Dr. William Junker  portrait

Dr. William Junker

Assistant Professor, Catholic Studies; Co-Director, Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy
Ph.D. John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought and the Department of English, University of Chicago, 2011
309 Sitzmann Hall
(651) 962-5706

Academic History

Ph.D. John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought and the Department of English, University of Chicago, 2011
M.A. Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, 2003
B.A. English, University of Dallas, 2001


English Renaissance Poetry and Drama
Literary Criticism and Theory
History of Political Thought

Selected Publications

“Spenser, Plato, and Platonism,” in Edmund Spenser in Context, ed. Andrew Escobedo (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

"Benedict Among the Brambles: A Revisionary Reading of Gregory the Great's Life of Benedict," The Journal of Religion & Literature 45.3 (2013): 1-24.

"Spenser's Unarmed Cupid and the Experience of the 1590 Faerie Queene," ELH 79.1 (2012): 59-83.

"'Wonderfully Ravished': Platonic Erotics and the Heroic Genre in Sir Philip Sidney's Defence of Poesy," The Ben Jonson Journal 18.1 (2011): 45-65.


Hans Boersma. Embodiment and Virtue in Gregory of Nyssa (Oxford University Press, 2014). In Marginalia (forthcoming).

Heather Hirschfeld. The End of Satisfaction: Drama and Repentance in the Age of Shakespeare (Cornell University Press, 2014). In Comparative Drama 49.1 (2015) (forthcoming).

Ann Baynes Coiro and Thomas Fulton, eds. Rethinking Historicism from Shakespeare to Milton (Cambridge University Press, 2012). In Modern Philology 112.1 (2014).

Julia Reinhard Lupton. Thinking with Shakespeare: Essays on Politics and Life (Chicago, 2011).

The Ben Jonson Journal 20.1 (2013): 148-154. 

Sarah Beckwith. Shakespeare and the Grammar of Forgiveness (Cornell, 2011). Early Modern Literary Studies (forthcoming). 

Jane Kingsley-Smith. Cupid in Early Modern Literature and Culture (Cambridge, 2011). Early
Modern Literary Studies 16.1 (2012)

Guy Story Brown. Shakespeare's Philosopher-King: Reading the Tragedy of King Lear (Mercer, 2010).

Early Modern Literary Studies 15.3 (2011)

Jean-Luc Marion. The Erotic Phenomenon (Chicago, 2008). American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 82.2 (2008): 370-374.

Spring 2016 Courses

Spring 2016 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
CSMA 501 - 01 Cath Thought & Culture II - - - R - - - 1800 - 2100 55S 207
CRN: 20987 3 Credit Hours Instructor: William J. Junker This interdisciplinary course continues the exploration of the relations between faith and culture begun in Catholic Thought and Culture I, beginning with the medieval period up until the present day. Students will engage areas of artistic expression (literature, music, visual art) in the light of philosophical and theological currents affecting Catholic life in a given era. Upon completion of both Catholic Thought and Culture I and II, students will have some grasp on the fascinating interaction of Gospel and culture marking Catholicism's development, demonstrated skills in the interpretation of literature, music, and visual art, and an appreciation for how the arts can embody Catholic truth and goodness in beauty. Students will also have a broad sense of the contexts of the Catholic tradition, parts of which will then be filled in by other, more specific, courses in the program. NOTE: It is not required (though it is recommended) that students take CSMA 500 prior to taking CSMA 501.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 361 - 01 Shakespeare & Early Modern - T - R - - - 0800 - 0940 SCB 104
CRN: 21429 4 Credit Hours Instructor: William J. Junker This course provides an in-depth exploration of a select group of texts or authors from British literature of the Renaissance or early modern era, a time of religious schism, early British imperialism, the rebirth of the classical world, and the birth of the professional theatre in England. Alongside the work of Shakespeare, the selected texts or authors will be studied in terms of a particular historical, cultural, or other context, or in terms of a convergence with authors or texts from other literary traditions or intellectual disciplines. Examples might include Shakespeare and the rise of the Renaissance theatre; Elizabethan writers and the Islamic world; Shakespeare and the idea of the human in the drama, sonnet, and personal essay; your brain on Shakespeare: cognitive literary studies. This course fulfills the Contexts and Convergences requirement in the English major. Prerequisites: ENGL 201, 202, 203, or 204.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

Summer 2016 Courses

Summer 2016 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Fall 2016 Courses

Fall 2016 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Undergraduate Admissions

Graduate Admissions

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