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Waugaman named Oxfordian of the Year 2021

by Linda Theil

Waugaman taking his first selfie in his home office in Potomac Maryland

The Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship named Richard Waugaman, MD, Oxfordian of the Year 2021 at their annual conference on October 9, 2021.

Waugaman is a clinical professor of psychiatry on the faculty of Georgetown University, a training and supervising analyst emeritus with the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute, and is in private practice of psychiatry and psychoanalysis in Potomac, Maryland.

For over a decade Waugaman has published extensively on the topic of Shakespeare authorship including work in journals outside the normal reach of the subject such as Psychoanalytic Quarterly, the International Journal of Psychoanalytic Studies, and Contemporary Psychoanalysis. He has presented on the topic before such diverse venues as the International Psychoanalytic Congress, the New Directions Conference, the Shakespeare Association of America, the American Shakespeare Center, and the Cosmos Club in Washington DC. A complete list of his research is available on his Georgetown University webpage and on his personal site, The Oxfreudian. Waugaman's latest publication continuing his research in the translation of Shakespearean sources is "Did Edward deVere Translate Boccaccio's Decameron, Published in 1620?" to appear in this year's SOF annual journal The Oxfordian 22.

He shared a few thoughts with Oberon this week.

Does receiving this accolade impact your perception of your body of work on the Shakespearean authorship?

I'm thrilled to have been honored with this award, especially considering how many other Oxfordians are equally deserving. It feels like an important validation of the Oxfordian research I've been doing for twenty years -- ever since I read the New York Times article in February, 2002 about Roger Stritmatter's PhD dissertation.

One thing that especially pleases me about the award is that I know not all my publications have been met with universal acceptance by fellow Oxfordians -- in particular, my efforts to expand the number of Oxford's literary works. Few seem to have accepted my attribution of the anonymous Arte of English Poesie to Oxford. Not only has George Puttenham been accepted by Stratfordians, but Oxfordians have previously attributed the work to Lumley. As Marcy North has observed, speculative attributions eventually seem to get carved in stone. So it's an uphill battle to overturn them. But I've been pleased that I frequently run across further links between Oxford's work -- including unusual words in the Shakespeare canon  -- and Arte.

Previous Oxfordians have speculated that Oxford did some or all of the translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses that was signed by his uncle, Arthur Golding. I tried to support that attribution with close reading and philological evidence.

To my knowledge, Oxfordians had not previously attributed the anonymous 1620 translation of Boccaccio's Decameron to Oxford, so I felt lucky to stumble upon that during the pandemic. All this to say that my award may encourage Oxfordians to take a fresh look at my work, and may enhance its credibility.

Do you think you may create a momento, real or virtual, to emphasize the impact of this acknowledgment of your worth to the Shakespearean community?

Well, having an impact on the Shakespeare community is a lot for an Oxfordian to hope for. It's different with the global community of Renaissance scholars, though. I've felt warmly accepted by the Renaissance Association of America. It's a truly international organization, despite its name. Years ago, I gave a paper at one of its regional meetings, then I gave my paper on Decameron at the 2021 national meeting. Several years ago, I accepted the book-review editor's invitation to become one of their regular reviewers of books on Shakespeare.

I've been delighted by how quickly the announcement of my award has had an impact on the psychoanalytic community -- more so than my 100 publications on Shakespeare, many in analytic journals. It has seemed to give me an important degree of validation among psychoanalysts. I got dozens of congratulatory emails, and a couple of colleagues told me they are now Oxfordians.

There was only one dissenting voice on the private, members' listserv of The American Psychoanalytic Association, from an English professor who is involved in the association.

He wrote, "It would be better for psychoanalysis if the Oxfordian movement were not offered legitimacy."

A colleague replied that the issue ". . . concerns psychoanalytic sociological questions about the distribution of authority, how truth or authenticity is attributed, who gets to construct knowledge, and how power is achieved and distributed within professions."

I agree.

Video: "The Earl of Oxford wrote the first English translation of Boccaccio's Decameron" by Richard M. Waugaman, MD, 2021


"Professor Waugaman names Oxfordian of the Year" Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship news weblog,

Georgetown University: Professor Richard Waugaman,

The Oxfreudian,

"A Historic Whodunit: If Shakespeare Didn't, Who Did?" by William S. Niederkorn, New York Times, Feb. 10, 2002,

Renaissance Society of America,

"The Arte of English Poesie: The Case for Edward DeVere's Authorship" by Richard M Waugaman, Brief Chronicles Vol 11 (2010) and

"Did Edward deVere Translate Boccaccio's Decameron, Published in 1620?" by Richard M Waugaman, MD, TBP The Oxfordian 22 (2021) pre-publication at

Video: "The Earl of Oxford wrote the first English translation of Boccaccio's Decameron" by Richard M. Waugaman, MD, 2021

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