Elizabeth Spiller

Elizabeth Spiller

Position Title
Dean, College of Letters and Science


As Dean of the College of Letters and Science, Dean Elizabeth Spiller provides academic and administrative leadership for 33 departments and more than 800 faculty across the arts, humanities, social sciences, and mathematical and physical sciences. She provides vision and leadership for all aspects of the College’s academic programs and research initiatives, promotes synergies and supports innovation within the College and university, and works with alumni and other external stakeholders to advance the profile and interests of the College of Letters and Science.

Having previously served as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech and as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida State University, Dean Spiller began her tenure at UC Davis on March 6, 2017. A scholar of Renaissance literature, she is the author of two books. Her scholarly expertise includes the history of science, the early modern knowledge culture, the history of reading, and critical race studies. She is the author of two books: Reading and the History of Race in the Renaissance (2011) and Science, Reading and Renaissance Literature: The Art of Making Knowledge, 1580–1670 (2004), both published by Cambridge University Press. In addition, she edited a two-volume collection, Seventeenth-Century English Recipe Books: Cooking, Physic and Chirurgery (2008). She has twice been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and is the recipient of fellowships from both the Fulbright and Mellon Foundations. She received her Ph.D. in English and American Language and Literature from Harvard University. 

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