College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Melissa Aaron

Professor | Shakespeare and British Literature, 16th-17th century

Web presence: a CV and other materials can be found at


Ph.D. in English Literature, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1998.
M.Sc Mus., Stage Direction for Opera, Indiana University, 1990.
B.A./M.A. English, Cambridge University, 1988.
B.A. Sarah Lawrence College, 1986.

Areas of Specialization

Shakespeare, Renaissance drama, theatre history, children’s literature, popular culture, fandom and fanfiction.

Research Interests

Early Modern theatre history, business and economics; “original” Shakespearean staging practices; Harry Potter, fandom, fanfiction, werewolves in popular culture.

Select Publications

Global Economics: A history of the theater business, the Chamberlain’s/King’s Men, and their plays, 1599-1642. University of Delaware Press, 2005.

 “Play It Again, Hal: the 1605 revival of Henry V.” Shakespeare Expressed: Page, Stage and Classroom in Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Fairleigh Dickinson Press, 2013.

“Theater as business,” Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare, Oxford University Press, 2012.

“ ‘A Queen in a Beard’: a study of all-female Shakespeare companies.”  Shakespeare Re-dressed: Cross-Gender Casting in Contemporary Performance. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2008.
“’Beware at what hands thou receiv’st thy commodity’: The Alchemist and the King’s Men fleece the customers, 1610.” Inside Shakespeare: Essays on the Blackfriars’ Stage.   Susquehanna University Press, 2006.


ENG 574—Graduate Dramatic Literature, Comedy
ENG 573—Graduate Dramatic Literature, Tragedy
ENG 552—Graduate Renaissance Literature, Non-Dramatic
ENG 551—Graduate Renaissance Literature, Dramatic
ENG 440—Renaissance Literature
ENG 404—Shakespeare
ENG 403—Shakespeare to 1600
ENG 402—Milton
ENG 327—Harry Potter as Literature and Cultural Studies
ENG 324—Children’s Literature
ENG 308—Modern Drama
ENG 307—Drama to 1890
ENG 203—Introduction to Shakespeare