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

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. 

Bezio also directs Jepson at Cambridge, a summer study-abroad program offered by the Jepson School in collaboration with the University of Richmond School of Law. 

Distinguished Educator Award, University of Richmond, 2017
Selected Publications

Bezio, Kristin M. S., and George R. Goethals, eds. Leadership, Populism, and Resistance. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2020.

Bezio, Kristin M. S., and Kimberly Yost, eds. Leadership, Popular Culture and Social Change. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2018.

Kaufman, Peter Iver, and Kristin M. S. Bezio, eds. Cultural Icons and Cultural Leadership. Jepson Studies in Leadership. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2017.

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


“‘Munday I Sweare Shalbee a Hollidaye’: The Politics of Anthony Munday, from Anti-Catholic Spy to Civic Pageanteer (1579-1630).” Études Anglaises 71, no. 4 (2018): 473–90.

“Ctrl-Alt-Del: GamerGate as a Precursor to the Rise of the Alt-Right.” Leadership 14, no. 5 (2018): 556–66.

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

“From Rome to Tyre to London: Shakespeare’s Pericles, Leadership, Anti-Absolutism, & English Exceptionalism.” Leadership 13, no. 1 (August 25, 2016): 48–63.

“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. 

“‘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. 

“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.


“Muslims Are the New Jesuits: What We Can Learn about Leadership and Modern Islamophobia from Shakespeare’s England.” In Leadership, Populism, and Resistance, edited by Kristin M. S. Bezio and George R. Goethals, 30-45. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2020.

“Ready, Aim, Feel: Empathy, Identification, and Leadership in Videogames.” In Leadership, Popular Culture, and Social Change, New Horizons in Leadership Studies, edited by Kristin M. S. Bezio and Kimberly Yost, 157-67. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar (2018).

“The Perpetual Crusade: Rise of the Tomb Raider, Religious Extremism, and the Problem of Empire.” In Woke Gaming: Digital Challenges to Oppression and Social Justice, edited by Kishonna L. Gray and David J. Leonard, 119–38. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2018. 

“Marlowe’s Violent Reformation: Religion, Government, and Rebellion on the Elizabethan Stage.” In Cultural Icons and Cultural Leadership, edited by Peter Iver Kaufman and Kristin M.S. Bezio, 9–24. Jepson Studies in Leadership. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 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. 

“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). 

“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