When Women Teach: 

Female Pedagogues on the Early Modern Stage

Sam Nguyen

Email: liennguyen2021@u.northwestern.edu

Faculty Advisor: Kasey Evans


Sam Lien Nguyen is a graduating senior in English and an education enthusiast. Her research lies at the intersection of gender, pedagogy, and performance. Through her work, Sam hopes to explore transformative education as a tool for social progress. In her free time, Sam enjoys reading, learning languages, and baking molten lava cakes.


My full thesis studies dramatic representations of female pedagogues on the early modern stage in Fletcher’s Love’s Cure and Shakespeare’s As You Like It. The condensed thesis examines only As You Like It.

I’ve always been interested in education, especially education for and by women. The early modern stage has provided a site for subversion on many different levels and in many different topics, but especially on the topic of gender. Originally I’d wanted to study how women resist patriarchal orders in the role of students. However, as I kept exploring the two plays, I realized that women wittingly asserted themselves as teachers as well. My thesis was inspired by this observation.

My research lies at the rich intersection of gender, pedagogy, and performance, which is an underexplored topic. There is not a lot of scholarship on Rosalind’s position as a teacher in As You Like It, either. Future researchers can especially build on my investigation of the reversed pedagogical power dynamic (female teacher- male student). In the future, this work can spark a broader conversation about transformative education as a tool for social progress.

I will be joining the Evanston Township High School community as a Design Thinking and Innovation Fellow.