Rebecca Bushnell

Rebecca  Bushnell

School of Arts and Sciences Board of Overseers Emerita Professor, English


Rebecca Bushnell is the School of Arts and Sciences Board of Overseers Emerita Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.  She received a BA from Swarthmore, an MA from Bryn Mawr, and a Ph.D in Comparative Literature from Princeton University. Her monographs include Prophesying Tragedy: Sign and Voice in Sophocles' Theban Plays (1988); Tragedies of Tyrants: Political Thought and Theater in The English Renaissance (1990); A Culture of Teaching: Early Modern Humanism in Theory and Practice (1996); Green DesireImagining Early Modern English Gardens (2003); Tragedy: A Short Introduction (2008); and  Tragic Time in Drama, Film, and Videogames: The Future in the Instant (2016). She has also edited A Companion to Tragedy (2005) and a multi-volume Cultural History of Tragedy (2019)Her most recent project is Nature Writing Before 1700, an anthology of excerpts of premodern writing about the natural world. She is also working on a book on theater and videogames.

Professor Bushnell has received an ACLS research fellowship and the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, as well as an NEH grant for Teaching with Technology. Professor Bushnell served as Associate Dean for the Humanities in the School of Arts and Sciences from 1998-2003, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2003-2004, and Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences from 2005-2013.  She was  President of the Shakespeare Association of America. She is also a member of the Board of Governors of the Folger Shakespeare Library, and  Chair of the Board of Trustees of Princeton Day School.


Ph.D. Princeton University

M.A. Princeton University

M.A. Bryn Mawr College

B.A. Swarthmore College