About Me


Portrait of Caroline Bicks

In 2017, I joined the English faculty at the University of Maine as the inaugural Stephen E. King Chair in Literature. I also teach at the Bread Loaf School of English in Ripton, VT, and Oxford, England. In my academic work, I specialize in early modern literature and culture, the history of science, and gender studies. My most recent book, Cognition and Girlhood in Shakespeare’s World, came out in 2021 with Cambridge University Press (read an excerpt here: Cognition and Girlhood, Introduction). You can access my newest article on trauma and departure in “The Winter’s Tale” here.

I’m currently working on a book, Monsters in the Archives: My Year of Fear with Stephen King, now under contract with Hogarth Press, Random House’s boutique literary imprint. The book chronicles the year I spent in King’s archives reading through early drafts of his most iconic books — hunting for, discovering, and celebrating how he manipulates the material effects of language to produce the scenes that have stuck in millions of readers’ heads. It delivers never-before-published insights into the master of horror’s process. But it also tells a unique, entertaining story about a grown-up literature professor facing her childhood fears and getting to know the man responsible for them in the first place. 

I love telling my stories, and I’ve performed and published them in places like the New York Times Modern Love column and Caroline’s Comedy Club, and on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” I’ve chronicled falling on my face during my father-daughter dance, navigating the tenure track as half of a “two-body problem,” and my dream date with Dr. Ferber. 

My passion for Shakespeare and a good laugh came together in 2015 when I co-authored a humorous cocktail book with Michelle Ephraim (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) inspired by the Bard’s most dysfunctional characters and storylines — a collaboration that continues to thrive on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency with pieces like “I am Lady Macbeth, and your Facebook post about your kid’s early acceptance to Harvard enrages me,” and “Letters to Santa Written by Shakespeare Characters.” We’ve also created a podcast, Everyday Shakespeare: Where Bard Meets Life, which was named a 2024 Webby Honoree. You can learn more about it all here.

You can view my CV here, and read my most recent McSweeney’s piece, “Common App Essays by Shakespeare Characters.”