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Anita Sherman Professor Department of Literature

Additional Positions at AU
Folger Institute, Central Executive Committee
Faculty Associate, Political Theory Institute
BA Harvard University (History and Literature); MA Oxford University (Philosophy and Theology); PhD The University of Maryland (English Literature)

Languages Spoken
Spanish, French, Italian, Latin
Favorite Spot on Campus
The Library
Book Currently Reading
Fredric Jameson, Allegory and Ideology (Verso, 2019)
Anita Gilman Sherman studies 16th and 17th century literature, specializing in works that have problems of knowledge and interpretation at their thematic center. Her book, Skepticism and Memory in Shakespeare and Donne (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), explores the repercussions of skepticism on representations of memory, history and temporality in Shakespeare and Donne, arguing that in their hands the art of memory becomes an art of doubt. Her new book , “Skepticism in Early Modern English Literature: The Problems and Pleasures of Doubt” (Cambridge University Press, 2021), extends her work on skepticism, developing its aesthetic and political implications. Professor Sherman has published essays on John Donne, Garcilaso de la Vega, Herbert of Cherbury, Michel de Montaigne, Thomas Heywood, Shakespeare, and W. G. Sebald in edited collections and in journals such as Connotations, Criticism, Shakespeare Quarterly, The Shakespearean International Yearbook, Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, Studies in English Literature, Texas Studies in Language and Literature, the Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies, and Sin Nombre. She enjoys taking students to the theater.


Spring 2023

  • CORE-105 Complex Problems Seminar: The Examined Life

  • LIT-232 Shakespeare: Shakespeare: the Second Decade

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications


Skepticism in Early Modern English Literature (Cambridge, 2021)

Skepticism and Memory in Shakespeare and Donne (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)

Critical Essays

"Poland in the Cultural Imaginary of Early Modern England." Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies 15.1 (2015): 55-89.

“Fantasies of Private Language in Shakespeare’s ‘Phoenix and Turtle’ and Donne’s ‘Ecstasy’” in Shakespeare and Donne: Generic Hybrids in the Cultural Imaginary, eds. Judith Anderson and Jennifer Vaught (Fordham UP, 2013), pp. 250-278.

“The Politics of Truth in Herbert of Cherbury.” Texas Studies in Language and Literature 54.1 (2012): 189-215.

“Forms of Oblivion: Losing the Revels Office at St. John’s,” Shakespeare Quarterly 62.1 (2011): 75 – 105.

“Shakespearean Vertigo: W. G. Sebald’s Lear.” Criticism 52.1 (2010): 1 – 24.

“The Skeptical Ethics of John Donne: The Case of Ignatius his Conclave.”  Reading Renaissance Ethics. Ed. Marshall Grossman (Routledge, 2007): 367 – 405.

“The Aesthetic Strategies of Skepticism: Mixing Memory and Desire in Montaigne and Shakespeare.”  Shakespearean International Yearbook 6. Ed. Graham Bradshaw,Tom Bishop and Peter Holbrook (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006): 99 – 118.

“John Donne and Spain.”  Studies in Honor of Denah Lida. Ed. Mary G. Berg and Lanin A. Gyurko (Potomac, Maryland: Scripta Humanistica, 2005): 71 – 83.

“Disowning Knowledge of Jessica, or Shylock’s Skepticism.”  Studies in English Literature 44.2 (Spring 2004): 277 – 295.

“The Status of Charity in Thomas Heywood’s If You Know Not Me You Know Nobody II.” Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England 12 (1999): 99 – 120.

“El Viento como Destino en la Obra de Garcilaso de la Vega.” Revista Sin Nombre 14 (1984): 132 – 143.    

Research Interests

Renaissance literature, early modern philosophy, Shakespeare, drama, reception theory, memory studies

AU Experts

Area of Expertise

Renaissance literature, Shakespeare

Additional Information

Anita Gilman Sherman is author of the book Skepticism and Memory in Shakespeare and Donne (Palgrave MacMillan, 2007).

For the Media

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