Little, Jr., Arthur L.

Associate Professor

Kaplan 226
Tel: 310.206.7072 / Fax: 310.267.4339 / E-mail


Ph.D. Harvard University, English 1986-1989
M.A. Harvard University, English, 1983-1986
B.A. Northwestern University, English, 1979-1983


Shakespeare and Early Modern Race Studies
Black Studies
Queer Studies
Gender Studies
African American Studies


Cambridge Shakespeare Editions Advisory Board, Vice Chair of UCLA Undergraduate Council, Chair of LGBTQ Program, Undergraduate Vice Chair of English, Bread Loaf School of English Professor, Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Mentor, Holstein Fellowship Mentor (UC Riverside), Shakespeare Association of America’s 50th-Aniversary Committee.


While I’m interested in the broad intersection of issues scripting the English sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, my work takes its primary impetus from early modern processes of racialization taking shape during this period as well the historical and ethical extension of these processes into our own cultural moment. As the study of Shakespeare and race emerges as a more articulated field, I’m excited by the questions, challenges, and possibilities springing from this widening body of research and the implications of this scholarship for Shakespeare and early modern studies more broadly. I am currently pursuing what I see as some of the most salient and urgent of these questions, challenges, and possibilities through several interrelated book projects. Beyond (but also within) these, I remain diligently aware of the intersection of race with a host of other matters—including sexuality, gender, class, and religion among them—and deeply committed to the study of queer and African-American literatures and cultures, separately and collectively. I also remain a fierce champion of my undergraduate and graduate students.



Black Hamlet:  Disciplining Race, Memory, and the Geno-Performative [in progress].

Shakespeare and Critical Race Theories.  Shakespeare and Theory series. Arden Bloomsbury (forthcoming 2022).

White People in Shakespeare, editor. Arden Bloomsbury (forthcoming 2022).

Shakespeare Jungle Fever:  National-Imperial Re-Visions of Race, Rape, and Sacrifice (Stanford, CA:  Stanford University Press, 2000). “Picturing the Hand of White Women,” pp.25-67, REPRINTED in Shakespearean Criticism, 73 (Thomson Gale 2003): 273-285.

Research Articles

Guest Co-Editor of Forum for Shakespeare Studies, vol. 50 (forthcoming 2022). “Seeking the (In)visible: Whiteness in Shakespeare Studies,” with Patricia Akhimie and David Sterling Brown.

“To Teach Shakespeare for Survival: Talking with David Sterling Brown and Arthur L. Little, Jr.” Public Books: an online review hosted by the Center for the Humanities at New York University (forthcoming 2021).

““Is it Possible to Read Shakespeare through Critical White Studies?” The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Race, ed. Ayanna Thompson (Cambridge University Press 2020): 268-80.

“Critical Race Theory.” The Arden Research Handbook of Contemporary Shakespeare Criticism, ed. Evelyn Gajowski (Arden Bloomsbury 2020): 139-158.

Black Hamlet, Social Justice, and the Minds of Apartheid.” Shakespeare and Social Justice, ed. David Ruiter (Arden Bloomsbury 2020): 74-93.

Black Hamlet” [250 words]; “Brown, Sterling K.” [100 words]; “Critical Race Theory” [2600 words]; “Gurira, Dana” [100 words]; “Morrison, Toni” [1400 words]; “Nyong’o, Lupita” [150 words]; and “Titus Andronicus” [3,000+ words].  The Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopedia, ed. Patricia Parker (Stanford University Press, forthcoming online).

“Re-Historicizing Race, White Melancholia, and the Shakespearean Property.” Shakespeare Quarterly 67 (2016): 84-103.

“The Rites of Queer Marriage in The Merchant of Venice.” Shakesqueer, ed. Madhavi Menon (Duke University Press, 2011): 216-224.

“’A local habitation and a name’:  Presence, Witnessing, and Queer Marriage in Shakespeare’s Romantic Comedies,” Presentism, Gender, and Sexuality in Shakespeare, ed. Evelyn Gajowski (New York:  Palgrave, 2009): 207-236.

