Department of English
Michigan State University
Stephen Deng’s research interests include early modern literature, material culture, new economic criticism, business and legal cultures.
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, 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 Œconomy‘: Ben Jonson’s The Staple of News and the Ethics of Mercantilism" is included in the collection. He has also published an essay on money and mystical kingship in Macbeth: New Critical Essays (Routledge) and an essay on the circulation of foreign coins in A Companion to the Global Renaissance, 1550–1660 (Blackwell). He has an essay in the forthcoming collection Forms of Association: Making Publics in Early Modern Europe (U of Massachusetts P) on 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.