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Denise A. Walen

Dean of First-Year Students

Denise A. Walen is a Professor in the Department of Drama at Vassar College where she has taught dramatic literature and theatre history since 1996. She earned her MA and PhD in Theatre from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis with a minor in Feminist Studies from the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies. Professor Walen is an established Shakespearean scholar and is the author of articles and reviews in Shakespeare Quarterly, Shakespeare Survey, Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, and Theatre History Studies, as well as chapters in Women and Playwriting in Nineteenth Century Britain (Cambridge University Press, 1999) and Passing Performances: Queer Readings of Leading Players in American Theatre History (University of Michigan Press, 1998). Dr. Walen also served for several years as Performance Review editor for Theatre Journal. She is the author of Constructions of Female Homoeroticism in Early Modern Drama (Palgrave 2005). In 2013, Dr. Walen curated the exhibition titled Here is a Play Fitted for the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, an internationally renowned research center housing the world's largest Shakespeare collection along with other major collections of early modern books, manuscripts, and art. Dr. Walen was a member of the Editorial Board for Shakespeare in Performance: Prompt Books from the Folger Shakespeare Library (Adam Matthew Digital, 2016) which is a digital collection of annotated Shakespeare scripts used in performance, many by major Shakespearean actors such as David Garrick, John Philip Kemble, Sarah Siddons, Edwin Booth, Charlotte Cushman, Henry Irving, Ellen Terry, and Laurence Olivier. She is an active member of the Shakespeare Seminar, one of the Columbia University Seminars, and served as the co-chair from 2015-2017. She has held several leadership positions at Vassar and is currently the Dean of First-Year Students.