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Phillip Zapkin

Phillip Zapkin

Assistant Teaching Professor of English

17 Burrowes Building

Mailroom: 430 Burrowes

Office Hours:

  • FALL 2018:
  • ~T 12-1 PM; W 1-3 PM


  1. PhD in English from West Virginia University, 2017
  2. MA in English from University of Vermont, 2011
  3. BA in English from Shepherd University, 2009

Professional Bio

Phillip Zapkin joined the Penn State faculty in 2017 as an Assistant Teaching Professor teaching introductory rhetoric and composition, and now teaches business writing as well. He has previously taught composition in both his Master's program at the University of Vermont, and his Doctoral program at West Virginia University, where he also taught literature classes.

As a scholar, Phillip works principally on contemporary British and Anglophone drama, especially adaptations of Greek tragedy and historiographic metatheatre. He became interested in adaptations from Greek theatre after seeing Moira Buffini's Welcome to Thebes in London in 2010. Phillip's scholarly essays have appeared in Modern Drama, Comparative Drama, The South Atlantic Review, and elsewhere.

Phillip's dissertation, "Buying Thebes: Promoting a Cultural Commonwealth in Contemporary Anglophone Adaptations of Greek Tragedy," argues that because Greek tragedy is part of a global cultural commonwealth, when contemporary dramatists adapt these materials for current (often cosmopolitan) purposes this act of adaptation inherently challenges neoliberal capitalism, which is built on the presupposition of (intellectual property) ownership. Phillip is currently turning his dissertation into a book manuscript.