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Joyce MacDonald


M. A. and Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

A. B., Dartmouth College


My new book, Shakespearean Adaptation, Race, and Memory in the New World, was published in 2021 by Palgrave Macmillan. It explores my particular fascination with how race appears in early modern drama and how it can function in post-Renaissance responses to Shakespeare's plays and poems. In 2018, I was elected a trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America, and I'm a member of the editorial boards of the journals Shakespeare Studies and Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation, as well as of two book series, Palgrave Shakespeare Studies and Cambridge Elements in Shakespeare and Text. Next year, I'll be beginning a term on the executive committee of the Adaptation Studies Forum of the Modern Language Association, and was also just elected an executive committee member for the MLA Forum on Shakespeare. I'm working on editng two early modern plays: Aphra Behn's Abdelazer, for the Other Voice in Early Modern Europe series from University of Toronto Press, and my favorite Shakespeare play, Antony and Cleopatra, for Cambridge Shakespeare Editions. 

Recent and Upcoming Talks

"Universal Shakespeare? Shakespeare and the Poetics and Politics of Relevance." Huntington Library, May 2022.

"Actresses of Color and Shakespearean Performance." Shakespeare Unlimited podcast (, February 2022.

"Anti-Racist Shakespeare: New Perspectives on Measure for Measure." Shakespeare's Globe (London), December 2021.

"DEI and Editing Early Modern Texts." Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, October 2021.

"'I stay belonging to me': Caroline Randall Williams' Lucy Negro Redux as a Reimagining of Shakespeare's 'Dark Lady' Sonnets." Modern Language Association, January 2021.

Selected Publications:


  • Women and Race in Early Modern Texts (Cambridge University Press, 2002).
  • Shakespearean Adaptation, Memory, and Race in the New World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)

Articles and Book Chapters:

  • "Interracial Sex and Narrative Crisis in The Woman of Colour." Eighteenth-Century Fiction 35.1 (2023)<
  • "Disrupting White Genealogies in Cymbeline." In White People in Shakespeare, ed. Arthur Little, Jr. (London: Bloomsbury, 2023), 137-149. 
  • "How Race Might Help Us Find 'Lost' Women's Writing." Criticism 63.1-2 (2021): 45-53.
  • "Actresses of Color and Shakespearean Performance: The Question of Reception." In The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Race, ed. Ayanna Thompson (Cambridge University Press, 2021), pp. 208-222.
  • "'Love and Determination': "Remaking Marriage in a Black Adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew." In 'The Taming of the Shrew': State of Play, ed. Heather Easterling and Jennifer Flaherty (Bloomsbury/Arden Shakespeare, 2021), pp. 192-207.
  • "The Legend of Lucy Negro." In The Routledge Companion to Black Women’s Cultural Histories, ed. Janell Hobson (Routledge, 2021), pp. 66-74.
  • "Reading Race in Women Writers Online: Thirty Years On." Women Writers Project (, 2018

Work in Progress:

  • “Remembering Shakspeare's Sonnets in Caroline Walker Randall’s Lucy Negro, Redux.”