my research focuses on how early modern literature circulated within and among the various social networks of Tudor and Stuart London, spreading ideas throughout the urban community and engaging with the controversies and events of the time. In tracing the amplification of literary themes, I explore how individual texts react to and form a discursive relationship with the culture at large. Literature, in this view, is not merely mimetic but synergetic. Thus, my work tends to focus on literary work that resonated broadly throughout the public sphere: the wildly-popular plays of Shakespeare, Thomas Heywood and others; the ballads that were sung in taverns throughout the city; or the civic entertainments that drew large crowds throughout London. In this way, I track the development of ideas as they respond to contemporary texts and evolve over the course of an author’s life.
Growing from my scholarly interest in historically resonant rhetoric, my teaching urges students to confront the publics in which they circulate – exploring how their texts contribute to a variety of ongoing conversations or entering the debate themselves in targeted and rhetorically aware projects of their own. Whether encountering new literature, composing technical reports, or learning a new language, I encourage students to engage with and join the public conversation – to add their voice to larger debates in which they are invested. In this way, students leave my class ready to defend their opinions and contribute to the society beyond the confines of a single course.