Bill Sherman Biography

Terracotta bust of William Shakespeare, by John Michael Rysbrack, England, ca. 1730, A.1-1924. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Terracotta bust of William Shakespeare, by John Michael Rysbrack, England, ca. 1730, A.1-1924. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Name: Professor Bill Sherman

Role: Head of Research

Research Interests
My research is driven by a love of archives and other collections, and an interest in how objects from the past come down to us, what they pick up along the way and how they speak across time and space. I have published widely on the history of books and readers and the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries; and much of my current work explores the interface between word and image and the relationship between knowledge and power. I am working on a study of visual marginalia called The Reader's Eye, a collection of essays on Renaissance Collage (edited with Juliet Fleming and Adam Smyth), a reconstruction of the art- and book-collections of Walter and Louise Arensberg (with Mark Nelson) and an edition of Christopher Marlowe's The Jew of Malta (edited with Chloe Preedy for Arden Early Modern Drama). My exhibition, Decoding the Renaissance: 500 Years of Codes and Ciphers, runs at the Folger Shakespeare Library from November 2014 to March 2015.

I am on secondment from the University of York, where I was Director of the Centre for Renaissance & Early Modern Studies (CREMS) from its creation in 2005 to 2011. I have held visiting positions at Caltech, Queen Mary (University of London) and Keio University (Tokyo), and fellowships at the Folger, Huntington, New York Public Library, National Maritime Museum and Bard Graduate Center.

Selected Published Writings:

Books, Editions and Special Issues:

Renaissance Collage, edited with Juliet Fleming and Adam Smyth as a special issue of the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (forthcoming 2015)

Shakespearean Configurations, edited with Stuart Sillars and Jean-Christophe Mayer as a special issue of Early Modern Literary Studies (2013)

Ben Jonson's The Alchemist (with Peter Holland), in The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Ben Jonson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012)

Prison Writings in Early Modern England, edited with Bill Sheils as issue 72:2 of The Huntington Library Quarterly (2009) [winner of the inaugural Voyager Award of the MLA's Council of Editors of Learned Journals]

Used Books: Marking Readers in Renaissance England (2007)

On Shakespeare, edited with Peter Holland as issue 10.3 of Performance Research (September 2005)

William Shakespeare's The Tempest (with Peter Hulme), a Norton Critical Edition (New York: Norton, 2004)

On Editing, edited with Claire MacDonald as issue 7.1 of Performance Research (March 2002)

The Tempest and its Travels, edited with Peter Hulme (London: Reaktion Books, 2000)

John Dee: The Politics of Reading and Writing in the English Renaissance (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1995; paperback, 1997)

Articles and Chapters in Books:

"'Nota Bembe': How Bembo the Elder Read His Pliny the Younger," in Guido Beltramini, Howard Burns, and Davide Gasparotto (eds.), Pietro Bembo e le Arti (Venice: Marsilio, 2013), 119-133

“The Social Life of Books,” in Joad Raymond (ed.), The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011)

"How to Make Anything Signify Anything," Cabinet 40 (January 2011)

"The Beginning of 'The End': Terminal Paratext and the Birth of Print Culture," in Helen Smith and Louise Wilson (eds.), Renaissance Paratexts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 65-87

“Digging the Dust: Renaissance Archivology,” in Leonard Barkan, Bradin Cormack, and Sean Keilen (eds.), Forms of Renaissance Thought: New Essays on Literature and Culture (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)

"Of Anagrammatology," English Language Notes 47:2 (2009), 139-148

"Shakespearean Somniloquy: Sleep and Transformation in The Tempest," in Margaret and Thomas Healy (eds.), Renaissance Transformations: The Making of English Writing, 1500-1650 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009)

"On the Threshold: Architecture, Paratext, and Early Print Culture," in Sabrina A. Baron, Eric Lindquist, and Eleanor Shevlin (eds.), Agent of Change: Print Culture Studies and the Legacy of Eisenstein (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007)

"Bringing the World to England: The Politics of Translation in the Age of Hakluyt," Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 14 (2004), 199-207

"Distant Relations: Letters from America, 1492-1677," in a special issue on "Cultural Studies in the History of Letter-Writing," Huntington Library Quarterly 66:3-4 (Winter 2003), 225-45

"'Rather soiled by use': Attitudes Towards Readers' Marks," The Book Collector 52:4 (Winter 2003), 471-90

"Stirrings and Searchings (1500-1720)," in Peter Hulme and Tim Youngs (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2002), 17-36
"Travel and Trade," in Arthur Kinney (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Renaissance Drama (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002), 109-20

"Anatomizing the Commonwealth: Language, Politics, and the Elizabethan Social Order," in Elizabeth Fowler and Roland Greene (eds.), The Project of Prose in Early Modern Europe and the New World (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1997), 104-21

Related Text:

The V&A Research Institute Pilot Project
University of York: Bill Sherman
Textoftheday Blogspot

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