Owen Williams joined the Folger Institute in 1999 in the midst of writing his dissertation on Elizabethan law and religion in the English department at the University of Pennsylvania (he eventually finished). As the Institute's Assistant Director for Scholarly Programs, he welcomes some two hundred faculty and advanced graduate students to the seminars, symposia, workshops, and conferences that the Institute plans and offers each year. On behalf of the Folger Institute's Consortium Executive Committee, Dr. Williams convenes the application review subcommittee, sits on the program planning subcommittee, and serves as liaison to the faculty representatives from forty-six consortium universities. He is an ex officio member of the Steering Committee for the Center for the History of British Political Thought. He also serves as Administrative Project Director for Early Modern Digital Agendas and is a member of the Folgerpedia content team.
Dr. Williams holds the A.B. in Classics, Greek, from Stanford University, the M.A. in English Literature from the University of Tulsa, and the Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania. Editor of Foliomania! Stories Behind Shakespeare’s Most Important Book (2011, reissued 2015), he is currently co-editing Periodization and “Early Modern” English Temporalities: Reimagining Chronology through 16th- and 17th-century Habits of Thought, with Kristen Poole for the University of Pennsylvania Press. His scholarly interests concern late-Elizabethan religious separatists.
In 2016, he completed the M.S. in Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies (ISLT) with a focus on Open and Distance Learning at Florida State University.