Patricia  Akhimie Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Patricia Akhimie

Associate Professor of English
Rutgers University-Newark

Patricia Akhimie is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University-Newark. She is the author of Shakespeare and the Cultivation of Difference: Race and Conduct in the Early Modern World (Routledge 2018), and co-editor of Travel and Travail: Early Modern Women, English Drama, and the Wider World (University of Nebraska Press). Her research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Ford Foundation, and the John Carter Brown Library.


Patricia Akhimie is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University-Newark. She teaches Shakespeare, Renaissance drama, and travel writing and her research explores race in the early modern period. She is the author of Shakespeare and the Cultivation of Difference: Race and Conduct in the Early Modern World (Routledge 2018). She is co-editor, with Bernadette Andrea of Travel and Travail: Early Modern Women, English Drama and the Wider World (U of Nebraska 2019). She is editing the play Othello for the Arden Shakespeare Fourth Series.

Her recent essay, “‘Bruised with Adversity’: Reading Race in The Comedy of Errors,” in The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment: Gender, Sexuality, and Race, traces the production of class racism and racialized bodies through the stigmatization of bodily marks—bruises—born by subservient figures in the play. Her new project, Leaving Home: Early Modern Women’s Travel, strives to retell the story of women’s travel in the “Age of Discovery” by drawing attention to women’s unseen, unwritten, and illicit travels, and by connecting the history of women’s voluntary travel for pleasure and education with the history of women’s involuntary travel as captives, slaves, exiles, and refugees.

Prof. Akhimie teaches the courses "Shakespeare and Race” and “Race in the Renaissance” in which students examine the ways in which literary works participate in the production of new beliefs about differences between people. In these courses, students ask how and why early modern people began to make distinctions based on differences in skin color, religion, nation and region of origin, and language.


    Ph.D., Columbia University, New York, 2011
    M.F.A., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2002
    B.A., Princeton University, Princeton, 2000

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Shakespeare, Renaissance drama, race, gender, class, conduct, conduct literature, travel, travel writing, performance, stage history



Featured Title
 Featured Title - Shakespeare and the Cultivation of Difference, Akhimie - 1st Edition book cover


Journal of American Studies

‘Fair’ Bianca and ‘Brown’ Kate: Shakespeare and the Mixed-Race Family in José Esquea’s The Taming of the Shrew

Published: Feb 01, 2020 by Journal of American Studies
Authors: Patricia Akhimie
Subjects: Literature, Theater, Art & Visual Culture

This essay explores the world of a new production of The Taming of the Shrew, still in the earliest stages of development, that will employ non-traditional casting and re-envision Katharina (“as brown in hue / as hazelnuts”) “fair” Bianca, as members of a mixed-race family. The production is conceptualized, cast, and rehearsed under the guidance of José Esquea, producer/director of the Soñadores.

Shakespeare Bulletin

Strange Episodes: Race in Stage History

Published: Sep 01, 2009 by Shakespeare Bulletin
Authors: Patricia Akhimie
Subjects: Literature, Theater, Tourism, Hospitality and Events, Gender & Intersectionality Studies

Examines the textual history of the first recorded performance of Hamlet staged aboard a ship anchored off the coast of Sierra Leone in 1607 and described in the surviving diary of Admiral William Keeling. An episode in Shakespearean stage history that remains largely unsubstantiated, the performance's longevity has relied upon the editors of the extant records who have repeatedly become engaged in the cross-racial casting of this ephemeral production.

Studies in Travel Writing

Travel, Drama, and Domesticity: Staging Huswifery in The Sea Voyage

Published: Jun 01, 2009 by Studies in Travel Writing
Authors: Patricia Akhimie
Subjects: Literature, Theater, Tourism, Hospitality and Events, Gender & Intersectionality Studies

This essay re-evaluates John Fletcher and Philip Massinger's The Sea Voyage (1622) by investigating the often elided role of huswifery (women's domestic labour) in early modern English colonial discourse.



Patricia Akhimie and RaceB4Race Colleagues Earn Grant to Explore Roots of Systemic Racism

By: Patricia Akhimie
Subjects: Art & Visual Culture, Classical Studies, Gender & Intersectionality Studies, History, Literature

Foundational role seen for pre-modern race scholars under Andrew W. Mellon Foundation national project

The roots of systemic racism run deep. But how far back are its origins? Rutgers-Newark is joining a network of scholars working to uncover the beginnings of modern conceptions of race and racism through the study of pre-modern times through a External$3.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Region and Enmity: A RaceB4Race® Symposium October 19-22, 2021

By: Patricia Akhimie
Subjects: Applied Arts & Music, Area Studies, Art & Visual Culture, Asian Studies, Classical Studies, Gender & Intersectionality Studies, History, Literature, Middle East Studies, Music, Other, Theater, Theatre & Performance Studies

A virtual collaborative symposium bringing together early modernists, medievalists, and classicists. | Hosted by Rutgers University.

Co-sponsored by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, the Folger Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Arizona State University.

