Into the Sunset...

John C. Coldewey

Professor Emeritus

Department of English, Box 354330
University of Washington
Seattle, WA  98195

FAX: (206) 685-2673

"I cannot describe to you my sensations on the near prospect of my undertaking. It is impossible to communicate to you a conception of the trembling sensation, half pleasurable and half fearful, with which I am preparing to depart . . . .There is something at work in my soul which I do not understand. I am practically industrious--painstaking, a workman to execute with perseverance and labour--but besides this there is a love for the marvelous, a belief in the marvelous, intertwined in all my projects, which hurries me out of the common pathways of men, even to the wild sea and unvisited regions I am about to explore. . ."

                                                                                                                       --Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

John C. Coldewey, Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Washington, has published widely in the areas of medieval and renaissance drama. He acted as Director of English Graduate Studies from 1995-1999, leaving to take a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (1999-2000) and sabbatical (2000-2001). With Brian P. Copenhaver he co-edited two volumes in the Renaissance Latin Drama in England series (1984, 1991) and another 17th-century neo-Latin play, Pseudomagia (1979). For ten years (1983-94) he was Editor of Modern Language Quarterly (helping its transformation into MLQ: A Journal of Literary History in 1993). With Marianne Briscoe he brought out Contexts for Early English Drama (1989). His collection of non-cycle plays, Early English Drama: An Anthology (Garland Publishing), appeared in 1993, and another anthology, edited with W.R. Streitberger, Drama: Classical to Contemporary (Prentice Hall), appeared in 1998, with a revised edition appearing in 2001. His work has appeared in the Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Theatre (ed. by Richard Beadle, 1994; rev. ed. by Richard Beadle and Alan Fletcher, 2007), Festive Drama (ed. Meg Twycross, 1996), European Medieval Drama Vols. I (1997), II (1998), and III (2000). His "From Roman to Renaissance in Drama and Theatre" appeared as the first chapter in the New Cambridge History of British Theatre (3 Vols.; ed. by Jane Milling and Peter Thomson, 2004). His four-volume collection, Medieval Drama: Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies, was published by Routledge in July 2007.

During his tenure at the University of Washington, Professor Coldewey received a number of University of Washington research grants, two year-long Fellowships awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and an American Council of Learned Societies Grant. He was selected to participate in two NEH Summer Institutes and one sponsored by the Medieval Academy of America. He taught for an academic year as a Fulbright Exchange Professor at the University of East Anglia in Norwich (U.K.). For a year he was a Fellow in the Center for Local History Studies at Nottingham University (U.K.). He contributed papers to conferences in the United States, Canada, England, France, Italy and Poland. His research brought him to many of the great libraries of the English speaking world, including the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois, the Bodliean Library in Oxford, the British Library and Public Record Office in London, and Cambridge University Libraries. In addition to these, he conducted archival work in East Anglia at the Essex, the Suffolk, and the Norfolk Records Offices, and in Nottinghamshire at the Nottingham and the Newark Records Offices, and at the Nottingham University Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Professor Coldewey served on the University of Washington Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology Faculty Advisory Board (a component of UWired) and the Department of English Placement Committee.  He served as Secretary-Treasurer, Vice-President, and President of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (1988-93). He was a founding member and twice elected President of the Friends of UW Libraries (1995-96); he was twice Vice-President of the Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society (MRDS), an allied organization of the Modern Language Association of America (MLA). He was the American representative on the European Medieval Drama Council (1995-99). He also served on the University of Washington Faculty Senate Executive Committee, the College of Arts and Sciences Standing Committee for Department of Scandinavian Studies, and was a long-standing member of the English Department Graduate Studies Committee.

After thirty-eight years in the English Department at the University of Washington, John Coldewey retired as Professor Emeritus in June 2010.

After Words:

For six weeks in 2011, John Coldewey, along with seven other mountain bike riders, followed the Carretera Austral (the 1300km unpaved "southern highway" begun by Pinochet as a military road in 1974) south through Patagonia (western Argentina and southern Chile). For our blog see:

In the winter of 2012, John Coldewey was certified as Level 1 Ski Instructor by PSIA/AASI (Professional Ski Instructors of America/American Association of Snowboard Instructors) and began instructing at Snoqualmie Summit West and Snoqualmie Central ski areas.

For two weeks in 2013, John Coldewey, along with five other road cyclists, followed mainly coastal roads around the island of Taiwan. For our blog see:

Starting in the third week of November 2015, John Coldewey and his friend Ray Studebaker rode mountain bikes unsupported into the gathering winter in northern Spain, following the Camino de Santiago, from Leon to San Juan de Santiago (311km).

In May 2016, John Coldewey and a party of seventeen others spent sixteen days whitewater rafting the Colorado River and hiking the Grand Canyon, putting in at Lees Ferry and taking out at Diamond Creek (226 miles downstream).

This Web page can be found at; it was updated on June 10, 2016.