Nicole Sheriko
Graduate Student
PhD Candidate
Book and Media History, Drama & Performance Studies, Early Modern, Medieval, Seventeenth Century

Renaissance Literature, Drama & Performance, Popular Culture, Court Entertainments, Puppet Theater, Performing Animals, Clowning, Religious and Ritual theater, Props, Dance, Humor

Nicole Sheriko is a PhD candidate in English, working on Renaissance theatricality. Her dissertation Imitating Difference examines the ethics of formal theatrical technologoies by considering the cultural stakes of imitation. Imitation itself is a hierarchizing structure that distinguishes originals from what antitheatricalists consider degraded copies; in doing so, imitation maps onto other social hierarchies. Reconstructing three neglected performance media (puppetry, performing animals, and clowning) the project traces the overlap beteen imitation and social difference in six chapters—on religion, class, objectification, disability, gender, and race—that combine new archival discoveries with more familiar texts by Shakespeare, Jonson, and other major playwrights. Ultimately, Imitating Difference shows how representational strategies encode social values that link the theatrical to the everyday.

In addition to her current research, Nicole has published on nineteenth century theater, produced digital transcriptions of early modern plays now housed in the Folger Shakespeare Library's Digital Anthology of Early Modern English Drama and curated a rare book exhibition for Alexander Library using new additions to their John Milton collection.

She is a former organizer of the Rutgers Medieval-Renaissance Colloquium, member of the Folger Shakespeare Library's Year-long Dissertation Seminar and Raritan Dissertation Fellow. For the 2020-21 academic year, she is an ACLS Fellow.

ENG 426 - Shakespeare and Popular Culture

ENG 320 - Renaissance Theater in Theory and Practice

ENG 315 - Shakespeare: The Jacobean Plays

Global Education: Shakespeare in England (London and Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK)

ENG 316 - Milton

ENG 201 - Intro to Poetry

ENG 101 - Expository Writing

ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2020-1

University and Bevier Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2020-1 [declined]

Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society's Martin Stevens Award for best new essay in early drama studies

Raritan Dissertation Fellowship, Rutgers University, 2019-20

Huntington Exchange Fellowship with Corpus Christi College, Oxford (for research at the Bodleian Library), 2019

Awarded spot on NextGenPlen plenary panel at the Shakespeare Association of America Annual Conference, 2019

Rutgers University English Graduate Symposium Award (for "From Stage to Page: Celebrity Clowns and the Cultural Author-izing of Renaissance Jest Books"), 2018

Rutgers English Department Research Fund (for summer research at the Atlanta Center for Puppetry Arts), 2018

Rutgers Faculty Appreciation Series, Student-Nominated for Undergraduate Mentoring, 2017

Marius Bewley Prize for Best Essay Submitted in Coursework, Honorable Mention (for "Character in Motion: Ben Jonson and Early Modern Puppet Theater"), 2017

Rutgers University English Graduate Symposium Award (for "Constructing Character: Nineteenth-Century Toy Theater, Tableau, and Commodity Culture"), 2017

Research Grant, Bridget Gellert Lyons and Robert Lyons Research Fund, 2017, 2018

Rutgers Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Mellon Summer Research Grant (for archival research at the British Library, British Museum, and Victoria & Albert), 2017

Phi Beta Kappa, Northwestern University, 2014

Modern Language Association

Renaissance Society of America

Shakespeare Association of America

American Society of Theater Research

 Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society


Articles & Chapters:

"Prop Culture: The Shakespearean Clown and His Marotte," Forthcoming in Shakespeare Quarterly (Summer 2021)

"Puppet Theater and the Interpreter Role," Forthcoming in Shakespeare Studies 48 (2020), 152-8.

“Puppet Theater” and “Folly” Forthcoming in Routledge Encyclopedia of the Renaissance World, ed. Kristen Poole. “Knowledge” subject editor Wendy Beth Hyman. (2020).

"King Lear" and "Measure for Measure" in How to Teach a Play: Essential Exercises for Popular Plays, ed. Miriam Chirico and Kelly Younger (Bloomsbury 2020), 78-83.

“Patchwork Play: Nineteenth Century Toy Theater and Participatory Media Culture,” Nineteenth Century Studies 30 (2017-19[publ. 2019]): 25-43. Special issue on “Patchwork, Cut-and-Paste, and Reassembly,” ed. Casie LeGette.

"Puppet Performance and Collaborative Critique: Ben Jonson's Modes of Literary Interpretation," Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 59.2 (Spring 2019): 281-304. [*Martin Stevens Award for best new essay in early drama studies, Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society & *Bridget Gellert Lyons and Robert Lyons Prize, Rutgers University]


Book Reviews:

Catherine A. Henze, Robert Armin and Shakespeare's Performed Songs (New York and London: Routledge, 2017). Forthcoming in Early Theatre 23.1 (June 2020).

Sarah Dustagheer, Shakespeare's Two Playhouses: Repertory and Theater Spaces at the Globe and the Blackfriars, 1599-1613 (Cambridge: Cambrdge UP, 2017). Theatre Survey 59.3 (September 2018): 423-5.


Edited Works:

Nicole Sheriko's edited versions of EEBO-TCP transcriptions of early modern printed drama are now housed in the Folger Shakespeare Library's Digital Anthology of Early Modern English Drama ( [A discussion of this digital humanities project has been published by Martin Mueller, "Shakespeare His Contemporaries: collaborative curation and exploration of Early Modern drama in a digital environment," Digital Humanities Quarterly 8.3 (2014)]



M.A. Rutgers, English - 2017

B.A. Northwestern University, summa cum laude, Honors in English - 2014 [French and Latin minors]