Dyani Taff pointing to a ship on a world map from 1540

Dyani Taff

Lecturer, Literatures in English
School: School of Humanities and Sciences
Office: 307
Speciality: Renaissance English Literature; Composition Teaching
file-outline Curriculum Vitae - taffcvwebsite.pdf (213.83 KB)



Dyani Johns Taff writes and teaches about early modern literature and culture. Her interests include gender studies, maritime humanities, romance, piracy, translation, and re/interpretations of biblical narratives. She is the author of articles on Edmund Spenser, Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Margaret Cavendish, and Chaucer, and is currently writing a book titled Gendered Seascapes and Monarchy in Early Modern English Culture.

Visit her website here.

Courses Taught:

  • Dramatic Literature I (fall 2020)
  • Slow Read: The Tempest (Summer 2020)
  • College: Why Are We Here? (Summer 2020)
  • Seminar in the English Renaissance: Women, Science, and Politics (spring 2020)
  • Introduction to Poetry (spring/fall 2018, fall 2019, spring/fall 2020)
  • Exploring the Options (fall 2019)
  • Literature and Environment: Vital Rivers, Rivers in Crisis (fall 2018)
  • Insight: Climate Changing (fall 2017 and 2018); with Nancy Jacobson (Biology)
  • Shakespeare (spring 2017, 2018, and 2019)
  • Introduction to Literature: Piracy (fall 2017)
  • Academic Writing I (fall/spring 2015-2016)


  • University of California, Davis, MA (2010) and PhD (2015)
  • Skidmore College, BA (2007)


  • "Death and Revolution: Thinking with Hester Pulter." The Sundial AMCRS. 27 October 2020. https://medium.com/the-sundial-acmrs/death-and-revolution-thinking-with-hester-pulter-848d5c966b6d
  • "Dark Holes and Violent Allegories in The Faerie Queene." Spenser Review 50.3.2 (Fall 2020). https://www.english.cam.ac.uk/spenseronline/review/item/50.3.2/
  • “Conflicts: Naval Wars, Violent Migrations, and Silent/Silenced Archives.” A Cultural History of the Sea in the Renaissance. Ed. Steve Mentz. Forthcoming, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020.
  • "'[L]ove that oughte ben secree': Secrecy and Alternate Endings in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde." Studies in Philology, vol. 116, no. 4 (Fall 2019): 617-639. https://doi.org/10.1353/sip.2019.0025.
  • "Gendered Circulation and the Marital Ship of State in Jonson's The Staple of News." Renaissance Drama 46, vol. 2 (Fall 2018): 193-212. https://doi.org/10.1086/699623
  • “Precarious Travail, Gender, and Narration in Shakespeare’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre and Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World.Early Modern Women and Travel. Eds. Bernadette Andrea and Patricia Akhimie. University of Nebraska Press, 2019. 273-291.
  • “Time, Gender, and Nonhuman Worlds.” (with Emily Kuffner and Elizabeth Crachiolo) Gendered Temporalities in the Early Modern World. Ed. Merry Weisner-Hanks. Amsterdam University Press Gendering the Late Medieval and Early Modern World Series, 2018. 69-92.
  • “A Shipwreck of Faith: Hazardous Voyages and Contested Representations in Milton’s Samson Agonistes.” Storms on Islands: Shipwreck and Island Motifs in Literature and the Arts. Eds. Brigitte Le Juez and Olga Springer. Boston: Brill/Rodopi, 2015. 151-170.

Selected Awards:

  • Shakespeare Association of America Travel Grant, 2015.
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award, UC Davis Graduate Studies, 2014.
  • Research-Teaching Fellowship, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation UC Davis Initiative in Early Modern Studies, 2014.
  • Dissertation Fellowship, UC Davis Department of English, Summers 2013 and 2014.