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Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Lena Cowen Orlin

Trustee

Lena Cowen Orlin is Professor of English at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She served as Executive Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s centre for advanced research, the Folger Institute, and is currently Executive Director of the Shakespeare Association of America, which holds an annual convention for Shakespeare scholars worldwide.  She sits on the boards of the International Shakespeare Association (headquartered at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust), the Shakespeare Institute’s International Shakespeare Conference, and the Folger Institute, and she is a member of the Conference of Administrative Officers of the American Council of Learned Societies. 

Lena is one of the general editors of the Oxford Shakespeare Topics series and the Arden Shakespeare State of Play series and is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Shakespeare Survey and Shakespeare Studies. Her many publications include The Bedford Shakespeare (an edition of Shakespeare’s plays illustrated with images from the Royal Shakespeare Company collections at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust), the collection Shakespeare: An Oxford Guide (co-edited with Stanley Wells), and the monograph Locating Privacy in Tudor London.  Her scholarship crosses the disciplines of literature, history, and art history, and she has received major fellowship support from the Guggenheim Foundation, the (American) National Center for the Humanities, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the (American) National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as grants from the British Academy, the Yale Center for British Art, the Bellagio Study Center, and others. She is currently completing a biography, The Private Life of William Shakespeare, researched in the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust local-history archives. 

Lena is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Corresponding Fellow of the English Association. 

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