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As a Ph.D. candidate in the English Department at Princeton University, I study literature and drama of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with an emphasis on poetry and politics. Areas of particular interest include the history of rhetoric and poetics, print technology and culture, and early modern criminal law and policy, as well as authors including More, Shakespeare, Marvell.

My dissertation project, Objects of Correction: English Literature and the Birth of Modern Punishment, constructs a critical and imaginative history of rehabilitative punishments from More’s Utopia to early American penal codes. Based in and around London’s first Protestant hospitals and Bridewell Prison, the first House of Correction (established in 1553), Objects of Correction studies how literature, drama, and print practices both addressed and affected penal reform in early modern England, during a crucial period in the rise of what Foucault has called “the correctional world.”

Previously I worked as a lecturer at Cornell University, where I taught First-Year Writing Seminars on Shakespeare as well as introductory creative writing courses, and where I earned my MFA (2014). I hold a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College (2010).

At Princeton I have served as an adviser for undergraduate students at Mathey College and as an assistant in the Center for Digital Humanities. In 2017-2018 I held the Arthur P. Morgan Graduate Fellowship in English. In 2018-2019 my work is supported by the Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship, Princeton’s highest honor for a graduate student.

On this site you can find some of my criticism and poetry, as well as conceptual and visual poems. You can also find me online at http://scholar.princeton.edu/mpritger/home and http://princeton.academia.edu/MatthewRitger.

Selected publications