Faculty Biography

Eric Rasmussen

Eric Rasmussen

Professor &
Chair

Degrees:

BA (Grinnell College); MA (University of Chicago); PhD (University of Chicago)

Contact Information:

Office: Frandsen 122

Telephone: (775) 682-6369

Email: erasmussen@unr.edu

Academic Specializations:

Shakespeare, Medieval & Early Modern Drama, Renaissance Literature, Bibliography and Textual Criticism, Scholarly Editing

Recent Publications:

The Shakespeare First Folios: A Descriptive Catalogue, with Anthony James West. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012

The Shakespeare First Folios: A Descriptive Catalogue, with Anthony James West. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012

The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios. New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011

The Royal Shakespeare Company's Complete Works of William Shakespeare, with Jonathan Bate. New York: Random House; London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios. New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011

The Royal Shakespeare Company's Complete Works of William Shakespeare, with Jonathan Bate. New York: Random House; London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

Biography:

My work focuses on editing Shakespeare and Early Modern drama. My first monograph, A Textual Companion to ‘Doctor Faustus’(Manchester University Press, 1994), significantly changed our understanding of the early texts of Christopher Marlowe’s play and paved the way for the groundbreaking editions that David Bevington and I prepared for both the Revels Plays series and for Oxford University Press. I subsequently co-edited The Norton Anthology of English Renaissance Drama, The RSC Complete Works of Shakespeare, King Henry VI Part 3 for the Arden Shakespeare series, Cynthia’s Revels for the Cambridge Works of Ben Jonson, Everyman and Mankind for the Arden Early Modern Drama series, The Two Noble Kinsmen for the Malone Society, and the forthcoming New Variorum Shakespeare edition of Hamlet.

In addition to producing these conventionally published works, for the last decade I have served as general textual editor of the Internet Shakespeare Editions (ISE) project, a series of critical editions specially commissioned for the electronic medium and subjected to a rigorous peer review process. These editions have become the most frequently consulted versions of Shakespeare’s plays in the world; and the award-winning ISE site is now arguably the most respected Shakespearean educational resource on the Web: http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca 

Since 1999, I have served as the author of Shakespeare Survey’s annual omnibus review for Cambridge University Press of all new editions and textual studies. In this capacity, I have had an influence on the direction and, I like to think, the quality of work in the field. As a member of the council of the Malone Society and the editorial board of Shakespeare Quarterly, I help to maintain the high standards associated with those publications. As a member of the board of trustees of the Shakespeare Association of America and as U.S. Secretary/Treasurer for the Malone Society, I have been instrumental in steering these two preeminent professional associations. As book review editor for Medievalia et Humanistica since 1994, I have played a role in evaluating the evolving study of medieval and Renaissance culture more broadly.

This year, I published The Shakespeare First Folio: A Descriptive Catalogue. This 1000-page catalogue raisonné is the result of two decades of research during which Anthony James West and I located 232 surviving copies of this immeasurably important book – a remarkable 72 more than were recorded in Sidney Lee’s census over a century ago. A research team of UNR graduate students -- Mark Farnsworth, Lara Hansen, Trey Jansen, and Sarah Stewart -- then examined every copy in situ worldwide and prepared full bibliographic descriptions of each. I also published a trade book offering a narrative account of this field research, The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios, which has reached a wide (and surprisingly appreciative) audience.

Here at UNR, I have received the Alan Bible Teaching Award (college-wide), the F. Donald Tibbitts Teaching Excellence Award (university-wide), and the Board of Regents Teaching Award (system-wide).