Sharon O'Dair

Sharon O'Dair

Professor Emerita


  • Ph.D., English, University of California, Berkeley, 1988
  • M.A., English, University of California, Berkeley, 1979
  • B.A., English, Scripps College, 1977

Research Areas

  • Shakespeare
  • Ecocriticism
  • Theories of Hierarchy
  • Sociology of the Profession
  • Critical Theory



Sharon O’Dair taught in the English Department from 1987 through 2017.  She currently lives in Berkeley, California.

Selected Publications

Books and Edited Volumes:

Shakespeare and the 99%:  Literary Studies, the Profession, and the Production of Inequity. Ed. Sharon O’Dair and Timothy Francisco.  Palgrave, 2019.

“Shakespeareans in the Tempest:  Lives and Afterlives of Katrina.”  A special issue of Borrowers and Lenders:  The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation (Fall/Winter 2010). Ed., with an introduction by Sharon O’Dair.

Class, Critics, and Shakespeare:  Bottom Lines on the Culture Wars.  U. Michigan, 2000.

The Production of English Renaissance Culture. Ed., with an introduction, by David Lee Miller, Sharon O’Dair, and Harold Weber.  Cornell UP, 1994.


“Who Did Kill Shakespeare?” Shakespeare and the 99%:  Literary Studies, the Profession, and the Production of Inequity. Ed. Sharon O’Dair and Timothy Francisco.  Palgrave, 2019.

“Introduction: ‘Truth in Advertising’: Shakespeare and the 99%.” With Timothy Francisco.  Shakespeare and the 99%:  Literary Studies, the Profession, and the Production of Inequity. Ed. Sharon O’Dair and Timothy Francisco.  Palgrave, 2019.

“’…the great globe itself . . . shall dissolve’: Art after the Apocalypse in Station Eleven.” Handbook to Shakespeare and Global Appropriation.  Ed. Christy Desmet, Sujata Iyengar, and Miriam Jacobson.  Routledge, 2019.

“Consuming Debt.”  Premodern Ecologies in the Modern Literary Imagination. Ed. Tiffany Werth and Vin Nardizzi. U of Toronto P, 2019.

“Afterword.” Shakespeare Bulletin. Cluster on “Eco-Shakespeare in Performance.”  Ed. Randall Martin and Evelyn O’Malley.  Forthcoming 2018.

“Culture Wars.” In Bloomsbury Handbook to Literary and Cultural Theory. Ed. Jeffrey R. Di Leo.  Bloomsbury, Forthcoming 2018.

“Growing Pains.” Early Modern Culture (2018):

“Afterword.”  Ground-Work: Soil Science in Renaissance Literature.  Ed. Hillary Eklund. Duquesne UP, 2017. 195-202.

“Telemacher.” New Orleans Review (2016): 211-214.

“Muddy Thinking.”  Elemental Ecocriticism. Ed. Jeffrey J. Cohen and Lowell Duckert. Minneapolis: U Minnesota P, 2015. 134-158.     

“Cursing the Queer Family:  Shakespeare, Psychoanalysis, and My Own Private Idaho.” Shakespearean Echoes. Ed. Adam Hansen and Kevin J. Wetmore. New York: Palgrave, 2015. 130-141.

“Dirty South.” Keep It Dirty (2014):

“I Was So Right About That:  Social Class and the Academy.” Rhizome 27 (2014):

“Goffman v. Hamlet: On the Theatrical Metaphor.” The Hare (2014):

“All’s Well That Ends Orwell.” Digital Shakespeare: Redefining Scholarship and Practice. Ed. Christie Carson and Peter Kirwan. Cambridge UP, 2014. 115-125.

“Tragedy’s Honor, and Ours.” Renaissance Shakespeare: Shakespeare Renaissances. Ed. Martin Prochazca, Michael Dobson, Andreas Hofele, and Hanna Scolnicov. U Delaware P, 2013. 306-313.

“Water Love.”  postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies (2013): 55-67.

“Saving Tenure, or Helping to Kill it?:  A Few Words about ‘Publish, then Filter’.”  postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies (2012):

“‘Pretty much how the Internet works’; or, Aiding and Abetting the Deprofessionalization of  Shakespeare Studies.” Shakespeare Survey 64. Ed. Peter Holland.  Cambridge UP, 2011. 83-96.

“‘To fright the animals and to kill them up’: Shakespeare and Ecology.”  Shakespeare Studies 39.  Ed. Susan Zimmerman and Garrett Sullivan.  Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2011. 74-83.

“Is it Ecocriticism if it isn’t Presentist?”  Ecocritical Shakespeare. Ed. Lynne Bruckner and Daniel Brayton.  Ashgate, 2011. 71-85.

“Introduction.” “Shakespeareans in the Tempest:  Lives and Afterlives of Katrina.”  A special issue of Borrowers and Lenders:  The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation (2010). Ed. Sharon O’Dair.

