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Su Fang Ng

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Professor Ng specializes in Early Modern English and Comparative Literatures. Her work focuses on ideas of kingship and political thought, colonialism and empire, covering a range of authors, especially Milton and Shakespeare. She teaches courses in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century British literature, early modern travel literature, early modern women writers, Shakespeare, Milton, epic, and postcolonial literature.

Su Fang Ng’s first book, Literature and the Politics of Family in Seventeenth-Century England (Cambridge University Press, 2007; paperback 2009), examines the family-state analogy as a contested political language used by both royalists and republicans, for revolutionary and absolutist ends. Spanning the seventeenth-century, this book includes authors James I, Milton, Hobbes, Margaret Cavendish, Quakers like Margaret Fell, and others. She has published a number of essays on various topics including Amelia Lanyer and court patronage, Bible translation, early Quaker ideas of marriage, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Islamic sources, Dryden’s Annus Mirabilis and the Anglo-Dutch wars, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Milton’s Satan, Hobbes and the wolf, Alexander the Great, and postcolonial nationalisms in Malaysia and Nigeria. Her work has appeared in Modern Philology, Milton Studies, Comparative Literature, Studies in the Age of Chaucer, ELH, Studies in Philology, The Seventeenth Century, the Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Feminist Interpretations of Thomas Hobbes, and elsewhere.

Her second book project, Reviving Alexander's Empire: Renaissance Classicism from Britain to Islamic Southeast Asia, returns to her long-standing interest in kingship by focusing on the figure of Alexander the Great and the ideas of universal kingship and empire he represented to early modern peoples around the world. Bringing together her interests in the early modern and colonialism/postcolonialism in a comparative reading of British and Southeast Asian texts, the work reads a Western canon against a non-Western one to find surprising connections in an early global literary network. Her work has been supported by year-long fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, the National Humanities Center, Harrington Faculty Fellows Program at the University of Texas at Austin; she has also won short-term grants from the International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden, Oklahoma Humanities Council, the American Philosophical Society, the British Academy and others.

Su Fang Ng has lived on three continents—born and raised in Malaysia, she obtained her PhD from the University of Michigan, and has taught at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany—and enjoys dabbling in languages and photography.

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