Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies Symposium on "The Future of Teaching Shakespeare"

Symposium Speakers

Keynote Presenter: Matthew C. Hansen - Professor of English, Boise State University

Matthew Hansen headshotDr. Matthew C. Hansen is Professor of English at Boise State University, where he has held a faculty position since he completed his Ph.D. in 2005. Educated at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia (B.A. with Honors, 1994), University College, Oxford (M.Phil, 1997) and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (Ph.D., 2005), Dr. Hansen’s research focuses on Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama and, in particular on the teaching of Shakespeare. Since 2006, a cornerstone of his approach to teaching Shakespeare has centered on an innovative use of Service-Learning -- a teaching and learning approach in which students engage in meaningful community service directly related to the course content they are studying. Each spring, students from Dr. Hansen’s undergraduate Shakespeare course coach elementary students in learning, memorizing, and then performing an abridged version of a Shakespeare play.



Keynote Presenter: Alexa Alice Joubin - Professor of English, George Washington University

Alexa Alice Joubin HeadshotAlexa Alice Joubin is Professor of English at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she is founding co-director of the Digital Humanities Institute. As research affiliate in literature at MIT, Alexa is founding co-editor of the open-access digital performance archive Global Shakespeares. Her latest book is Race, which is co-authored with Martin Orkin and is part of the Routledge Critical Idiom series. 





Alicia Andrzejewski - Assistant Professor of English, William and Mary

Alicia Andrzejewski headshotDr. Alicia Andrzejewski is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at the College of William & Mary. In her current book project, Queer Pregnancy in Shakespeare’s Plays, she argues that Shakespeare’s canon is rich in pregnancies that trouble how reproduction is culturally organized. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Shakespeare Studies, Shakespeare Bulletin, and The Tennessee Williams Annual Review. She is also a contributing writer for, Synapsis: A Health Humanities Journal.





Emma Katherine Atwood - Assistant Professor of English, University of Montevallo

Emma Atwood headshotEmma Atwood is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Montevallo. She holds a PhD in English from Boston College and a BA in English and Classics from Kalamazoo College. She has published her research in journals such as Comparative Drama and Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal.






David Sterling Brown - Assistant Professor of English, Binghamton University, SUNY

David Brown headshotDavid Sterling Brown is Assistant Professor of English at Binghamton University, and he is currently finalizing his first book project, Black Domestic Matters in Shakespearean Drama. His scholarship has either appeared in or is forthcoming in Radical Teacher, Early Modern Black Diaspora Studies, Shakespeare Studies, Titus Andronicus: The State of Play, White People in Shakespeare, the American Historical Review, Shakespeare and Digital Pedagogy, Spenser Studies, and Hamlet: The State of Play. He is also at work on a second monograph titled Shakespeare’s Other Race Plays: An Introduction.





Hillary Eklund - Provost Distinguished Professor and Chair of English, Loyola University New Orleans

Hillary Eklund HeadshotHillary Eklund is Provost Distinguished Professor and Chair of English at Loyola University New Orleans. Working at a Jesuit university has encouraged her to find ways of linking early modern literary texts to matters of social justice relevant to students’ lives now. This work has shaped her approach to curriculum design and led to successful experiments with service learning and other forms of community engagement. Her research focuses on moral economy and the environmental humanities in early modern literature. She is the author of Literature and Moral Economy in the Early Modern Atlantic: Elegant Sufficiencies, editor of Ground-Work: English Renaissance Literature and Soil Science, and co-editor, with Wendy Beth Hyman, of Teaching Social Justice Through Shakespeare: Why Renaissance Literature Matters Now. Her current book project is “The Unfast Imagination: Reading Early Modern Wetlands.”



Ruben Espinosa - Associate Professor of English, University of Texas at El Paso

Ruben Espinosa headshotRuben Espinosa is Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is the author of Masculinity and Marian Efficacy in Shakespeare’s England (2011) and co-editor of Shakespeare and Immigration (2014), a collection of essays exploring the role of immigrants, exiles, and refugees in Shakespeare’s England and work. He has published essays in Shakespeare Quarterly, Explorations in Renaissance Culture, and Literature Compass. In 2018, he was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Shakespeare Association of America. He is currently at work on his next two monographs, Shakespeare on the Border: Language, Legitimacy and La Frontera, and Shakespeare on the Shades of Racism (forthcoming with Routledge).





Jen Feather - Associate Professor of English, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Jen Feather HeadshotJennifer Feather is Associate Professor of English and Cross-Appointed Faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.  She has written a book, Writing Combat and the Self in Early Modern English Literature: The Pen and the Sword, on competing depictions of combat in sixteenth-century texts (Palgrave 2011) and co-edited a collection on Violent Masculinities (Palgrave 2013). Her latest project interrogates the early modern roots of human rights discourse and the place of affect in addressing premodern abuses of authority.  In addition, she is co-founder and co-director of the UNCG Humanities Network and Consortium (HNAC), a member of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes. In this capacity, she has coordinated a number of public events, developed projects in connection with the Humanities Action Lab, and supported a variety of faculty research projects.  She is also an active participant in the National Humanities Alliance and the American Association of University Women.



