New director at Folger
Gail Kern Paster, a noted Shakespearean scholar, has been named
director of the Folger Shakespeare Library, the fifth in the library's 70-year
history. She takes office on July 1. Paster's appointment was announced in
March by the Amherst Trustees, who administer the Folger under the will of the
library's founder, Henry Clay Folger, Class of 1879. Paster succeeds Werner
Gundersheimer '59, who retires
at the end of June after 18 years at the Folger's helm (see Winter 2001 Amherst).
Paster is professor of English at the George Washington University, where she
has taught since 1974. She is also editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, the
leading scholarly journal devoted to Shakespeare, published by the Folger in association
with George Washington University. She holds a B.A., magna cum laude, from
Smith College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a Ph.D. from Yale
She is the author of numerous scholarly articles and two booksThe Idea
of the City in the Age of Shakespeare (1986) and The Body Embarrassed:
Drama and the Disciplines of Shame in Early Modern England (1993).
Karen Hastie Williams, chair of the Folger's Trustees' committee, announcing
the appointment, said "Dr. Paster brings to this position an extraordinary
career of academic scholarship, a passion for Shakespeare and the early modern
period, and a vision of new horizons for the Folger within the Washington community
as well as on the world stage."
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