Professor Howard serves as the chair of the advisory board for the Justice-in-Education Initiative.
B.A. Brown (1970); M.Phil., University of London (Marshall Fellow 1972); Ph.D., Yale (Danforth Fellow 1975). Professor Howard began teaching at Syracuse in 1975, where she received the first University-wide Wasserstrom Prize for excellence as teacher and mentor of graduate students. At Columbia she has received the Faculty Mentoring Award in 2006 and the Presidential Teaching Award in 2020; she has also received Guggenheim, NEH, Mellon, Folger, Huntington, and Newberry Library Fellowships. In 2010 she gave the Columbia University Schoff Memorial Lectures on ‘Staging History: Imagining the Nation’ on playwrights William Shakespeare, Tony Kushner, and Caryl Churchill. Her teaching interests include Shakespeare, Tudor and Stuart drama, Early Modern poetry, modern drama, feminist and Marxist theory, and the history of feminism.
Prof. Howard is on the editorial board of Shakespeare Studies and Renaissance Drama. She has published essays on Shakespeare, Pope, Ford, Heywood, Dekker, Marston, and Jonson, as well as on aspects of contemporary critical theory including new historicism, Marxism, and issues in feminism. Her books include Shakespeare’s Art of Orchestration (1984); Shakespeare Reproduced: The Text in History and Ideology, edited with Marion O’Connor (1987); The Stage and Struggle in Early Modern England (1994); with Phyllis Rackin, Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare’s English Histories (1997); Marxist Shakespeares, edited with Scott Shershow (2000); and four generically organized Companions to Shakespeare, edited with Richard Dutton (2001). She is a co-editor of The Norton Shakespeare (3rd ed. 2015) and General Editor of the Bedford Contextual Editions of Shakespeare. A recent book, Theater of a City: The Places of London Comedy 1598-1642 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007), won the Barnard Hewitt award for Outstanding Theater History for 2008. She published, with Crystal Bartolovich, a monograph on Shakespeare and Marx in the Great Shakespeareans series for Continuum Press (2012) and is currently completing a book entitled Staging History that examines the different trajectories of the history play in contemporary Britain and the US. A short book on King Lear will be published by Arden Shakespeare in 2021.
From 1996 to 1999 Professor Howard directed the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Columbia; in 1999-2000 she was President of the Shakespeare Association of America; from 2004-2007 she served as Columbia’s first Vice Provost for Diversity Initiatives; and from 2008-2011 she was Chair of the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Currently, as a Trustee Emerita of Brown University, she is a member of the Brown University President’s Diversity Advisory Council and serves on the Advisory Board of the Pembroke Center; she is also a Senator of Phi Beta Kappa.