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Dr Michael Ullyot

Pronouns: he/him/his


Associate Professor

Faculty of Arts, Department of English

Contact information

Web presence

Phone number

Office: +1 (403) 220-4656


Office: Social Sciences1044

For media enquiries, contact


I'm looking for...


Current project on Shakespeare's film and new-media adaptations, including VR and cinema broadcasts of live/stage performances.


Educational Background

BA (Hons.) English Literature, McGill University, 1998

PhD English Literature, University of Toronto, 2005

MPhil Medieval & Renaissance Literature, University of Cambridge (UK), 1999


I research early modern literature and the digital humanities, and published a monograph in 2022: The Rhetoric of Exemplarity in Early Modern England (Oxford University Press).

My research also includes articles and chapters on Shakespeare and virtual reality (with Rebecca W. Bushnell); on algorithms for detecting rhetorical figures (with Adam J. Bradley); on a quantitative model of the English-language sonnet; and on archives and artificial intelligence. For full details see orcid.org/0000-0002-2781-8545.

I have also published 16 scholarly articles or book chapters, and delivered 47 conference papers or invited talks. I have received $190,948 in research grants, awards, and fellowships (not scholarships) as sole / principal investigator since 2004, and submitted 3 Insight Grant applications.

Since 2005 I have taught 38 undergraduate courses, primarily on early modern English literature but also on poetry, film, and interdisciplinary studies. I have also taught 5 graduate seminars (6 in 2023) and supervised 3 graduate students (2 in progress), 7 honours students, 17 research assistants, and served on 16 supervisory or examining committees.

I serve on the Editorial Board of the University of Calgary Press. From 2013-15 I was Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) in the Faculty of Arts. I also serve as vice-president of the Pacific Northwest Renaissance Society and on the board of ORCID; and I have served the Renaissance Society of America and the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities.


Areas of Research

Shakespeare and New Media

I am (as mentioned above) working on a new project about Shakespeare's film and new-media adaptations, including VR and cinema broadcasts of live/stage performances.

Participation in university strategic initiatives


Course number Course title Semester
ENGL 307 Literature after 1700 Winter 2022
ARTS 503 Multidisciplinary Capstone Winter 2022 + Winter 2023
ENGL 305 Literature before 1700 Fall 2022
ENGL 253.03 Introduction to the Novel Fall 2022
ENGL 609 Presentist Shakespeare Spring 2023


The Rhetoric of Exemplarity in Early Modern England (Oxford University Press, 2022)

In this study, Michael Ullyot makes two new arguments about the rhetoric of exemplarity in late Elizabethan and Jacobean culture: first, that exemplarity is a recursive cycle driven by rhetoricians' words and readers' actions; and second, that positive moral examples are not replicable, but rather aspirational models of readers' posthumous biographies. For example, Alexander the Great envied Achilles less for his exemplary life than for Homer's account of it. Ullyot defines the three types of decorum on which exemplary rhetoric and imitation rely, and charts their operations through Philip Sidney's poetics, Edmund Spenser's poetry, and the dedications, sermons, elegies, biographies, and other occasional texts about Robert Devereux, second earl of Essex, and Henry, Prince of Wales. Ullyot expands the definition of occasional texts to include those that criticize their circumstances to demand better ones, and historicizes moral exemplarity in the contexts of sixteenth-century Protestant memory and humanist pedagogy. The Rhetoric of Exemplarity in Early Modern England concludes that all exemplary subjects suffer from the problem of metonymy, the objection that their chosen excerpts misrepresent their missing parts. This problem also besets historicist literary criticism, ever subject to corrections from the archive, so this study concedes that its own rhetorical methods are exemplary.


  • Plumer Visiting Fellowship in Early Modern English Literature, St Anne's College and the Centre for Early Modern Studies, University of Oxford. 2019
  • Insight Grant (Collaborator), SSHRC. 2015
  • Insight Development Grant, SSHRC. 2012
  • URGC SSHRC Development Grant, University of Calgary. 2010
  • Junior Research Fellowship, Linacre College, Oxford. 2006
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, SSHRC. 2005


  • The Rhetoric of Exemplarity in Early Modern England. Oxford University Press. 256. (2022)