Cornell professor wins Fulbright Award

Cornell College English Professor Kirilka Stavreva is one of only 15 U.S. professors who have been awarded a Fulbright Global Flex Award, which will allow her to conduct research in Italy and England. This is the first year this Fulbright is being awarded.

Professor Kirilka Stavreva
Professor Kirilka Stavreva

Stavreva, an authority on the English Renaissance with a focus on William Shakespeare, will use her award to conduct research on the performance history of Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” at the University of Ferrara, Italy, and at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.

“Professor Stavreva’s appointment as one of the first U.S. faculty members to receive this award is a high honor,” said Joe Dieker, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. “Her study of Shakespeare has taken her from libraries in Los Angeles, to archives in London and a prison in Bulgaria. This grant enables her to continue her scholarly work through global research.”

Born and raised in Bulgaria, Stavreva completed a Ph.D. in English at the University of Iowa, held a post-doctoral position at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., and has taught at Cornell College since 2001. She is author of Words Like Daggers: Violent Female Speech in Early Modern England (University of Nebraska Press, 2015), editor of a collection of essays on interdisciplinary approaches to teaching Dante’s Divine Comedy, and has published a number of award-winning articles. Research for these publications has been enabled by fellowships by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the British Academy, the Huntington, Folger, and Newberry Libraries, and Cornell College. Her Fulbright-funded research will contribute to a book in the Shakespeare in Performance series of Manchester University Press.

Stavreva is the first member of the Cornell faculty to win a Fulbright since Professor of History Robert Givens received one in 2008 to teach in Russia.

“The Fulbright Global Flex award will contribute to my development as scholar and teacher of Global Shakespeare–a field central to my professional and personal identity–by allowing me access to unique documentary and live theater resources,” Stavreva said. “I am confident that the scholarly collaborations in Italy and the United Kingdom will have long-term benefits for my pedagogy and teaching repertoire, and look forward to exploring avenues for institutional collaboration with my hosts.”

The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills. It is administered by the U.S. State Department and is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It operates in more than 155 countries around the world.