michelle ephraim
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BA English and History Tufts University Magna Cum Laude 1991
MA English University of Wisconsin, Madison 1993
PhD English University of Wisconsin, Madison 1999


Michelle Ephraim is a Shakespeare scholar and a Professor of English. Her book GREEN WORLD: A Tragicomic Memoir of Love and Shakespeare was awarded the 2023 Juniper Prize in Creative Nonfiction by the University of Massachusetts Press and was published by them in 2024.

Professor Ephraim is the author of Reading the Jewish Woman on the Elizabethan Stage (Routledge, 2008) and numerous articles on Shakespeare and other early modern dramatists. At WPI, she teaches literature courses, as well as memoir and speculative fiction writing.

She and Caroline Bicks (University of Maine), a fellow Shakespearean and longtime partner in crime, wrote a blog that became the inspiration for their literary humor book, Shakespeare, Not Stirred: Cocktails for Your Everyday Dramas (Penguin, 2015 and Scribe, 2015). Shakespeare, Not Stirred has been featured in The Boston GlobeThe New York Times MagazineThe Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostThe Guardian, WGBH Boston Public Radio, WBUR “Here and Now,” The Huffington PostThe Improper Bostonian and other media venues. Their latest adventure is a podcast, Everyday Shakespeare, which explores all the weird, wonderful, and hilarious ways that Shakespeare can shed some light on our modern problems.

Professor Ephraim’s essays have appeared in venues such as The Washington PostMcSweeney’s Internet TendencyLilithTikkunCleaver MagazineThe Morning News, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She has spoken widely on the topic of Shakespeare’s relevance to everyday life. You can listen to her story about Shakespeare and a run-in with an ex-boyfriend’s mother on The Moth Radio Hour.

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 5: Gender Equality

SDG 5: Gender Equality - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

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SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

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SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

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Scholarly Work

In addition to her academic work, Prof. Ephraim engages in public scholarship and outreach, which you can read about on her personal website.


Reading the Jewish Woman on the Elizabethan Stage (Routledge, 2016). Excerpt published 2020 in W.W. Norton The Jew of Malta (Norton Critical Editions), 2020, ed. Lloyd Kermode, 430-451, as one of two essays selected for the section “Twenty-First Century Critical Directions”.

Jessica’s Jewish Identity in Contemporary Feminist Novels,” in Wrestling with Shylock: Jewish Responses to The Merchant of Venice, eds. Edna Nahshon and Michael Shapiro (Cambridge UP, 2017), 337-58.

 “Screwing the Bardbody: Kill Shakespeare and North American Popular Culture,” 2013. Upstart: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies.

Hermione’s Suspicious Body: Adultery and Superfetation in The Winter’s Tale,” in Performing Maternity in Early Modern England, eds. Kathryn Moncrief and Kathryn McPherson (Routledge, 2007), 45-58.


SEE MORE NEWS ABOUT Michelle Ephraim
WBUR 90.9
The role of the bubonic plague in Shakespeare's plays

Associate professor Michelle Ephraim spoke with WBUR Radio Boston about her popular “Infected Shakespeare” class at WPI that studies how the famed playwright understood and wrote about pandemics and infectious diseases, as part of the station’s “Brilliant Boston” series.