Areas of Interest: Shakespeare, Drama, the Bible as Literature, and Jewish American Literature
Office: PAHB 302
Office Number: 410-455-8639
Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park
M.A., University of Maryland, College Park
B.A., Carnegie Mellon University
Michele Osherow is an Associate Professor of English and affiliate faculty member/former director of UMBC’s Judaic Studies Program. Her areas of specialization include Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature, Biblical Literature, Jewish American Literature, Dramatic Literature, and Performance Studies.
Dr. Osherow has extensive experience in professional theatre and serves as the Resident Dramaturg for the award-winning Folger Theatre in Washington D.C. where she has contributed to over 40 productions. She received a best actress nomination from D.C. Theatre Scene for her work in Brian Friel’s Afterplay (Quotidian Theatre) and has been seen onstage at the Folger, Theatre J and other area theatres. With Manil Suri she co-authored the play The Mathematics of Being Human, performed at the National Museum of Mathematics (NYC) and elsewhere in the U.S. and India.
Her publications include several articles on Shakespeare, the Bible, and early modern women, including “Mary Sidney’s Embroidered Psalms” in Renaissance Studies (UK), “Crafting Queens: Early Modern Readings of Esther,” in Queens and Power in Early Modern Europe (Nebraska UP), “She is in the right: Biblical Maternity in All’s Well that Ends Well” in Routledge’s Accents on Shakespeare Series, and “‘Give ear o’ princes’: Deborah, Elizabeth, and the Right Word,” in Explorations in Renaissance Culture. Her book Biblical Women’s Voices in Early Modern England was released by Ashgate Publishing Company in 2009. She is co-writing a text with theatre director Aaron Posner on staging Shakespeare and is currently attending to the relationship between early modern women’s texts and textiles, particularly examining women’s needlework as a form of biblical commentary.
At UMBC Dr. Osherow has enjoyed collaborating with faculty in the departments of Theatre, Mathematics, Visual Arts, Gender and Women’s Studies, and the Imaging Research Center. Her research has been supported by an Alice B. Geyer Fellowship, the Alex E. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, a UMBC Summer Faculty Fellowship, a Dresher Center Summer Faculty Fellowship, and a research fellowship from CAHSS. She has been invited to speak in the U.S. and abroad on Shakespeare and performance, women’s texts and textiles, and the early modern Bible and its readers. In addition, she has served several times as Interim Executive Director of the Shakespeare Association of America.
Biblical Women’s Voices in Early Modern England
Biblical Women’s Voices in Early Modern England documents the extent to which portrayals of women writers, rulers, and leaders in the Hebrew Bible scripted the lives of women in early modern England. Attending to a broad range of writing by Protestant men and women, the author investigates how the cultural requirement for feminine silence informs early modern readings of biblical women’s stories.