Aaron Douglas Professor and Professor of English's Profile Image
Aaron Douglas Professor and Professor of English


B.A., California State University, Long Beach

M.A., University of California, Los Angeles

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Areas of Specialty

The literary culture of Early Modern England, especially the works of Shakespeare, Spenser, and Milton, as well as literature's connections with philosophy and the performing arts.

Courses Regularly Taught

English Authors Before 1800: Fierce Wars and Faithful Loves

English Capstone: Shakespeare and His Global Interpreters

Milton (Poetry, Politics, & Prophecy)


Shakespeare on Screen

Teaching Literature

Personal Teaching Statement

My courses encourage students to think of adapting or performing literary works as additional forms of engagement, interpretation, response, and understanding. Individually or in teams, students rework passages and scenes from literature. As a class, we read aloud, enact, and even sing short works or excerpts.

One of the very best parts of teaching is shared learning. Success in a single classroom session or throughout a semester is evident when everyone, including the instructor, comes away from the experience knowing more – and more deeply – about the material and about how it connects with our lives, our communities, our times.

Dialogue provides both the inspiration and the environment for effective teaching and meaningful scholarship – working with students and with colleagues on campus, throughout English Studies and beyond. Growth in the humanities especially depends not only upon individual insight and effort but also upon collaboration and conversation.

Selected Publications and Projects

Shakespeare in the Cinema: Ocular Proof (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002).

“Falstaff and the Constructions of Musical Nostalgia,” in The Routledge Guide to Shakespeare and Global Appropriation, edited by Christy Desmet, Sujata Iyengar, and Miriam Jacobson (New York: Routledge, 2019), pp. 348-58. 

“Jazz and Shakespeare” in the forthcoming Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopedia, ed. Patricia Parker (online, Stanford University Press).

“The Dramaturg's Dilemma: A Question of Audiences,” Blackfriars Conference, American Shakespeare Center; Staunton, VA, October 2019.

Humanities Adviser and Guest Scholar for “Little But Fierce,” a series of free educational programs for K-8 students. With Summer Lukasiewicz, Executive Director of Flatwater Shakespeare Company, July 2019. Funded by Humanities Nebraska.

“Listening Again to Soviet Shakespeares: Sound, Song, and Sensibility in Yan Fried's Twelfth Night,” a paper shared with the Shakespeare in Film History seminar, Shakespeare Association of America; Washington DC, April 2019.

Humanities Adviser and Teaching Artist for “Songs and Sonnets,” a free educational program for area students in Grades 7-12. Also Humanities Adviser for “Little But Fierce,” Grades K-6. With Summer Lukasiewicz, Executive Director of Flatwater Shakespeare Company, July 2018.  Funded by Humanities Nebraska.

“How to Get from Syracuse to the West Side: Kurt Weill's One Touch of Venus and the Shakespearean Broadway Musical,” Shakespearean Theatre Conference; University of Waterloo at Stratford, Ontario, June 2017. Also chair and organizer for session on “Shakespeare and Jazz,” which included this paper.

“Palpable Hits: Popular Music Forms and Teaching Early Modern Poetry,” The CEA Critic 78.2 (July 2016): 229-41.

Panel and Workshop Organizer and Presenter, “Teaching Shakespeare to Undergraduates,” Folger Institute program; Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC, June 2016.

“Shakespeare’s First Folio – and the First Folio’s Shakespeare,” public lecture in conjunction with NEH / Folger Shakespeare Library exhibition; Durham Museum, Omaha, NE, April 2016. 

“King of Shadows: The Warner Brothers A Midsummer Night's Dream as Source, Intertext, and (Counter)Example,” paper shared with the Re-evaluating Earlier Generations of Shakespeare Films seminar, Shakespeare Association of America; New Orleans, LA, March 2016. 

Composer and Performer for Songs and Sonnets by Sweet Will and the Saucy Jacks. Digital EP of pop music settings of Shakespeare. Available for free / pay what you wish download: sweetwill.bandcamp.com.  Released 2012.

Education Director and Co-founder, Flatwater Shakespeare Company. Dramaturg and Text Adviser most recently for Macbeth; also appearing as the Thane of Ross (Swan Theatre, 2019).  Past work as Dramaturg and Text Adviser includes Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches and Part Two: Perestroika, with Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (Haymarket Theatre, 2011-13); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, The Comedy of Errors, As You Like It, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and The Tempest (Swan Theatre and area tours, 2011-2018); Othello (Lincoln Community Playhouse, 2011); Hamlet and The Merchant of Venice (Swan Theatre, 2015-16). Sound design for Twelfth Night (2012). Contributing Musical Adapter / Composer for Much Ado About Nothing (2013), The Comedy of Errors (2014), and The Merry Wives of Windsor (2017).

Awards and Honors

University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award, 1991. 

University of Nebraska state-wide system's Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award (OTICA), 1999.

Member of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Academy of Distinguished Teachers, admitted in 1999. 

Aaron Douglas Professorship for Teaching Excellence, 2010-present (renewed 2015).

Lincoln Arts Council and City of Lincoln Mayor's Arts Awards, Artistic Achievement in Literary Arts, 2015.