ASU medieval center brings conversations about race to our nation’s capital

By: Patricia Akhimie
Subjects: History, Literature

The Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies will host the Race Before Race symposium to engage the past, ask questions about our present and imagine better futures.’s-capital

Keefe Colloquium: Teaching Shakespeare and Race

By: Patricia Akhimie
Subjects: History, Literature

Given the priority placed on teaching at a liberal arts institution like Lafayette, and the commitment to engaged learning, collaborative interaction, and mentoring of students, it is fitting that the topic selected for the 2019 Colloquium is Teaching Shakespeare and Race. While acknowledging that race lies at the very origins and center of our nation’s history, we recognize that its shaping influence has resulted in our national efforts to continually negotiate necessary and demanding cultural and intellectual terrain. We understand that if we are to graduate students prepared for the complexities of citizenship, careers, and a host of professional and personal relationships beyond college, the acquisition of racial literacy is not an option but a responsibility. By focusing specifically on teaching race, by way of Shakespeare’s cultural preeminence, the colloquium invites dialogue around subjects ranging from pedagogic practices that faculty might employ in effective teaching, student innovation in examining knowledge about race, to considering questions of institutional evolution in the face of changing social demands. Through robust exchange with the Lafayette community of students, faculty, and staff the colloquium seeks to advance our abilities to sustain healthy, powerful discourse that promotes learning in a productive, enriching campus climate.

Race before Race Symposium: A new dialogue on race in pre-modern times

By: Patricia Akhimie
Subjects: Art & Visual Culture, History, Literature

The event gathers scholars from across the US to discuss race in the premodern era.

Hakluyt Society Research Funding & Essay Prize

By: Patricia Akhimie
Subjects: History

Research Funding Initiative from the Hakluyt Society

In furtherance of the principal objects of the Hakluyt Society, to promote the study of historical exploration, travel, and worldwide cultural encounter, the Society, in a new initiative, has established two schemes of research funding. These are:
  • The Hakluyt Society Research Grant, up to six of which will be available per calendar year, with a maximum allocation of £1500 each.
  • The Hakluyt Society Short-Term Fellowship, two of which will be available per calendar year. The Fellowship may be held for a maximum of four months, with a maximum allowance of £1650 per month.  
These funding opportunities are open to anyone whose research interests meet with and promote the objects of the Hakluyt Society. 

The Society was delighted to be able to award four research grants for the year 2018. The recipients are:

Professor Patricia Akhimie, 'Leaving Home: Early Modern Women’s Travel'.
Dr Matthew Coneys, 'Two Accounts of the Shipwreck of the Querina (1431): A Critical Edition and English Translation.'
Dr Giada Pizzoni, 'There is no God nor Devil, no Heaven nor Hell.'
Dr Katherine Roscoe, 'Convicts, Colonialism and Cosmopolitanism in British Port Cities.'

Folger Institute 2018-2019 Long-term Fellows

By: Patricia Akhimie
Subjects: Gender & Intersectionality Studies, Literature, Theater, Theatre & Performance Studies

The Folger Institute is pleased to announce our 2018-2019 cohort of Long-term Fellows. This year we will welcome seven long-term scholars to the Folger: Patricia Akhimie, Liza Blake, Heidi Craig, Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto, Douglas M. Lanier, Simon Newman, and Isaac Stephens.

For the 2018-19 fellowship year, the Folger Institute is especially pleased to announce four fellowships with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and its Grants for Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions (FPIRI). This program, which is so critical to humanists around the United States, is administered by independent centers for advanced study, libraries, and museums in the United States, and sponsors fellowships that provide scholars with research time, a stimulating intellectual environment, and access to resources that might otherwise not be available to them. The Folger is proud to work with the NEH on these endeavors. Our 2018-2019 NEH fellows are Patricia Akhimie (Rutgers University-Newark), Liza Blake (University of Toronto), Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto (University of Pennsylvania), and Isaac Stephens (University of Mississippi).

Off the Shelf: Books on Shakespeare and Race for Black History Month

By: Patricia Akhimie
Subjects: Literature, Theater, Theatre & Performance Studies

This Black History Month, we wanted to read more about Shakespeare and issues of race. So we called the participants in Folger Institute’s Gender, Race, and Early Modern Studies colloquium and asked them to recommend nonfiction works exploring race in Shakespeare’s works and the early modern era. They sent us back a list of five great books (including one that’s so new, we don’t have it in the Folger’s collection yet) and one exciting essay, along with a description of what they liked about each one.

Yale University: Renaissance & Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Colloquia

By: Patricia Akhimie
Subjects: Literature

Event time: 

Friday, February 9, 2018 - 10:30am to 12:30pm
Linsly-Chittenden Hall (LC ), 319
63 High Street 
New Haven,  CT 06511

Literary symposium spotlights new scholars, new approaches

By: Patricia Akhimie

The role of contemporary concerns in the teaching of centuries-old literature was one of the fresh concepts explored during the symposium New Approaches to Early Modern Literature and Culture on Sept. 26, 2016.