did his undergraduate work at the University of Rochester and graduate work at Columbia University.  For over 40 years, he taught Shakespeare, dramatic literature and other courses as a member of the English Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He also has held visiting positions at Cornell, Reading (England), Tamkang (Taiwan) and Loyola.  He is the author of several books, as well as numerous articles and reviews, and most recently, the co-editor of Wrestling With Shylock: Jewish Responses to the Merchant of Venice (published by Cambridge University Press in 2016).  At Illinois, he was co-founder and artistic director of the Revels Players (an amateur troupe devoted to early English drama), co-founder and director of a program in Jewish studies, and an affiliate of the Theater Department,  He also did occasional theater reviews for the University radio station, directed plays at his synogogue, and served as dramaturg for a production of The Merchant of Venice.