Linda Shenk


Office:233 Ross
527 Farm House Ln.
Ames IA


Courses I Regularly Teach

Engl 312: Communicating Science and Public Engagement
Engl 370: Shakespeare
Engl 540: Drama
Engl 546: Issues in the Study of Literature


Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
M.A., University of Alaska Fairbanks
B.A., James Madison University

Research Areas

Collaborative storytelling; resilience; convergent research across the humanities, social sciences, geosciences, and community knowledges; early modern drama (particularly Shakespeare); science communication and engaging the public

About My Teaching

As a scholar, I examine the ways in which narrative participates—both lightheartedly and pragmatically—in real-world situations, and this balance of pragmatics, fun, and analysis rests at the center of my teaching. My background in theater allows me to do creative staging activities with my literature classes as well as mentor students in developing interactive, engaging science experiences for youth. My students can expect to get up on their feet to stage a scene, write copious analytical comments in their books, tap into their own innate creativity, and learn pragmatic skills.

Recent Publications

Selected Articles and Book Chapters

“Creating Cognitive Ecologies: Shakespeare's Collaborative Storytelling at the Frontiers of Climate Resilience.” (Forthcoming). In Applied Shakespeare. Eds. Marcela Kostihova, Ariane Balizet, Natalie K. Eschenbaum. New York: Routledge


“Minding the Gaps: How Humanists, Climate Scientists, and Communities Can Become Collaborating Storytellers.” (2023). Environmental Humanities. Co-authored with hydrologist Kristie Franz and climate scientist William J. Gutowski.


“Women Taking Action: Multi-session Learning Circles, Storytelling, and an Ecosystem of Relationships for Conservation. (2023). Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 78(3): 245­–59. [This article is a co-production of knowledge with community partners Dr. Jean Eells and Wren Almitra (Women, Food and Ag Network, and the women landowners themselves as co-authors.]


 “Mind the Gaps! Climate Scientists Should Heed Lessons in Collaborative Storytelling from Shakespeare.” (2022). WIREs Climate Change 13 (5): e783.   Co-authored with climate scientist William J. Gutowski.


“Praising Elizabeth I in Latin at Norwich (1578).” 2020. Explorations in Renaissance Culture, 46 (2): 83–110. Winner of Albert W. Fields Award for best article in EIRC of 2020.


“Agents of Change—Together: Using Agent-Based Models to Inspire Social Capital Building for Resilient Communities.” Community Development, 50 (2): 256–72.


Shakespeare’s Comic Topicality in Love’s Labour’s Lost. (2017). English Literary Renaissance.

  Co-edited Collection

Early Modern Improvisations: Essays on History and Literature in Honor of John Watkins. 2024. Eds. Katherine Scheil and Linda Shenk. New York: Routledge.