Nicholas Helms

Assistant Professor
Phone: (603) 535-2746
Office: Arts & Technologies, Ellen Reed House, MSC 40, Plymouth, NH 03264


BA, Mercer University; MA and Ph.D., The University of Alabama

Nicholas R. Helms received his Ph.D. from the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies at The University of Alabama in 2015. He is the author of Cognition, Mindreading, and Shakespeare’s Characters (Palgrave 2019)and his research applies cognitive science and disability studies to early modern drama and poetry. His most recent article is “To knit the knot: embodied mind in John Donne’s ‘The Ecstasy’” (The Seventeenth Century). Before coming to Plymouth, Prof. Helms acted as artistic director of the Improbable Fictions staged reading series in Tuscaloosa, AL for over a decade.

Scholarly Work

Cognition, Mindreading, and Shakespeare’s Characters. Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. Part of the Cognitive Studies in Literature and Performance Series (eds. Bruce McConachie and Blakey Vermeule).  

“To Knit the Knot: Embodied Mind in John Donne’s ‘The Ecstasy.’” The Seventeenth Century, 23 Aug 2018. DOI: 10.1080/0268117X.2018.1485593.

“‘Upon Such Sacrifices’: An Ethic of Spectator Risk.” Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism 27.1 (2012): 91-107. DOI: 10.1353/dtc.2012.0031

“Conceiving Ambiguity: Dynamic Mindreading in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.” Philosophy and Literature 36.1 (2012): 122-35.

“‘Where She Comes From’: Mindreading in Levring’s The King is Alive.” symplokē 19.1-2 (2011): 289-304.

Courses Taught

Composition: Writing about Disability
Rethinking Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Rethinking Modern British Literature, 1660-1945
Currents in Global Literature