Sawyer K. Kemp


Assistant Professor
Klapper Hall, Room 617

Research Interests

I am excited to join the Queens College English department as a scholar of Shakespeare, early modern drama, and performance. My first book project, Shakespeare and the Paradox of Access investigates the rhetoric and industry of “accessibility” in contemporary Shakespeare performance. Exploring access as a tool for feminist and queer critique, this project analyzes theatres’ impact on and outreach to communities of trans and gender non-conforming people, sexual assault survivors, and people with disabilities. My other ongoing research project, “Trans Methodologies for Early Modern Texts” imagines how contemporary social justice issues like homelessness, state violence, and dysphoria could inform and situate historical investigations of early and premodern gender nonconforming figures. My work has appeared in Shakespeare Quarterly, Shakespeare Studies, The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, and the edited collection Teaching Social Justice Through Shakespeare. My most recent article, “Two Othellos: Transitioning Anti-Blackness” was published in a Social Justice-themed special issue of Shakespeare Bulletin edited by David Sterling Brown and Sandra Young.

Teaching Interests
I look forward to teaching students interested in Shakespeare, early modern drama, performance studies, and transgender theory.
Selected Publications

Kemp, Sawyer K. “Two Othellos: Transitioning Anti-Blackness.” Shakespeare Bulletin vol. 39 no. 4 (in press, forthcoming 2022).

Kemp, Sawyer K. “Transgender Shakespeare Performance: A Holistic Dramaturgy.” Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, vol. 19 no. 4, 2019, p. 265-283.

Kemp, Sawyer. “‘In That Dimension Grossly Clad’: Transgender Rhetoric and Shakespeare.” Shakespeare Studies 47, 2019, p. 120-26.

Bloom, G., Kemp, S., Toothman, N., & Buswell, E. “”A whole theater of others”: Amateur Acting and Immersive Spectatorship in the Digital Shakespeare Game Play the Knave.” Shakespeare Quarterly, vol. 67 no. 4, 2016, p. 408-430.

Kemp, Sawyer K. “Shakespeare in Transition: Pedagogies of Transgender Justice and Performance.” Teaching Social Justice Through Shakespeare: Why Renaissance Literature Matters Now, edited by Hillary Eklund and Wendy Beth Hyman, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2019, pp. 36–45.

Kemp, Sawyer. “Escape Rooms and the Seductive Ubiquity of Capture,Analog Game Studies 4.5 (2017).