Yu Jin Ko
Yu Jin Ko
  • Title:
    Professor of English; Faculty Athletics Representative
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  • Education:
    B.A., Columbia University; M.A., Cambridge University (Clare College); Ph.D., Yale University


Professor of English

My publications have centered on Shakespeare, with an emphasis on performance. My first book, Mutability and Division on Shakespeare’s Stage, appeared in 2004. I have also co-edited a book collection that brings together essays from scholars and theatre professionals:  Shakespeare's Sense of Character: On the Page and From the Stage. My articles and reviews have continued to focus on Shakespeare in performance, both in the theatre and on film. They include pieces like a review of Twelfth Night in Central Park featuring Anne Hathaway as well as an essay on a production of Macbeth by inmates of a correctional institution ("Macbeth Behind Bars").  More recently, I have moved into the area of Shakespeare in production across the globe, especially in the east.  "The site of burial in two Korean Hamlets" is my latest foray into this field.

I teach Shakespeare at every level—an introductory survey for non-majors, 200-level required courses for majors, and 300-level seminars on Shakespeare in performance.  I have also taught a MOOC on Shakespeare with the edX consortium called "Shakespeare: On the Page and in Performance." The archived version of the course (still free and open to anyone in the world) can be found through the following link: https://www.edx.org/course/shakespeare-page-performance-wellesleyx-eng112x  Whatever the format or level of the class, I always try to involve some element of performance, whether it be attending a live performance, viewing recordings, or getting students on their feet to perform scenes. It is my belief that to bring Shakespeare's plays fully alive, we must bring literary and theatrical analysis together.  I do teach authors other than Shakespeare, however. I enjoy teaching in particular introductory lecture courses (Studies in Fiction, Writers of Color across the Globe), which allow me and the students to read some wonderful novels for pure pleasure and for insights into cultures around the world.

When I am not enjoying time with my family (wife and two sons), I tend to be engaged in my other passions: watching and playing soccer (in an organized league that's aptly called The New England Over the Hill Soccer League), struggling to learn the music of my youth on guitar, and watching Korean dramas that are equal parts trashy and addictive.