Lena Cowen Orlin, Professor of English, is the author of Locating Privacy in Tudor London
(Oxford, 2009) and Private Matters and Public Culture in Post-Reformation England
(Cornell, 1994). She is the co-editor (with Russ McDonald) of a college textbook, The Bedford Shakespeare
, and editor of The Renaissance: A Sourcebook
(Palgrave, 2009). Among her publications are also nine essay collections, including Shakespeare: An Oxford Guide
(edited with Stanley Wells, 2003), and the anthology Elizabethan Households
(Folger, 1995). For her interdisciplinary research into the material culture of private life in Shakespeare´s time, Orlin has traveled throughout Great Britain studying historic houses and exploring manuscript archives for legal records, property documents, and family papers from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. She has been invited to speak as a Shakespearean at the Asian Shakespeare Association in Taiwan, as a historian for the Mackay Lecture Series at Dalhousie University, and as an art historian at the University of Nebraska School of Architecture. In 2016, the anniversary of Shakespeare's death, she delivered a series of three lectures at Boston College, Boston University, and Harvard University, as well as two lectures in London and one in Valladolid.
Orlin has been awarded fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Humanities Center, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has also held residencies at Campion Hall, the Liguria Study Center, the Bellagio Study Center, the Yale Center for British Art, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, and the Huntington Library. She has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (UK) and is a Corresponding Fellow of the English Association (UK).
From 1982 to 1996, Orlin coordinated postdoctoral seminars and conferences at the Folger Shakespeare Library as Executive Director of the Folger Institute. From 1996 to 2018 she was Executive Director of the Shakespeare Association of America. The SAA is an academic membership organization for the advanced international study of Shakespeare’s works, his time, and his afterlife in scholarly and public culture.
Orlin is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon as well as the Executive Committees of the International Shakespeare Conference of the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, the International Shakespeare Association, and the Central Executive Committee of the Folger Institute. She serves on the editorial boards of the journals Shakespeare Studies (US) and Shakespeare Survey (UK) and is co-general editor of the Arden Shakespeare State of Play Series and the Oxford Shakespeare Topics series.
Orlin came to Georgetown in the fall of 2007. She taught previously at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.