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Dr Björn Quiring M. A. (Free University, Berlin), Dr. (Viadrina European University, Frankfurt/Oder), PD/habil. (Free University, Berlin) Assistant Professor


Research and Teaching Interests

I joined the School of English at Trinity College Dublin in 2018. Before, I held assistant professorships at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder (2008-2009), the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich (2009-2012) and the Free University, Berlin (2012-2017), as well as visiting scholar positions at New York University (2003-2004) and Harvard University (2016). From 2013-2017, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the DFG (German Research Foundation) Research Group “The Role of Nature in Conceptualising Political Order: Ancient ‒ Medieval ‒ Early Modern” at Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich.

My research focuses on the poetics of law and literature. My first book, Shakespeare’s Curse: The Aporias of Ritual Exclusion in Early Modern Royal Drama (2009/2014) analyses the uses of the ritual curse in Shakespeare’s history plays. My second book Trials of Nature: The Infinite Law Court of Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ (2021) investigates Milton’s refashioning of a common metaphor, namely the identification of nature with an all-encompassing court of law and the associated process of judgment. My present book project investigates the dialectics of property in early English Romanticism, espcecially in William Wordsworth.

My teaching and research primarily engages with early modern authors, but also with writers from other periods. I am generally interested in the intersections of literary theory with legal theory and with philosophy, particularly in the work of Walter Benjamin, Hans Blumenberg, Gilles Deleuze and William Empson. I have edited volumes on the theatrum mundi metaphor (2013/2014) and on the relationship between horror literature and philosophy (2014). Additional current research projects focus on satire and sound studies, literature and economics, and on legal hybridities in English literature.

I welcome inquiries from interested students at the postgraduate level, especially in the fields of law and literature, and literature and theory.

Recent Publications


  • Trials of Nature: The Infinite Law Court of Milton’s Paradise Lost (London and New York: Routledge, 2021).
  • Shakespeare’s Curse: The Aporias of Ritual Exclusion in Early Modern Royal Drama, trans. Michael Winkler and Björn Quiring (London and New York: Routledge, 2014).

  • Shakespeares Fluch: Die Aporien ritueller Exklusion im Königsdrama der englischen Renaissance (Paderborn and Munich: Wilhelm Fink, 2009).

Edited Books

  • (With Andreas Höfele, Christoph Levin and Reinhard Müller) Formations of the Formless: Chaos from the Ancient World to Early Modernity (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2020).
  • “If Then the World a Theatre Present…”: Revisions of the Theatrum Mundi Metaphor in Early Modern England (Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 2014).

  • Theatrum Mundi: Die Metapher des Welttheaters von Shakespeare bis Beckett [The Metaphor of the World Theatre from Shakespeare to Beckett] (Berlin: August Verlag, 2013).

  • (With Armen Avanessian) Abyssus Intellectualis: Spekulativer Horror [Speculative Horror] (Berlin: Merve, 2013).

Articles and Book Chapters (Selection)

