Linda Woodbridge

Linda Woodbridge

Fellow: Awarded 2008
Field of Study: English Literature

Competition: US & Canada

Pennsylvania State University

A specialist in English Renaissance literature, Linda Woodbridge began her academic career in the Department of English at the University of Alberta after finishing her studies at UCLA (B.A., 1966, M.A., 1968, Ph.D., 1970).  While there, she wrote one of the very first feminist essays on Shakespeare, “Egyptian Queens and Male Reviewers: Sexist Attitudes in Antony and Cleopatra Criticism” (Shakespeare Quarterly, 1977), among many other periodical publications, as well as the first of her seven books, Women and the English Renaissance: Literature and the Nature of Womankind, 1540-1620 (Univ. of Illinois Press, 1984), which is still her most cited study.  Like much of her work, Women and the English Renaissance explored little-known or under-studied texts, and authors and characters that were often undeservedly passed over.  She also coedited True Rites and Maimed Rites: Ritual and Anti-Ritual in the Age of Shakespeare (Univ. of Illinois Press, 1992) and produced her second sole-authored book, The Scythe of Saturn: Shakespeare and Magical Thinking (Univ. of Illinois Press, 1994), which traced the impact of folk superstitions and folk medicine on the works of major authors of the time.


While researching and writing, Ms. Woodbridge was also winning accolades for her teaching.  As she rose from Assistant Professor (1970), to Professor (1982), to McCalla Professor (1990-91), she earned the Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Teaching Award (1993) and the Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (1994). In 1990, she was the inaugural recipient of the AWArd given by the university’s Academic Women’s Association for lifetime contributions to the betterment of women on campus, and the following year she was the Edmund Kemper Broadus Lecturer.


On moving to the Pennsylvania State University’s English Department in 1994, Linda Woodbridge continued to win honors, receiving the George Atherton Award for excellence in teaching in 2002 and the Faculty Scholar Medal for her outstanding research, in 2004.  She was also named Distinguished Professor in 2002, and the Josephine Berry Weiss Chair in the Humanities in 2006. She also produced three more books: Vagrancy, Homelessness, and English Renaissance Literature (Univ. of Illinois Press, 2001), Women, Violence, and the English Renaissance: Essays Honoring Paul Jorgensen (Arizona State UP, 2003), coedited with Sharon Beehler; and Money and the Age of Shakespeare: Essays in New Economic Criticism (Palgrave/St. Martin’s, 2003), which she edited.


Ms. Woodbridge has also been very involved in the larger academic community, serving as President of the Shakespeare Association of America, and as an editorial board member of PMLA, among other posts. She retired from Penn State in 2011, after forty-two years as a professor, and now lives on a mountainside in Montana.

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