Diana Henderson

Diana Henderson is the Arthur J. Conner (1888) Professor in Literature with areas of research and interest that include Shakespeare, gender studies, early modern poetry and drama, modernism, media studies, and world drama. Her publications include the books Alternative Shakespeares 3, Collaborations with the Past: Reshaping Shakespeare Across Time and Media, A Concise Companion to Shakespeare on Screen, Passion Made Public: Elizabethan Lyric, Gender and Performance, and many articles, including those appearing (during the past 5 years) in Shakespeare Survey, Shakespeare/Sense, Shakespeare on Screen: King Lear, Cahiers Élisabéthains, Eating Shakespeare: Cultural Anthropophagy as Global Methodology, Broadcast Your Shakespeare: Continuity and Change Across Media, Multicultural Shakespeares, Litteraria Pragensia, Shakespeare Studies, The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment, Rethinking Feminism in Early Modern Studies: Gender, Race, and Sexuality, Shakespeare in Our Time, and Shakespeare Jahrbuch. She works as a dramaturg and theatrical consultant (currently with Compagnia de’ Colombari), is the PI for the open-access edX class Global Shakespeares: Recreating ‘The Merchant of Venice’, and is co-editor of the annual Shakespeare Studies.

Winner of the 2005 Everett Moore Baker Memorial Award For Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

MacVicar Faculty Fellow, 2009 – Present

Shakespeare; Renaissance Literature; Drama; Women’s Literature; Gender Studies; Media Studies


Collaborations with the Past: Reshaping Shakespeare Across Time and Media. Cornell University Press, 2006. [paperback release 2012]

Passion Made Public: Elizabethan Lyric, Gender and Performance. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995.

Alternative Shakespeares, 3, editor. Routledge, 2008.

Concise Companion to Shakespeare on Screen, editor. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, Inc., 2006.

Shakespeare Studies, Volumes 42-47, co-editor (with James S. Siemon), Plainsboro, NJ: Associated University Presses, 2014-present.

Shakespeare and Digital Pedagogy: Case Studies and Strategies, co-editor (with Kyle Sebastian Vitale), New York, NY: Bloomsbury Publishing Inc, December 16 2021.

The Arden Research Handbook of Shakespeare and Adaptation, co-editor (with Stephen O’Neill), New York, NY: Bloomsbury Publishing Inc, June 02 2022.

Selected Articles

“Parted eyes and generation gaps in twenty-first-century perceptions of screen Shakespeare.” Shakespeare/Sense, ed. Simon Smith, Arden/Bloomsbury, 2020: 319-351.

“Dividing to Conquer or Joining the ReSisters: Shakespeare’s Lady Anne (and Woolf’s Three Guineas) in the Wake of #MeToo.” Shakespeare Survey 72: Shakespeare and War. ed. Emma Smith, 2019: 121-135.

“Romancing King Lear: Hobson’s Choice, Life Goes On, and Beyond,” for Shakespeare on Screen: King Lear. eds. Victoria Bladen, Sarah Hatchuel, and Nathalie Vienne-Guerin. Cambridge University Press, 2019: 125-139.

“‘Hard hearts’ resounding now: anatomising race, resistance and community in The Merchant in Venice (2016) and Julius Caesar (2017),” Cahiers Élisabéthains: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies 99. ed. Pierre Kapitaniak and Aleksandra Sakowska (2019): 173-192.

“De-centring Shakespeare, incorporating Otherness: Diana Henderson in conversation with Koel Chatterjee,” for Eating Shakespeare: Cultural Anthrophagy as Global Methodology, ed. Anne-Sophie Reskou, Marcel Alvaro de Amorim, and Vinicius Mariano de Carvalho, Arden/ Bloomsbury, 2019: 121-135.

“‘This Distracted Globe’: Broadcasting Copiousness and Commonality in the Global Shakespeare Video and Performance Archive.” For Broadcast Your Shakespeare: Continuity and Change Across Media, ed. Stephen O’Neill. Bloomsbury Publishing [Arden Shakespeare], 2018: 67-85.