  • “‘Under Their Head Embodied All in One’: The Representational Production of Cosmic Order in Milton’s Paradise Lost”, in Mikrokosmen: Ästhetische Formen und diskursive Figurationen einer Repräsentativität des Partikularen, Mikrokosmos, Vol. 90, ed. Michael Waltenberger and Frieder von Ammon (Berlin: Peter Lang, 2022).
  • “Interpreting Hamlet’s Pregnant Silences: Nietzsche and Benjamin”, in Poetica: Zeitschrift für Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft 52.3-4 (2021).
  • “Curse”, in Entertaining the Idea: Shakespeare, Philosophy, Performance, ed. Julia Lupton and Lowell Gallagher (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2021).
  •  “William Shakespeare: Hamlet” and “John Milton: Paradise Lost”, in Handbuch Literatur und Philosophie, ed. Andrea Allerkamp and Sarah Schmidt (Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 2021).
  •  “The Tartarean Jurisdiction of Chaos in Milton’s Paradise Lost”, in Formations of the Formless: Chaos from the Ancient World to Early Modernity, ed. Andreas Höfele, Christoph Levin, Reinhard Müller and Björn Quiring (Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 2020).
  • “Lost in Paradise: Miltons Eva”, in Natur Geschlecht Politik, ed. Andreas Höfele und Beate Kellner (Paderborn: Fink, 2020).
  • “Milton’s God and Hobbes’ Leviathan: Elective Affinities”, in Natur und Herrschaft: Analysen zur Physik der Macht, ed. Kay Jankrift, Alexander Kagerer, Christian Kaiser and María Ángeles Martín Romera (Berlin and New York: De Gruyter, 2016).
  • “Pain and Memory in Benjamin’s Mourning Play”, in Benjamin-Studien 3, ed. Daniel Weidner and Sigrid Weigel (Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink, 2014).
  • “‘The Traditional Accent of the Ecstasy of Catastrophe’: Dublin als Katastrophengebiet in Joyces Ulysses [Dublin as a Disaster Area in Joyce’s Ulysses]”, in Unfälle der Sprache: Literarische und philologische Erkundungen der Katastrophe, ed. Ottmar Ette and Judith Kasper (Vienna and Berlin: Turia und Kant, 2014).
  • “‘Look on the Tragic Loading of this Bed’: Performing Community and its Other in Shakespeare’s Othello”, in “If Then the World a Theatre Present…”: Revisions of the Theatrum Mundi Metaphor in Early Modern England, ed. Björn Quiring (Berlin and New York: De Gruyter, 2014).
  • “Introduction”, in “If Then the World a Theatre Present…”: Revisions of the Theatrum Mundi Metaphor in Early Modern England, ed. Björn Quiring (Berlin and New York: De Gruyter, 2014).
  •  “‘The Greatest Share of Endless Pain’: The Spectral Sacramentality of Pain in Milton’s Paradise Lost”, in Passions and Subjectivity in Early Modern Culture, ed. Brian Cummings and Freya Sierhuis, (Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2013).
  •  “Unlesbarkeit (Poes The Man of the Crowd) [Unreadability (Poe’s The Man of the Crowd)]”, in Denkfiguren. Für Anselm Haverkamp/Figures of Thought. For Anselm Haverkamp, ed. Eva Horn and Michèle Lowrie (Berlin: August Verlag, 2013).
  •  “Judging the New Bloomusalem: Persistent Apocalyptic Remnants in Joyce’s Ulysses”, in Anglistentag 2012 Potsdam: Proceedings (Trier: WVT, 2013).
  • “‘Men should be that they seem’: Antitheatralität in Shakespeares Othello [Antitheatricality in Shakespeare’s Othello]”, in Theaterfeindlichkeit, ed. Gabriele Brandstetter, Stefanie Diekmann and Christopher Wild (Paderborn and München: Wilhelm Fink, 2011).
  • “‘With Real Hunger To Transubstantiate’: Die Dispersion der Eucharistie in John Miltons Paradise Lost [The Dispersion of the Eucharist in John Milton’s Paradise Lost]”, in Mitteilungen des Sonderforschungsbereichs 573,“Pluralisierung und Autorität in der Frühen Neuzeit” 1, 2011.
  • “‘A Fiction That We Must Inhabit’: Sense Production in Urban Spaces According to Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s From Hell”, in Comics and the City: Urban Space in Print, Picture and Sequence, ed. Jörn Ahrens and Arno Meteling (London and New York: Continuum 2010).
  • “Die Ausrufung der Naturgesetze in John Miltons Paradise Lost [The Proclamation of Natural Laws in John Milton’s Paradise Lost]”, in Poetica, Zeitschrift für Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft, 42, 2010.
  • “‘Cursed the blood that let this blood from hence’: Die Performanz von Eucharistie und Gesellschaftsvertrag in Shakespeares Richard III [The Performance of the Eucharist and Social Contractuality in Shakespeare’s Richard III]”, in Fatale Sprachen: Eid und Fluch in Literatur- und Rechtsgeschichte, ed. Manfred Schneider and Peter Friedrich (Paderborn and Munich: Wilhelm Fink, 2009).
  • “Lost In Proto-Performance: Tod Browning’s West of Zanzibar and the Last Stand of the Primal Father”, in The Cinema of Tod Browning, ed. Bernd Herzogenrath (Jefferson: McFarland, 2008).
  • “‘Mark the high noises’: King Lear und der natürliche Grund des Donners [King Lear and the Natural Cause of Thunder]”, in Shakespeare Jahrbuch 144, 2008.
  • “Kästchenwahl: Die Performanz der Latenz in Shakespeares Merchant of Venice [Choosing Caskets: The Performance of Latency in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice]”, in Latenz: 30 Annäherungen an einen Begriff, ed. Stefanie Diekmann and Thomas Khurana (Berlin: Kadmos, 2007).
  • “A Consuming Dish: Supplementing Raffield”, Law & Literature 17:4 (Fall 2005).
  • “Die Repräsentation von devianten und normativen Körpern in Tod Brownings Freaks [The Representation of Deviant and Normative Bodies in Tod Browning’s Freaks]”, in Körpertabus und Umgehungsstrategien, ed. Matthias Rothe and Hartmut Schröder (Berlin: Weidler, 2005).


Dr Björn Quiring
School of English
Room 4021
Trinity College
University of Dublin
Dublin 2

Telephone: + 353 1 896 1346

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