Marie Theresa O’Connor received her J.D. and her Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Chicago. Her aim as a teacher of expository writing is for students to become confident, capable, and responsible thinkers and writers. She believes that persuasive writing is among the most empowering skills that students cultivate in college, as it enables them to identify and intervene in the salient problems of life, whatever career path they may choose.
O’Connor’s research focuses on early modern British literature, law, and culture. She has published or has forthcoming essays in Early Modern Literary Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, and an edited collection entitled Shakespeare and the Law: A Conversation among Disciplines and Professions (Chicago, 2013). She is currently working on a book concerned with King James VI and I’s project to unite Scotland and England, which, though ultimately unsuccessful, encouraged fundamental reconsideration of what authorizes and constitutes a social order and how relationships should be structured within it. The book seeks to show how some of Shakespeare’s plays may be seen as engaging with Union discourse and especially with pro-Union writings in which some of the more far-reaching and transformative ideas were taking shape about what “Britain” might become as a social, economic, and political community.