Professor of English and Department Chair
Ph. D. in English Renaissance and Restoration Literature, Harvard University, 1982
A.M. in English and American Language and Literature, Harvard University, 1975
B.A. in English, Penn State, 1974
Al Cacicedo’s proudest moment came when three of his students presented papers at a conference on Medieval and Renaissance Studies conference. All three of the papers had originated as essays written for one of Prof. Cacicedo’s classes, and all three were terrific. The top of that great moment was that the students were each working with Prof. Cacicedo’s major research interest, Shakespeare and his world. Thanks to the sometimes intense discussions that take place in Prof. Cacicedo’s classes, the students were well prepared to respond to questions and critiques from members of the audience—in particular one particularly snarky student from another institution who was determined to upstage an unflappably competent senior English-Theater combined major.
Besides Shakespeare, Prof. Cacicedo teaches courses from the early 16th century to the late 18th century, including courses in the Renaissance, Milton and the Seventeenth Century, and Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature. Prof. Cacicedo has written and published in all three areas of his major teaching responsibilities, including articles on Milton’s Paradise Lost and Dryden’s “Astraea Redux.” Given his particular interest in Shakespeare, however, most of Prof. Cacicedo’s publications are on the plays, including Romeo and Juliet and Othello and The Comedy of Errors and Measure for Measure. He has also delivered papers on a wide assortment of other plays, including Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, The Tempest, and each of the problem comedies, both separately and together. He is now working on a paper in which he tries to puzzle through the mystery of Horatio in Hamlet. Prof. Cacicedo also teaches a seminar on literary theory, and he has special interest in psychoanalytic theory, which is the framework for his article on Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five and Joseph Heller’s Catch-22.
In his general studies courses Prof. Cacicedo likes to think through two different aspects of the literary experience. Some of his courses are about the way literature organizes itself. In that vein he teaches courses called “Comedy” and “Tragedy,” in both of which students travel through time and space from the 5th century BCE to the present. Some of his courses are about the literary expression of cultural and social problems. He teaches a course called “Africa in America” in which students read documents written by Africans as they are brought to America, and then documents written by African Americans as they conceive of themselves in the racial dysphoria of the American experience. Another course, called “Novel English Women” traces the dual development of women’s consciousness and of the English novel from the early 19tth century to the present. He teaches a course on the literature of war in the 20th and 21st centuries in which he considers the motivations and illusions that precede war and the realities of war that undermine those motives and illusions.
Prof. Cacicedo has been fortunate to receive two NEH summer fellowships, one on Shakespeare and one on Milton, and has been privileged to receive the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Dr. Henry P. and M. Paige Laughlin Annual Distinguished Faculty Award, and the Dr. Henry P. and M. Paige Laughlin Annual Distinguished Faculty Award for Scholarship.Learn More
PhD Harvard 2002
Dr. Morris is a specialist in medieval English and Irish literature. He has published on topics as diverse as daily life in the Middle Ages, seventeenth-century Irish literature, and the poet William Butler Yeats. Dr. Morris teaches the early British literature survey for sophomores, in addition to upper-level courses in Chaucer, King Arthur, Beowulf, and the history of the English language. He leads a popular study-abroad course to Ireland in alternate spring semesters.Learn More