Photo of Stephen Deng. Portrait of smiling middle aged man with black hair, wearing tan button up shirt.

Stephen Deng

Associate Professor
Early Modern/Renaissance Literature

Office: C620 Wells Hall
Phone: 517-884-4426

Stephen Deng’s research interests include early modern literature, material culture, new economic criticism, theories of ethics and accountability. 

His first monograph, Coinage and State Formation in Early Modern English Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) reassesses the historic relation between money and the state through the lens of early modern English literature. In particular, it examines the political implications of the monetary form in light of material and visual properties of coins as well as the persistence of both intrinsic and extrinsic theories of value, revealing how material uses and literary representations of coins inform various key elements of early modern English state formation.

Deng has edited a collection of essays with Barbara Sebek entitled Global Traffic: Discourses and Practices of Trade in English Literature and Culture, 1500–1700 (Palgrave, 2008), which investigates the relations between literature and the economy in the context of the unprecedented expansion of early modern England’s long distance trade and offers a new history of globalization as a complex of unevenly developing cultural, discursive, and economic phenomena. His essay “‘Global Oeconomy’: Ben Jonson’s The Staple of News and the Ethics of Mercantilism” is included in the collection.

He has also published essays on money and mystical kingship in Macbeth: New Critical Essays (Routledge, 2008), and one on the circulation of foreign coins in A Companion to the Global Renaissance, 1550–1660 (Blackwell, 2009). He has an article, “Sexual and Poetic Figuration and the New Mathematics in Shakespeare’s Sonnets,” in the Journal of the Northern Renaissance (2014), as well as an essay in Forms of Association: Making Publics in Early Modern Europe (U of Massachusetts P, 2015), which examines how Sir Edward Coke’s translation of English common law in the Institutes contributed to the establishment of a “juristic public” in seventeenth century England.

Currently, Deng is editing the Renaissance volume of A Cultural History of Money, which is under contract with Bloomsbury, and he is working on two articles about the literary impacts on transformations in English commercial and colonial culture, circa 1620-1660. He is also working on a second monograph on Hamlet and accountability.


“Dangerous Art” (Interdisciplinary Studies in Arts and Humanities)
“New Worlds” in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods (Interdisciplinary Studies in Arts and Humanities)
Foundations in Literary Study I
Methods of Literary History: Early Modern Literature and the Emergence of Capitalism
Studies in Medieval/Early Modern Literature
Renaissance Literature and Drama
City/Citizen Comedy and London Satire (Study Abroad in London)
Literary and Cultural London across the Centuries (Study Abroad in London)
Critical Questions in a Literary Period: Early Modern English Literature

Material Culture and the Literature of Early Modern England
Legal Fictions: Early Modern Literature and the Law
Spenser and the Sidney Circle
Hamlet and Early Modern Literary Scholarship