“The Merchant in Venice: Shylock’s Unheimlich Return,” for Shakespeare in Cross-Cultural Spaces, a special issue of Multicultural Shakespeares. eds. Varsha Panjwani and Robert Sawyer 14.2 (2017): 165-180.

“The Romance of King Lear: Genre and Modernity in Hobson’s Choice and Life Goes On.” Litteraria Pragensia: Studies in Literature and Culture vol. 26, no. 52, December 2016 [published March 2017], “Versions of King Lear.” Eds. Martin Procházka, Michael Neill and David Schalkwyk: 49-57.

Introduction and “Star Wars and Shakespearean SpaceTime: On Mentors and Our Collective Future,” for “The Importance of Being Hawkes” Forum, Shakespeare Studies vol. 44: 2016.

“Shakespeare Into Fiction.” The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare (print and online editions). Ed. Bruce Smith. Cambridge University Press. 2016: 1707-1715.

“Tempestuous Transitions and Double Vision: from early to late modern gendered performances on stage, film, and in higher education.” Rethinking Feminism in Early Modern Studies: Gender, Race, and Sexuality. Eds. Ania Loomba and Melissa Sanchez.  London and New York: Routledge, 2016: 59-71.

“Pluralizing Performance.” Shakespeare in Our Time: Critical Perspectives; the Shakespeare Association of America Companion. Eds. Dympna Callaghan and Suzanne Gossett. Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2016: 311-319.

“Magic in the Chains: OthelloOmkara, and the materiality of gender across time and media.” The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment. Ed. Valerie Traub. Oxford University Press, 2016: 673-693.

“Shadow Soldiers and Precarious Unions: The Legacies of Shakespeare’s History Play.” Shakespeare Jahrbuch 151 (2015):38-52.

“Ephemeral Echoes and Brash Possibilities: the Liberation of Adapting Shakespeare’s Early Comedies.” Shakespeare in Performance. Eds. Eric C. Brown and Estelle Rivier. Cambridge Scholars Press,  2013: 70-85.

“Where Had All the Flowers Gone? The Missing Space of Female Sonneteers in Mid-Seventeeth-Century England.” Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme 35.1 (Winter/hiver 2012), eds. Katie Larson and Alysia Kolentsis: 139-165.

“Catalysing What? Historical Remediation, the Musical, and what of Love’s Labour’s Lasts.” Shakespeare Survey 64: Shakespeare as Cultural Catalyst. Ed. Peter Holland. Cambridge University Press, 2011: 97-113.

“Shakespearean Comedy, Tempest Toss’d: Genre, Social Transformation, and Contemporary Performance” for Shakespeare and GenreFrom Early Modern Inheritances to Postmodern Legacies. Ed. Anthony Guneratne. Palgrave MacMillan, 2011: 137-152.

“Afterlives: stages and beyond.” Thomas Middleton in Context. Ed. Suzanne Gossett. Cambridge University Press, 2011: 325-335.

“The Sonnet, Subjectivity, and Gender.” For The Cambridge Companion to the Sonnet. Ed. A.D. Cousins. Cambridge University Press. 2011: 46-65.

“Mind the Gaps: the Ear, the Eye, and the Senses of a Women in Much Ado About Nothing.” Knowing Shakespeare: Senses, Embodiment, and Cognition. Eds. Lowell Gallagher and Shankar Raman. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010: 192-215.

“Re-contextualizing Literary Education: A Multi-Variable Experiment in Learning and Performance.” English Language Notes 47.1 (Spring/Summer 2009): 105-114.

“Meditations in a time of (displaced) war: Henry V and the ethics of performing history.” Shakespeare and War. Eds. Paul Franssen and Rosalind King. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

“Alternative Collaborations: Shakespeare, Nahum Tate, Our Academy, and the Science of Probability.” Alternative Shakespeares 3. Ed. Diana E. Henderson. Routledge, 2008: 243-63.

