Ayanna Thompson is Associate Professor of English, and she is an affiliate faculty in Women & Gender Studies and Film & Media Studies. She specializes in Renaissance drama and focuses on early depictions of race. She is the author of two books:
- Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America (forthcoming, Oxford University Press)
- Performing Race and Torture on the Early Modern Stage (Routledge, 2008)
She is the editor of two books:
- Weyward Macbeth: Intersections of Race and Performance (forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan) (co-edited with Scott Newstok)
- Colorblind Shakespeare: New Perspectives on Race and Performance (Routledge, 2006)
And she is the guest editor of two special editions of scholarly journals:
- "Shakespeare, Race, and Performance," Shakespeare Bulletin (special issue, forthcoming 2009)
- "Actors of Color in Shakespeare," Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation (special issue 4.1, Spring/Summer 2008).
In addition, Professor Thompson's essays and reviews have appeared in Shakespeare Quarterly, Renaissance Quarterly, The Eighteenth Century, Borrowers and Lenders, The Journal of Popular Culture, Textus, and Arthuriana.
Professor Thompson received her A.B. from Columbia University. As a recipient of a Marshall Scholarship, she received her M.A. at Sussex University in England. And she received her Ph.D. from Harvard University, where she studied under Stephen Greenblatt, Marjorie Garber, Barbara Lewalski, and Werner Sollors.
At ASU, Professor Thompson regularly teaches the Survey of Early British Literature (ENG 221), Introduction to Shakespeare (ENG 321), Advanced Shakespeare (ENG 421 & 422), Renaissance Drama: Revenge Tragedies (ENG 423), and various graduate courses on race in the Renaissance. At the Aspen Institute, Professor Thompson serves as a moderator of the Aspen Seminar (formerly the Executive Seminar).