Michele Osherow is Associate Professor of English and Director of UMBC's Judaic Studies Program. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park and holds a B.A. from Carnegie Mellon University where she studied in the departments of English and Theatre. Her areas of specialization include Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature, Biblical Literature, Jewish American Literature, Dramatic Literature, and Women's Studies.
Dr. Osherow has extensive experience in professional theatre and serves as the Resident Dramaturg for the Folger Theatre in Washington D.C. She received a 2012 best actress nomination from D.C. Theatre Scene for her work in Brian Friel’s Afterplay (Quotidian Theatre) and is currently collaborating on a feminist revision of Ansky’s The Dybbuk for staging at UMBC.
Her publications include "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, is co-editing an encyclopedia on Early Modern Englishwomen, Exemplary Lives and Memorable Acts, 1500-1650 (Ashgate) and is researching contemporary productions of Shakespeare for the volume How We Make Shakespeare Mean, co-authored with Gary Waller (SUNY Purchase).
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 and a Dresher Center Summer Faculty Fellowship. She has been invited to speak in the U.S. and abroad on the early modern Bible and its readers. In addition, she has served several times as Interim Executive Director of the Shakespeare Association of America, most recently from fall 2011 through winter 2013.