Stephanie Spoto is a lecturer at California State University, Monterey Bay in the department of Humanities and Communication, teaching literature, feminist theory, and writing.

In 2013 she was an International Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Study – Sofia.  Her research project is “William Lithgow (1582–1645) and Early Modern Scottish Journeys to Eastern Europe”.

Stephanie finished her B.A. in English at the University of California in Irvine in 2006, writing her undergraduate thesis on gender and censorship in Milton’s Paradise Lost. She began her PhD at Edinburgh, and was awarded the Centre for Renaissance Studies Research Grant (2009).  At Edinburgh University, she taught first-year English Literature, and has been a reviewer and Reader for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in Fiction (2010), Biography (2011) and has reviewed for the Forum Postgraduate Journal (2011).  Her dissertation passed with minor corrections, and she graduated in June 2012.

She also works as a bookdealer, and enjoys baking cakes and riding her bicycle.

Research Interests:
Stephanie’s dissertation chronicled the history of European occult philosophy, focusing on Hermeticism and demonology, in order to create a theory of gender within English seventeenth century demonological studies.

She is currently working on two research projects:

  • Scottish perceptions of Islam in the seventeenth century

  • A comparative analysis of seeing and recognition in the work of Sartre, Wittgenstein, and Fanon

Her other research interests include anarchism, feminist and queer theory, monstrosity, intersectionality, and teaching methods.


BA English
MA Philosophy
PhD English Literature

Other Publications

Selected publications:

  •  “Teaching against Hierarchies: An Anarchist Approach.” The Journal of Feminist Scholarship Vol 7/8 (Fall 2014/Spring 2015): 78-92.

  • “A Brief History of the Use of Spirits in European Occultism.” Published in Abraxas: International Journal of Esoteric Studies. Vol 5 (2014): pp. 16-25.

  • “Beauty, Eroticism, and Monstrosity in Early Modern Book Illustrations.” Published in Journal of Monsters and the Monstrous. Vol 3, No 2 (2013): pp. 97-110.

  • “‘Showeth Herself all Naked’: Madimi in John Dee’s Conversations with Spirits.” Published in Daimonic Imagination: Uncanny Intelligence. Eds. A. Voss, et al. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013: pp. 86-101.

  • “Jacobean Witchcraft and Feminine Power.” Published in Pacific Coast Philology. Vol 45 (2010): pp. 53-70.

Blog Posts


    American Philosophical Association
    The Renaissance Society of America

    Stephanie Spoto

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