Sujata Iyengar - Professor of English, University of Georgia

Sujata IyengarSujata Iyengar, Professor of English at the University of Georgia, is author of Shades of Difference: Mythologies of Skin-Color in Early Modern England (Penn Press, 2005), Shakespeare’s Medical Language (Bloomsbury/Arden, 2011); editor of Disability, Health, and Happiness in the Shakespearean Body (Routledge, 2015) and, most recently (with the late Christy Desmet and with Miriam Jacobson) co-editor of the Routledge Handbook to Shakespeare and Global Appropriation. She is co-founder and co-editor of the award-winning, online, multimedia, scholarly periodical Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation. Her essays on early modern race, Shakespearean appropriation and performance, feminist theory, and book arts have appeared widely, including in such collections as Colorblind Shakespeare (Routledge, 2006), Outerspeares (Toronto, 2014), The Oxford Handbook of Shakespearean Tragedy (2016) and Shakespeare and Millennial Fiction (Cambridge, 2017), and in such journals as Shakespeare Survey (2014), Shakespeare Quarterly (2016), and Arrêt sur Scène/Scene Focus (2017). She is currently completing two books, “Shakespeare and Adaptation Theory,” for Bloomsbury/Arden, and “Shakespeare and the Art of the Book.”Kelly M. Neil - Professor of English, Spartanburg Methodist College.


Kelly M. Neil - Professor of English, Spartanburg Methodist College

Kelly Neil headshotKelly Neil currently teaches at Spartanburg Methodist College, a small, private college in South Carolina. She previously taught at Guilford Technical Community College and Appalachian State University. While completing her PhD at the University of California, Davis, she served as a Teaching Assistant Consultant at UCD’s Center for Teaching and Learning. She has published essays in the Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies and This Rough Magic, and she has organized a seminar at the 2018 Shakespeare Association of America conference titled “Shakespeare and Service Courses.” With Tyler Sasser, she is developing a volume on teaching Shakespeare to non-majors.




Peggy O'Brien - Director of Education, Folger Shakespeare Library

Peggy O'BrienPeggy O’Brien is the Folger Shakespeare Library’s founding Director of Education. She has taught English to middle and high school students in DC Public Schools, Shakespeare and elements of American education to undergraduates, and how to teach Shakespeare to all kinds of teachers across the US. In 1983, she set the Library’s philosophy for K-12 students and teachers and caused them to be included in the Library’s overall mission. She founded and directed the Library's month-long Teaching Shakespeare Institute along with many other programs for local students and teachers. She was instigator and general editor of the Shakespeare Set Free series published by Simon and Schuster. In partnership with Cambridge University Press and Georgetown University, she published Shakespeare Magazine. In 1994, O’Brien left the Folger to serve students and teachers in other national capacities: as Chief Operating Officer of online startup Knowledge In/Knowledge Out, as Executive Director of the cable industry’s education foundation, as Senior Vice President for Educational Programming and Services at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and as Chief of Family and Public Engagement for DC Public Schools where she played a leadership role in the most aggressive and controversial school reform effort in the country. O’Brien came home to the Folger in 2013. Since then, Folger Education has expanded its work with visitors as well as students and teachers, both locally in DC Public Schools and across the country. Work has begun on the new Folger Teaching Guides series; O’Brien is general editor. She serves/has served on the boards of SAGE Publications, Trinity College, Edmund Burke School, Capitol Hill Day School, and St. Coletta’s Special Education Public Charter School. Dr. O’Brien received her A. B. in English from Trinity College in Washington, D.C., an M.A. from The Catholic University of America, and the Ph.D. from American University. She is the recipient of the DC Humanities Council Public Humanities Award and honorary degrees from Trinity College and Georgetown University.

M. Tyler Sasser - Instructor of English, The University of Alabama

M. Tyler Sasser HeadshotM.Tyler Sasser’s research appears in Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, Shakespeare Newsletter, Tennessee Williams Annual Review, Children’s Literature, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, and Children’s Literature in Education. He has contributed chapters to Shakespeare and Millennial Fiction (Cambridge 2017), Queering Childhood in Early Modern English Drama and Culture (Routledge 2018), and Shakespeare and Geek Culture (Arden 2020). He directs the Shakespeare Film Series for Strode, and he is the director of “UA in Italy: Following Shakespeare,” an abroad program that travels throughout the locations in Italy where Shakespeare’s plays occur. As an instructor at the University of Alabama, he teaches courses on early British literature, children’s literature, composition, and film.