Elliott Visconsi

Associate Professor of English & Concurrent Associate Professor of Law
Associate Provost & Chief Academic Digital Officer

Associate Professor of English & Concurrent Associate Professor of Law
311 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556-4635


B.A. Honors,  College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, Massachusetts), 1995.

Ph. D. UCLA, 2001.

M.S. L.  Yale Law School, 2010

Research and teaching interests

English and American Literature 1550-1800;  Law, History, and Political Thought; First Amendment Law; Freedom of Expression in the Digital Age; US and Comparative Constitutional Law.


Professor Elliott Visconsi is Associate Provost and Chief Academic Digital Officer for the University of Notre Dame. A scholar of early modern English literature, freedom of expression, and First Amendment law, Visconsi has been at Notre Dame since 2010 (B.A. 1995 College of the Holy Cross, Ph.D. 2001 UCLA; M.S.L. Yale Law School, 2010).

As a teacher, Visconsi tries to build a student-centered pedagogy in all of his courses and has experimented with class formats (lecture, seminar, online, hybrid), emerging pedagogies, and active strategies (role-playing games, moot court, team competitions) to empower effective student learning in the cross-disciplinary humanities.

The persistent aim of his research is to understand how law is constituted and negotiated within culture as well as how literary texts provoke and challenge those habits of thought necessary for judgment, citizenship, and belonging in democratic societies. He is beginning research on a new study of the history and future of the experimental tradition in higher education.

Representative publications

The New Experimental College and the Future of Liberal Education in the Post-Digital Age, book-length essay.

Liberty, Stability & Gain:  The 17th Century Origins of Anglo-American Civil Religion, book.

Lines of Equity: Literature and the Origins of Law in Later Stuart England. (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, April 2008).

“The New Experimental College,” in Recentering Learning, eds. Debelius, Kim & Maloney (forthcoming, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press).

“Blasphemy Law, Blasphemy Culture.” Elgar Encyclopedia of Law & Humanities, eds. Robert Spoo & Simon Stern, Edwin Elgar, forthcoming

“Literature in Public: or ‘All About Us is Noise.’” Critical Analysis of Law 6:2 (2019).

“Religious Pluralism and Democratic Culture: Nadeem Aslam’s Maps for Lost Lovers,” in New Directions in Law & Literature, ed. Elizabeth Anker and Bernadette Meyler (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).

“The Invention of Criminal Blasphemy: Rex v. Taylor (1676),” Representations 103 (Summer 2008).

Vinculum Fidei: The Tempest & the Law of Allegiance” Law & Literature 20:1 (Spring 2008).

“The First Amendment and the Poetics of Church and State,” Raritan 26:3 (Fall 2006).

“A Degenerate Race: English Barbarism in Behn’s Oroonoko and The Widow Ranter,” ELH 69:3 (2002).

The Folger Luminary Shakespeare for iPad. 7 works, combining Folger Editions with new expert commentaries, media assets, and user interface for teaching and learning: Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, Hamlet, Richard III, Julius Caesar).

Shakespeare’s The Tempest for iPad. Luminary Digital Media, 2012