Faculty & Staff

William E. Engel

Nick B. Williams Professor of English
B.A., Trinity College; M.A. University of Pennsylvania; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley


Professor Engel received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and specializes in medieval and Renaissance literature with an eye toward the history of ideas—especially the Art of Memory and chiastic designs. He has published chapters in collections of essays on topics that include Chaucer’s use of Boethius, Shakespeare’s historical context, Milton’s use of Anglo-Saxon, and Poe’s cryptography.

In addition to a number of encyclopedia entries and chapters in collections, Professor Engel is the author of five books: four on literary history, Mapping Mortality (U of Massachusetts P, 1995), Death and Drama (Oxford, 2002),Chiastic Designs (Ashgate, 2009), Early Modern Poetics in Melville and Poe (Ashgate, 2012); and one on teaching and learning, Education & Anarchy (University Press of America, 2001). He also co-edited The Memory Arts in Renaissance England: A Critical Anthology (Cambridge, 2016). A life-long fencer and currently the instructor of fencing at Sewanee, Professor Engel has choreographed stage combat and served as dramaturge for regional theater groups. For more details about his teaching interests and publications, please see www.engelwood.net.