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Gina Bloom joined the UC Davis English faculty in 2007 and has since become affiliated faculty with the PhD programs in Education and Performance Studies. Before coming to Davis, she taught at the University of Iowa and Lawrence University. Her current areas of interest include early modern English drama (especially Shakespeare), gender and feminist theory, theater history and performance, game studies, digital arts/humanities, and education. Her first book, Voice in Motion: Staging Gender, Shaping Sound in Early Modern England (University of Pennsylvania Press, Material Texts series, 2007), won the award for best book of the year from the The Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. Her second book, Gaming the Stage: Playable Media and the Rise of English Commercial Theater, is published by the University of Michigan Press (Theater: History/Text/Performance series). Thanks to the TOME Initiative at the UC Davis Library, the book is available open access. Bloom also co-edited (with Tom Bishop and Erika T. Lin) Games and Theatre in Shakespeare's England (part of the Cultures of Play, 1300-1700, series from Amsterdam University Press).
Digital projects include essays in the Folger Luminary iPad app for Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream and a collaborative project (with students and faculty in the UCD ModLab) to produce and study a Shakespeare video game, Play the Knave. Currently, Bloom is currently working with teachers in Cape Town South Africa to explore how the game, as a tool for digitally mediated theatrical performance, can support decoloniality in secondary schools. An article she co-authored with South African high school educator and artist Lauren Bates called "Play to Learn: Shakespeare Games as Decolonial Praxis in South African Schools" was recently published in the journal Shakespeare in Southern Africa.
Bloom has held fellowships from the Institute for the Study of Humanities at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the Folger Library, the Huntington Library, and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). And she was the Book Review Editor for the journal Theatre Survey. She is a former Trustee for the Shakespeare Association of America (SAA).
- Runner Up, The Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Outstanding Book Award
- Finalist, George Freedley Memorial Award, Theatre Library Association (TLA)
- Honorable Mention, David Bevington Prize, Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society
“A smart, invigorating intervention into early modern theatre history and historiography. Not only specialists in Renaissance Drama, but also cultural historians, game and gaming scholars, and specialists in performance studies will find this book accessible and engaging. Bloom moves masterfully across scholarly registers, showing how theatre remembers and reconstitutes the chanciness of everyday life.”
—Ellen MacKay, University of Chicago
“Bloom's central argument concerns the ways the strategies of playing different kinds of games are worked into the action of early modern drama, and how the affectual and kinesthetic structure of playing/watching these games provides an index into the plays’ potential theatrical experience . . . a deeply researched, well-conceived, thoroughly engrossing book.”
—W. B. Worthen, Barnard College, Columbia University
- Best Book of the Year (monograph), Society for the Study of Early Modern Women
"This book should be given pride of place on every feminist bookshelf."—Theatre Journal
"one of the best books of the year, as enjoyable as it is significant."—"Recent Studies in Tudor and Stuart Drama," Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900.
Other Selected Publications
- Gina Bloom and Amanda Shores, “Play the Knave Theatre Videogame in Schools: From Glitchy Connections to Virtual Collaboration.” In Reimagining Shakespeare Education: Teaching and Learning through Collaboration, ed. Liam E. Semler, Claire Hansen, and Jacqueline Manuel (Cambridge University Press, 2023).
- Gina Bloom and Lauren Bates, “Play to Learn: Shakespeare as Decolonial Praxis in South African Schools.” Shakespeare in Southern Africa 34 (2021): 7-22.
- Gina Bloom, Nicholas Toothman, and Evan Buswell, “Playful Pedagogy and Social Justice: Digital Embodiment in the Shakespeare Classroom.” Shakespeare Survey 74, special issue on “Shakespeare and Education” (2021): 30-50.
- Gina Bloom, "Play the Knave." In Learning, Education, and Games, Volume 3: 100 Games to Use in the Classroom and Beyond. Ed. Karen Schrier. ETC Press, Carnegie Mellon University.
- Gina Bloom,“Theater History in 3D: The Digital Early Modern in the Age of the Interface.” English Literary Renaissance, special issue on “The State of Renaissance Studies II,” 50.1 (2019): 8-16.
- Susan Bennet and Gina Bloom, "Introduction" to special Issue on “Shakespeare and Performance Studies: A Dialogue.” Shakespeare Bulletin 35.3 (2017).
- Gina Bloom, Sawyer Kemp, Nicholas Toothman, and Evan Buswell, "'A Whole Theater of Others': Amateur Acting and Immersive Spectatorship in the Digital Shakespeare Game Play the Knave." Shakespeare Quarterly 67.4 (2016): 408-430.
- Gina Bloom, "Videogame Shakespeare: Enskilling Audiences through Theater-Making Games." Shakespeare Studies 43, special forum on "Skill," ed. Evelyn Tribble (2015): 114-27.
- Gina Bloom, Anston Bosman and William N. West, "Ophelia's Intertheatricality, or, How Performance is History." Theatre Journal 65 (2013): 165-82.
- Gina Bloom, "'My Feet See Better Than My Eyes: Spatial Mastery and the Game of Masculinity in Arden of Faversham's Amphitheatre." Theatre Survey 53.1 (2012): 5-28.
- Gina Bloom, "'Boy Eternal': Aging, Games, and Masculinity in The Winter's Tale." English Literary Renaissance 40.3 (2010): 329-56.
- Gina Bloom, "Manly Drunkenness: Binge Drinking as Disciplined Play." Masculinity and the Metropolis of Vice, 1550-1650. Eds. Amanda Bailey and Roze Hentschell (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2010), 21-44.
- Gina Bloom, "Words Made of Breath: Gender and Vocal Agency in King John." Shakespeare Studies 33 (2005): 125-55.
- Gina Bloom, "Localizing Disembodied Voice in Sandys' Translation of 'Narcissus and Echo.'" In Ovid and the Renaissance Body, ed. Goran Stanivukovic (Toronto University Press, 2002), 129-54.
- Gina Bloom, "'Thy Voice Squeaks': Listening for Masculinity on the Early Modern Stage." Renaissance Drama 29 (2000): 39-71.
Interviews / Press
- "Reimagining Shakespeare's Plays as Virtual Reality Game." BBC News (Apr. 16, 2016).
- "Stratford Festival Unveils Custom Video Game to Complement Love's Labour's Lost." Beacon Herald (Aug. 5, 2015).
- "Gamer's Unite in Academia." The California Aggie (Jan. 8, 2015).
- Shakespeare From Page to Stage with Jane Smiley (Nov. 2008).
- M.A., Ph.D., and Certificate in Women's Studies, University of Michigan
- B.A., University of Pennsylvania