William Weaver

Associate Professor of Literature

For twelve months beginning August 2015 I will be a guest researcher at the University of Tübingen, where I will prepare a critical edition of Melanchthon's writings on rhetoric. I plan to return to Germany in summers 2017 and 2018 to complete the project. This project is funded by a Humboldt Fellowship.

Weaver1 Brooks Flats North 135D
Tel: (254) 710-6317
Email: W_Weaver@baylor.edu

CV in PDF format


  • Ph.D., Columbia University

  • M.A., Columbia University

  • B.A., Vanderbilt University


  • Renaissance Humanism, Early Modern English Poetry, Classical Tradition, History of Rhetoric

Research Interests

My research concerns the history of humanist rhetorical education and its impact on the development of English literature in one of its most celebrated periods, the Renaissance. My recent book, Untutored Lines: The Making of the English Epyllion, shows the impact of rhetoric on the formation of social identities and literary genres in the late sixteenth century.

Selected Publications


  • Untutored Lines: The Making of the English Epyllion (Edinburgh, 2012)

Journal Articles

  • ’A More Excellent Way: Philip Melanchthon’s Corinthians Lectures of 1521-1522.’ Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme 37 (2014): 31-63.

  • ’The Banquet of the Common Sense: George Chapman’s Anti-Epyllion.' Studies in Philology 111 (2014): 757-785.

  • ’The Verse Divisions of the New Testament and the Literary Culture of the Reformation.’ Reformation 16 (2011): 161-177.

  • Triplex est Copia: Philip Melanchthon’s Invention of the Rhetorical Figures.’ Rhetorica 29 (2011): 367-402.

  • ’Paraphrase and Patronage in Virgils Gnat.’ Spenser Studies 25 (2010): 247-261.

  • ’’O teach me how to make mine own excuse’: Forensic Performance in Lucrece.’ Shakespeare Quarterly 59 (2008): 421-449.

  • ’Marlowe’s Fable: Hero and Leander and the Rudiments of Eloquence.’ Studies in Philology 105 (2008): 388-408.

Work in Progress

With funding from the Loeb Classical Library Foundation and the International Society for the History of Rhetoric, I am writing a book-length study of Philip Melanchthon’s lectures on Homer. Melanchthon, called the ’Preceptor of Germany,’ had a widespread influence on literary rhetoric in Northern Europe, and his vital influence on English rhetoric has been documented. The Homer lectures supply new information about Melanchthon’s influence on note-taking practices, a part of his legacy that remains largely unexplored.