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Dr.  Kristin M. S. Bezio
Dr. Kristin M. S. Bezio
Associate Professor of Leadership Studies

Dr. Kristin M. S. Bezio integrates the study of literature into the leadership studies curriculum. Her areas of specialization include leadership in literature and film, leadership in performance, and cultural and political history in Early Modern England.

Her teaching and research focuses on the ways in which literature, drama, film, and video games have influenced society and the way people think about issues of leadership and followership.

Her interests include 16- and 17th- century literature, women’s literature, comparative literature, drama and performance, directing, acting, rhetoric and composition, and new media.

Dr. Bezio has received several grants and awards for her teaching and research. As part of the Jepson School’s curriculum, she teaches required courses such as Leadership and the Humanities and Critical Thinking, and electives such as Leadership on Stage and Screen. She also supervises independent studies in aerial through the School of Arts & Sciences Department of Theatre & Dance.

She is the author of Staging Power in Tudor and Stuart English History Plays: History, Political Thought, and the Redefinition of Sovereignty. She also is a company member and technical director for Host of Sparrows Aerial Circus. 

Distinguished Educator Award, University of Richmond, 2017
Selected Publications

Staging Power in Tudor and Stuart English History Plays: History, Political Thought, and the Redefinition of Sovereignty. Burlington, VT: Asghate, 2015.

Co-editor of the collected volume Leading Culture Forward: Leadership and Icons of Cultural Change with Peter Iver Kaufman for the Jepson Studies in Leadership series with Edward Elgar. (anticipated 2017)

Co-editor of Leadership and Popular Culture, a collected volume on leadership and popular culture in the New Horizons in Leadership Studies series with Kimberly Yost, under contract with Edward Elgar. (anticipated 2017)


“Marlowe’s Radical Reformation: Christopher Marlowe and the Radical Christianity of the Polish Brethren,” Quidditas 38 (2017). (Peer reviewed) West Award winner.

“From Rome to Tyre to London: Shakespeare’s Pericles, Leadership, Anti-Absolutism, & English Exceptionalism” forthcoming in Leadership. (anticipated 2017)

“The Filial Dagger: The Case of Hal and Henry IV in 1 & 2 Henry IV and The Famovs Victories,” Journal of the Wooden O Symposium 16 (2016).

“Bringing Down the Island: Rebellion, Colonial Hierarchy, and Individualized Leadership in Nuñez’s novel Prospero’s Daughter” in Journal of Leadership, Accountability, and Ethics 11(3), 2014. 126-140.

Bezio, Kristin M. S. “Maker’s Breath. Religion, Magic, and the ‘Godless’ World of BioWare’s Dragon Age II (2011).” Online - Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet 5.0 (2014): n. pag. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.

“Personating Leadership: Shakespeare’s Henry V and Performative Negotiation” in Leadership and the Humanities, 1.1 (2013): 43-58. (Peer reviewed)

“‘Sudden Deaths’: Regicide, Theatricality, and Anti-Absolutism in Beaumont and Fletcher’s The Maid’s Tragedy,” special volume on Shakespeare and Performance, Early Modern Studies Journal (formerly Early English Studies) 5 (2013): 57-76. (Peer reviewed)

“Drama & Demigods: Kingship and Charisma in Shakespeare’s England,” Special Issue of Religions: Charisma, Medieval and Modern 4.1 (2013): 30-50. Edited by Gary Dickson and Peter Iver Kaufman. (Peer reviewed)

“Politics and Play: The National Stage and the Player King in Shakespeare’s Henry V and Macbeth” in Quidditas 31 (2010): 10-21.

“Martial Maids and Murdering Mothers: Women, Witchcraft, and Motherly Transgression in Henry VI and Richard III” in Shakespeare: A Journal 3.2 (2007): 143-160. (As Kristin M. Smith)


“Marlowe’s Violent Reformation: Religion, Government, and Rebellion on the Elizabethan Stage” in Leading Culture Forward: Leadership and Icons of Cultural Change, edited by Peter Iver Kaufman and Kristin M.S. Bezio for the Jepson Studies in Leadership series with Edward Elgar. (anticipated 2017)

“The Perpetual Crusade: Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015), Religious Extremism, and the Problem of Empire” chapter accepted for inclusion in Video Games, Culture, & Justice with University of Washington Press. (anticipated 2017)

“Artifacts of Empire: Cultural Artifacts, Colonialism, and Orientalist Inner-Texts in Tomb Raider (2013)” in Contemporary Research on Intertextuality in Video Games edited by Christophe Dure & Christian-Marie Pons for IGI Global (2016), 189-208. (Peer reviewed)

“Playing (with) the Villain: Critical Play and the Joker-as-Guide in Batman: Arkham Asylum (VG 2009)” in The Joker: A Serious Study of the Clown Prince of Crime, edited by Robert Peaslee & Robert Weiner for the University Press of Mississippi (2015). (Peer reviewed)

“Friends & Rivals: Loyalty, Ethics, and Leadership in Dragon Age II” in Identity and Leadership in Virtual Communities: Establishing Credibility and Influence, edited by Joe Essid & Dona Hickey for IGI Global (2014).

“Subject, Servant, & Sovereign: Servant Leadership and Elizabethan Government in Shakespeare’s King John” in Leadership and Elizabethan Culture, Jepson Studies in Leadership, edited by Peter Iver Kaufman New York: Palgrave Macmillan Publishers, 2013. 191-211.

“Staged Magic: Performing Witchcraft in Macbeth” in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, ROMAN Critical Contexts, edited by Boris Drenkov. London: ROMAN Books, 2013. 90-100.

Ph.D., Boston University 2012
English Literature
M.A., Boston University 2003
English Literature
B.A., University of Wisconsin, Madison 2002
English Literature
Contact Information
135 Jepson Hall
(804) 287-6045
(804) 287-6802 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
Leadership in Literature & Film
Leadership in Performance
Cultural & Political History (Early Modern England)
New Media and Gaming