Dr. Michelle Dowd
Associate Professor of English, 2010
The Taming of the Shrew: Texts and Contexts
by William Shakespeare, edited by Frances E. Dolan
This was the first Shakespeare play I ever read or saw performed, and it captivated me as no other text or performance had done before, setting in motion what was to become a career fascination with early modern drama. Indeed, I can trace many of my current research interests in gender studies and sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature back to this single play. This particular edition of the text is especially important to me for two reasons. First, it was edited by Fran Dolan, who has been a longtime mentor and supporter of my work, and the series in which the volume appears was edited by Jean Howard, my doctoral advisor at Columbia. The scholarship and intellectual generosity of these two women has been enormously influential and important to me. Finally, this edition is intended for classroom use, and as such it brings together some of the key elements that I try to convey in my own classrooms: appreciation for primary texts as well as a complex understanding of the historical contexts in which those texts appeared.