Faculty Bio

Denise A. Walen

Professor of Drama

Denise A. Walen is a Professor in the Department of Drama at Vassar College where she has taught since 1996. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Theater from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis with a minor in Feminist Studies from the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies and concentrates her areas of teaching and research on dramatic literature and theory, theater history, and women’s studies. Dr. Walen focuses on early modern drama and has directed Twelfth NightAs You Like It, and Aphra Behn’s The Feigned Courtesans, along with several other productions for the department. She is the author of articles and reviews in Theatre History StudiesTheatre SurveyTheatre Journal, Shakespeare Survey, and Shakespeare Quarterly 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 served for several years as Performance Review editor for Theatre Journal and was on the editorial board of This Rough Magic. She also served on the editorial board for Shakespeare in Performance published in 2016 by Adam Matthew Digital, and contributed the “Case Studies” for that publication. Dr. Walen curated the 2013-14 exhibition titled Here is a Play Fitted: Four Centuries of Staging Shakespeare for the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. She is the author of Constructions of Female Homoeroticism in Early Modern Drama (Palgrave 2005). She is an active member of the Shakespeare Seminar at Columbia University and served as co-chair from 2015 through 2017. Dr. Walen is currently the Dean of First-Year Students at Vassar.