Stephen Wittek


Stephen Wittek is Assistant Professor of early modern drama at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. He was a postdoctoral fellow and manager of the Conversions project from 2013-2017. He holds a PhD in literature from McGill and a Master’s degree in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England.

Dr. Wittek is the author of The Media Players: Shakespeare, Middleton, Jonson, and the Idea of News (University of Michigan Press, 2015)With the goal of establishing a more thorough understanding of the central, formative function of Shakespeare’s theatre in the news culture of early modern England, the project combines historical research with recent developments in public sphere theory, and argues that the unique discursive space created by commercial theatre helped to foster the conceptual framework that made news possible. In 2014, the CBC Radio One program Ideas showcased Dr. Wittek’s research as part of the ‘Ideas from the Trenches’ series (available for streaming or download here:

Dr. Wittek’s current research focuses on the media of conversion and the early modern English stage. Other projects of note include a volume of essays for the Conversions project entitled Performing Conversion: Urbanism, Theatre, and the Transformation of the Early Modern World (co-edited with José R. Jouve-Martin) and a new edition of The Merchant of Venice for Internet Shakespeare Editions (co-edited with Janelle Jenstad). On the digital humanities front, Dr. Wittek is currently working with Stéfan Sinclair and Matt Milner to build DREaM, a database that will index 44,000+ early modern texts, thus making long-neglected material more amenable for use with large-scale analytical tools.