Claire Dawkins

English Instructor

B.A., Louisiana State University
M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Davis

Claire is interested in the Early Modern period (the Renaissance) in England, as well as trans-Atlantic literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. She is also interested in queer and feminist theory, genre theory, ecocriticism, and pedagogical theory. She is an appointed member of the Editorial Collective for Profession, an online journal on MLA Commons. She teaches primarily in the English Division, but also works within the Wellness Division to teach interdisciplinary courses on Sex and Sexuality Studies (along with her co-teacher, Dr. Kristina Vetter).

Claire’s dissertation research investigates literary representations of sexual slander that are influenced by both gender and genre. Whereas female characters in certain genres like tragedy are likely to face ignominious or catastrophic outcomes if they are sexually slandered (whether or not they have done anything to provoke reputation-damaging gossip), female characters in other genres, especially those written in the mode of romance, are able redeem their reputations after facing sexual slander. Claire’s dissertation argues that romance’s engagement with a defense against sexual slander works in two directions: it aligns romance with the genre of the literary defense and it further establishes the link between genre of romance and the feminine that both early modern and contemporary literary theorists have postulated.

Some of her favorite authors include William Shakespeare and Edmund Spenser, but she also loves pop culture as well. 

In her free time, Claire travels throughout California (particularly to go hiking and camping), but she also likes to go home to Louisiana to visit friends and family. When not working or traveling, Claire spends her time with her family, her husband, and her young daughter.


“‘Your language’ and a Lingo ‘fe we’: Exclusion and Inclusion of Caliban via Language.” Annual Meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America. Online Discussion. 19 April 2020. Conference Paper. 

“Pedagogy as Political Resistance: Teaching Early Modern Literature in an Interdisciplinary Sex Education Classroom during the Age of Trump.” Annual Meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America. Renaissance Hotel: Washington, D.C. 20 Apr 2019. Conference Paper. 

"Gendered Narratives of Marital Dissolution in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale." Forthcoming from Women's Studies: An Inter-Disciplinary Journal.

"Staging Slander and Reading Redemption: Modes of Reading Cymbeline and Book I of The Faerie Queene. Annual Meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America. Fairmont Waterfront: Vancouver, BC. 2 Apr 2015. Conference Paper. 

“Victorious Service in Lady Mary Wroth's Love's Victory.” Sidney Journal 31.1 (2013): 131–150.

Not a Whore: The Defense Against Sexual Slander in Early Modern English Romances. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California at Davis, 2013.

“‘I’ll use that tongue I have’: Contested Feminine Speech and Genre in The Winter’s Tale.” M.A. Thesis, University of California at Davis, 2010.

Culross, Rita, Dawkins, Claire, and Tarver, Emily. "Student Perceptions of the International Baccalaureate Program: A First-Year Perspective." Gifted Education Press Quarterly 18.3 (20014): 2-6.