“Superserviceable Subordinates, Universal Access, and Prestige-Driven Research.” Over Ten Million Served: Gender, Service, and Academic Workplaces. Ed. Katie Hogan and Michelle Massé. SUNY P, 2010. 35-53.

“Conduct (Un)Becoming or, Playing the Warrior in Macbeth.” Shakespeare and Moral Agency. Ed. Michael D. Bristol. Continuum, 2010. 71-85.

“Clueless about Class in Academe.”  symploke (2009): 27-39.

“‘Working My Way Back to You’: Shakespeare and Labor.”  Selected Papers of The Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference, Volume 2, 2008 (2009): 43-63.

“Laboring in Anonymity.”  symploke (2008): 7-19.

“Virtually There:  Shakespeare and Tourism in the 21st Century.”  Upstart Crow (2008): 5-23.

“The State of the Green: A Review Essay on Shakespearean Ecocriticism.” Shakespeare (2008): 474-492.

“Slow Shakespeare; An Eco-Critique of ‘Method’ in Early Modern Literary Studies. Early Modern Ecostudies: From the Florentine Codex to Shakespeare. Ed. Ivo Kamps, Karen Raber, and Thomas Hallock. Palgrave, 2008. 11-30.

Timon of Athens:  A Critical Introduction.” The Complete Works of Thomas Middleton. Ed. Gary Taylor and John Lavagnino.  Oxford UP, 2007. 292-294.

“‘Philosophy in a Gorilla Suit’:  Do Shakespeareans Perform or Just Perform-a-tive?”  Shakespeare Survey 60.  Ed. Peter Holland. Cambridge UP, 2007: 141-153.

“Marx Manqué:  A Brief History of Marxist Shakespeare Criticism in North America, ca. 1980-ca. 2000.”  Shakespeare Under Communisms and Socialisms.  Ed. Joseph G. Price and Irena Makaryk.   U Toronto P, 2006.  349-373.

The Tempest as Tempest:  Does Paul Mazursky ‘Green’ William Shakespeare?”  Special cluster on Shakespeare and Ecocriticism.  ISLE (2005): 165-178.

“Horror or Realism?  Filming “Toxic Discourse” in Jane Smiley’s A Thousand Acres.”  Textual Practice (2005):  263-282.

“A way of life worth preserving?  Identity, Place, and Commerce in Big Business and the American South.” Borrowers and Lenders:  The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation (2005):

“Class Work:  Site of Egalitarian Activism or Site of Embourgeoisement?”  College English (2003): 593-606.

“Affiliation, Power, and Tenure in the Academy.”  Affiliations: Identity in Academic Culture.  Ed.  Jeffrey R. Di Leo. U Nebraska P, 2003.  191-208.

“Toward a Postmodern Pastoral:  Another Look at the Cultural Politics of My Own Private Idaho.”  Journal x  (2002): 25-40.

“What About Me? Memoirs of an Academic Reading Academic Memoirs.” The Baffler  (2002): 39-44.

“On the Value of Being a Cartoon, in Literature and in Life.”  Harold Bloom’s Shakespeare.  Ed. Christy Desmet and Robert Sawyer.  Palgrave, 2001.  81-96.

“Academostars are the Symptom; What’s the Disease?” the minnesota review (2001): 159-174.

“Teaching Othello in the Schoolhouse Door:  History, Hollywood, Heroes.” The Massachusetts Review (2000): 215-236.

“Beyond Necessity:  The Consumption of Class, the Production of Status, and the Persistence of Inequality.” New Literary History (2000): 337-354.

“The Status of Class in Shakespeare; or, Why Critics Love to Hate Capitalism.” Discontinuities:  New Essays on Renaissance Literature and Criticism. Ed. Viviana Comensoli and Paul Stevens.  U of Toronto P, 1998.  201-223.

“Stars, Tenure, and the Death of Ambition.” Michigan Quarterly Review (1997): 607-627.

“Class Matters: Symbolic Boundaries and Cultural Exclusion.” This Fine Place So Far From Home. Ed. C.L. Barney Dews and Carolyn Law. Temple U P, 1995. 200-208.

“Still No Respect:  Capitalism and the Cultural Choices of the Working Class.” symploke 2 (1994): 159-176.

“Theorizing as Defeatism:  A Pragmatic Defense of Agency.” Mosaic (1993): 111-121.

“Social Role and the Making of Identity in Julius Caesar.” Studies in English Literature (1993): 289-307.

“Vestments and Vested Interests:  Academia, the Working-Class, and Affirmative Action. Working-Class Women in the Academy: Laborers in the Knowledge Factory.  Ed. Michelle M. Tokarczyk and Elizabeth Fay.  U Massachusetts P, 1993. 239-250.

“Freeloading Off the Social Sciences.” Philosophy and Literature (1991): 260-267.

“Justifying Subsidizing; or Literature and Social Process.” The Centennial Review (1990): 595-603.

“’The Contentless Passion of an Unfruitful Wind’:  Irony and Laughter in Endgame.” Criticism (1986): 165-178.