Christine Varnado


Christine Varnado.

Christine Varnado


Christine Varnado



Early modern English literature; drama; Shakespeare; queer theory; psychoanalysis; literary theory; affect studies; history of sexuality

Contact Information

1025 Clemens Hall

Buffalo NY, 14260

Phone: (716) 645-0790

I use queer theory and early modern English literature to ponder questions of reading and interpretation. My work unpacks the histories, affects, desires, and ontological assumptions at play in how readers make meaning from a text.


  • PhD, English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, 2011
  • MPhil, European Literature, Oxford University, 2004
  • AB, English, Duke University, 2002


  • The Shapes of Fancy: Reading for Queer Desire in Early Modern Literature (University of Minnesota Press, 2020). Open Access Edition
  • Queering Birth, Queering Death: The Problem of Life in Literature (in progress)

Selected Publications

  • "The Quality of Whiteness: The Thief of Bagdad and The Merchant of Venice" -- Exemplaria: Medieval, Early Modern, Theory 31.4, 2019. 
  • “Queer Nature, or The Weather in Macbeth” –  Queer Shakespeare: Desire and Sexuality, Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2017. 
  • “Getting Used, and Liking It: Erotic Instrumentality in Philaster” –Renaissance DramaSpring 2016.
  • “’Invisible Sex!’: What Looks Like the Act in Early Modern Drama?” – Sex Before Sex: Figuring the Act in Early Modern Literature, University of Minnesota Press, 2013. 


  • Humanities Institute Queer Studies Research Workshop (co-founder)
  • Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture
  • Faculty Advisor for SoFem Undergrad 

Photo credit: Pierce McCleary