Gail Kern Paster

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This page reflects a scholar's association with the Folger Institute. Records before 2007 are in the process of being added to Folgerpedia.

Gail Kern Paster is a former director of the Folger Shakespeare Library. The list below is a partial representation of her numerous contributions to life at the Folger.

Gail Kern Paster, Former Folger Director.

Scholarly Programs

Panel chair, Early Modern Theatre and Conversion (Symposium, 2016-2017)

Moderator, Shakespeare and Performance (Workshop, 2002–2003)

Director, Reading the Early Modern Passions (Weekend Seminar, 1999–2000)

Speaker, Material London, ca. 1600 (Conference, 1994–1995)

Director, Humoring the Body: Social Practice and Behavioral Theory in Early Modern England (Seminar, 1993–1994)

Visiting faculty, The Theatre in History: The Social Function of Renaissance Dramatic Genres (Summer Institute, 1992)

Visiting faculty, Shakespeare, the Body, and the Material Text (Seminar, 1991–1992)


Editor of many of the Folger's podcast series, Gail Kern Paster can be heard in a number of our audio files.

Podcast: "Speak to Me as to Thy Thinkings: Why Shakespeare's Stories Still Resonate"

Listen here:

Rebecca Sheir, host of our Shakespeare Unlimited series, talks with scholars Gail Kern Paster and Jeremy Lopez about why we continue to learn something new from Shakespeare's plays more than four hundred years after their first performance.

Public Programs

Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture: "Heat-Seeking Missiles: Shakespeare, Women, and the Caloric Economy in Early Modern England" (April 1994)

Lecture, "Covering his Ass: The Scatalogical Imperative in Gammer Gurton's Needle" (Spring 1989)

Lecture, "Leaky Vessels: The Incontinent Women of City Comedy" (Spring 1987)


Editor, Shakespeare Quarterly

Contributor to innumerable committees.


Former Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library (2002–2011)