“From Popular Culture to Literature.” For The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Popular Culture. Ed. Robert Shaughnessy. Cambridge University Press, 2007: 6-25

“Performing History: Henry IV, money, and the fashion of the times.” A Companion on Shakespeare and Performance. Eds. Barbara Hodgdon and W. B. Worthen. Oxford: Blackwell. 2005: 376-96.

“Theatre and controversy, 1572-1603.” History of British Theatre, Vol. 1: Origins to 1660. Eds. Jane Milling and Peter Thomson. Cambridge University Press. 2004: 242-263.

“A Shrew for the Times, Revisited.” Shakespeare: The Movie II: Popularizing the plays of film, TV, video, and DVD. Eds. Richard Burt and Lynda E. Boose. Routledge, 2003: 120-139.

The Tempest in Performance.” A Companion to Shakespeare, Volume IV: The Poems, Problem Comedies, Late Plays. Eds. Richard Dutton and Jean Howard. Basil Blackwell. 2003: 216-239.

“Shakespeare: The Theme Park.” Shakespeare After Mass Media. Ed. Richard Burt. New York: Palgrave, 2002: 107-126.

“King and No King: ‘The Exequy’ as an Antebellum Poem.” The Wit to Know: Essays on English Renaissance Literature for Edward Tayler. Eds. Eugene D. Hill and William Kerrigan. Fairfield, CT: George Herbert Journal Special Studies and Monographs, 2000: 57-75.

“Reading Vernacular Literature” (co-authored with James Siemon). A Companion to Shakespeare. Ed. David Scott Kastan. Basil Blackwell, 1999: 206-222.

“Female Power and the Devaluation of Renaissance Love Lyrics.” Dwelling in Possibility: Women Poets and Critics on Poetry. “Reading Women’s Writing” series. Eds. Yopie Prins and Maeera Shreiber. Ithaca: Cornell Unversity Press, 1997: 38-59.

“The Theater and Domestic Culture.” A New History of Early English Drama. Eds. John D. Cox and David Scott Kastan. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997: 173-194.

“Joyce’s Modernist Woman: Whose Last Word?” Modern Fiction Studies 35.3 [special issue: Feminist Readings of Joyce] (1989): 517-528.

“Many Mansions: Reconstructing A Woman Killed with Kindness.” SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 26.2 (1986): 277-294.

Online Class 

Open-access edX course “Global Shakespeares: Recreating ‘The Merchant of Venice’


MIT Global Shakespeares posts by Diana Henderson

Subjects taught the current academic year:

21L.010[J] Writing with Shakespeare (Fall 2022)

Subjects taught in recent years:

21L.703 Studies in Drama: Ancient and Medieval Shakespeares–Now! (Spring 2022)

21L.010[J] Writing with Shakespeare (Fall 2021)

MIT: 21L.010x (edX online subject): Global Shakespeares: Re-Creating “The Merchant of Venice” (Fall 2021)

21L.431 Shakespeare on Film and Media: Shakespeare Behind Bars and Across the Globe (Spring 2021)

MIT: 21L.010x (edX online subject): Global Shakespeares: Re-Creating “The Merchant of Venice” (Fall 2020)

21L.703 Studies in Drama: Stoppard, Churchill & Company (Spring 2020)

21L.591 Literary London (IAP 2020)

21L.010[J] Writing with Shakespeare (Fall 2019)

21L.591  Literary London (IAP 2019)

21L.005  Introduction to Drama (Spring 2018)

21L.010[J] Writing with Shakespeare (Fall 2018)

21L.590 Cultural Encounters: Global Literature Abroad (NEW IAP) (IAP 2018)

Diana Henderson
Diana Henderson interviewed in Weimar, Germany by Cornelia Kaminski for Klett Publishers.

Diana Henderson
Filming with Shakespeare: The Merchant in Venice

Diana Henderson
Judith at MIT

Diana Henderson speaks in the podcast entitled Shakespeare, Woolf, and Shake-shifting, part of a series called Women and Shakespeare. She discusses "Virginia Woolf's collaborations with Shakespeare, Shakespeare Films, adaptations and Shake-shifting, and collaborative models for the discipline."