“Samuel R. Delany.” African American Writers, Vol. 1, ed. Valerie Smith (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2001): 149-165.

“Absolute Bodies, Absolute Laws:  The Politics of Punishment in Measure for Measure,” Shakespearean Power and Punishment, ed. Gillian Murray Kendall (Madison, NJ:  Fairleigh Dickinson University Press; London:  Associated University Presses, 1998): 113-129.

“‘An essence that’s not seen’:  The Primal Scene of Racism in Othello,” Shakespeare Quarterly, 44 (1993): 304-324.  REPRINTED in Shakespearean Criticism, 68 (New York: Thompson Gale, 2002): 167-180.

“‘Transshaped’ Women:  Virginity and Hysteria in The Changeling,” Madness in Drama, Themes in Drama, 15, ed. James Redmond (New York and Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1993), 19-42.  REPRINTED in Literature and Criticism from 1400-1800, 123 (New York: Thompson Gale): 339-351.

Webinars and Printed/Interviews

Anti-Racist Shakespeare: Twelfth Night.” Anti-Racist Shakespeare Globe Centre Series. With Natasha Magigi and Dr. Will Tosh. Shakespeare Globe Centre, London. Sponsored by Cambridge UP (September 2021).

Interviewed. “Black Theater Artists are Helping Shakespeare Speak to More Diverse Audiences.” With Jeremy D. Goodwin. All Things Considered. National Public Radio (NPR) (July 2021).

Arden Research Handbook of Shakespeare and Social Justice: Book Launch.” With David Ruiter, Julia Lupton, et al. New Swan Shakespeare at University of California at Irvine (April 2021).

Invisible Bondage: The Other Side of Working on Shakespeare and Race in the Age of Covid-19.” With David Sterling Brown. Antiracism: Research, Teaching, Pubic Engagement (University of Maryland, September 2020).

Interviewed. “The Shakespeare and Social Justice Interviews: Arthur L. Little, Jr. Interviewed by David Ruiter.” Shakespeare and Social Justice, ed. David Ruiter (Bloomsbury Arden 2020): 34-37.

Interviewed. “Shakespeare and Race.” Shakespeare in South Africa. Public Radio program in Johannesburg, South Africa (August 1996).

Other Articles

Professor Arthur Little Remembers Toni Morrison.” UCLA Department of English Webpage (2019).

Book Review. Shakespeare’s Italy, Italy’s Shakespeare Shaul Bassi. Reproducing Shakespeare: New Studies in Adaptation and Appropriation. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. Renaissance Quarterly (2018).

Book Review. Queer Renaissance Historiography:  Backward Gaze, eds. Vin Nardizzi, Stephen Guy-Bray, and Will Stockton (Ashgate, 2009).  Shakespeare Studies 40 (2012): 270-282.

Book Review. Colorblind Shakespeare:  New Perspectives on Race and Performance, ed. Ayanna Thompson (Routledge, 2006).  Shakespeare Studies 37 (2009): 296-306.

Book Review. Performing Blackness on English Stages, 1500-1800, Virginia Vaughan (Cambridge University Press, 2005).  Early Theatre 11 (2008): 144-149.

Book Review. The Violet Hour, David Bergman (Columbia, 2003); and Aberrations in Black, Roderick A. Ferguson (Minnesota, 2004).  American Literature, 77 (2005): 648-651.

Richard II and the Essence of Rebellion:  A Multicultural Inquiry,” Performing Arts, Los Angeles edition (Mark Taper Forum), 26, no. 4, April 1992: pp. p-8-p-9.


“The Gaze of Horror:  The Primal Configuration of the Body in English Renaissance Revenge Tragedy” [Marjorie Garber with Barbara Johnson, directors].

Interest Areas
• Renaissance & Early Modern Studies
• Sexuality & Gender Studies