Professor of Humanities
Professor Jill Ingram holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Virginia. She has taught at Ohio University and Macalester College. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Earhart Foundation. Her research focuses on the intersection of economics and literature in the English Renaissance. She also studies theater history and festive culture, with a particular interest in London’s Lord Mayor’s shows in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.
Professor Ingram’s most recent book, Festive Enterprise: The Business of Drama in Medieval and Renaissance England (Notre Dame University Press, ReFormations series [James Simpson, David Aers, and Sarah Beckwith, eds.] March 2021), merges the history of economic thought with studies of theatricality and spectatorship. Ingram examines how English Renaissance plays employed forms and practices from medieval and traditional entertainments to signal the expectation of giving from their audiences. Resisting the conventional divide between medieval and Renaissance, Festive Enterprise takes a trans-Reformation view of dramaturgical strategies, which reflected the need to generate both income and audience assent. By analyzing a wide range of genres (such as civic ceremonial, mummings, interludes, scripted plays, and university drama) and a diverse range of venues (including great halls, city streets, the Inns of Court, and public playhouses), Ingram demonstrates how early moderns borrowed medieval money-gatherers’ techniques to signal communal obligations and rewards for charitable support of theatrical endeavors.
Her previous research focused on the expression of credit relationships in Renaissance Literature. On this topic, Ingram published Idioms of Self-Interest: Credit, Identity, and Property in English Renaissance Literature (Routledge, 2006; paperback, 2009), which uncovered an emerging social integration of economic self-interest, or the profit motive, in early modern England by examining literary representations of credit relationships in which individuals are both held to standards of communal trust and rewarded for risk-taking enterprises. She has edited the New Kittredge edition of Shakespeare’s play Love's Labour's Lost (Focus, 2011), and published essays on the performative expression of legal rights and civic identity in the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies and in the collection Civic Performance: Pageantry and Entertainments in Early Modern London (Taylor and Francis, 2021). She is currently creating a scholarly edition of Thomas Heywood’s 1633 Lord Mayor’s Show Londini Emporia for The Map of Early Modern London project, and has forthcoming essays in English Literary Renaissance and Shakespeare Studies.