Humanities and Arts

Contact Information

Salisbury Laboratories, 237
Phone: +1-508-831-6129
Fax: +1-508-831-5932

Michelle Ephraim

Michelle Ephraim is the Shakespeare scholar at WPI. She is the author of Reading the Jewish Woman on the Elizabethan Stage (Ashgate, 2008) as well as numerous articles on 16th- and 17th-century literature. Professor Ephraim also teaches creative and expository writing. Her essays have appeared in publications such as the Washington Post, McSweeney’s, Lilith, Tikkun, The Morning News, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Along with fellow Shakespearean Caroline Bicks, associate professor of English at Boston College, she writes a blog called Everyday Shakespeare. Ephraim is currently working on a book that combines Shakespeare scholarship and memoir.

Praise for Reading the Jewish Woman on the Elizabethan Stage: “Anyone lucky enough to happen upon Michelle Ephraim’s 15 June 2008 article in the Washington Post, ‘Father’s Day with Shakespeare,’ a touching piece about using Shakespeare to cope with her own father’s passing, will unavoidably think of her as a deeply engaged writer with a keen ability to cut straight to the heart of even the messiest matter. Ephraim’s new book is characteristic…. This book is a must-have for anyone concerned with Shakespeare or early modern English performance. It is a must-have for feminist critics of theater and for those who are interested in representations of Jews onstage. Its clarity makes it useful for upper-division undergraduates, but its depth and breadth make it appropriate for a graduate seminar. All readers will find this book engrossing, a versatile bridge uniting many discourses of theatrical history and criticism.” (Comparative Drama 43.3)

Digital Shakespeares Inquiry Seminar Webpage

Research Interests

  • Shakespeare
  • English Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • Jewish Studies
  • Women's Studies


  • BA, Tufts University, 1991
  • MA, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1993
  • PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1999

Featured Publications

  • Shakespeare, Not Stirred, with Caroline Bicks (forthcoming, Perigee/Penguin, 2015)
  • Annotations to Kill Shakespeare, Issue #6 in Kill Shakespeare: The Backstage Edition (IDW Press, forthcoming 2014)
  • "Lady Macbeth's Breasts" (forthcoming)
  • "Screwing the Bardbody: Kill Shakespeare and North American Popular Culture" Upstart A Journal of English Renaissance Studies
  • "Shall We End This Strife? The Rehabilitation of Jessica’s Jewish Identity in the Contemporary Feminist Novel" (forthcoming).
  • Reading the Jewish Woman on the Elizabethan Stage (Ashgate, 2008).
  • “Hermione’s Suspicious Body: Adultery and Superfetation in The Winter's Tale" (Performing Maternity in Early Modern England, eds. Kathryn McPherson and Kathryn Moncrief (Ashgate, 2007).
  • "Jephthah's Kin: The Sacrificing Father in ‘The Merchant of Venice,’" The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 5.2 (2005), 71-93.
  • "Jewish Matriarchs and the Staging of Elizabeth I in The History of Jacob and Esau," Studies in English Literature 43.2 (2003), 301-21.

View a Complete List (.pdf, 120kb)

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