Prof. Shirley Zisser

Department of English and American Studies
School of Cultural Studies
חוג לספרות אנגלית ולימודים אמריקניים סגל אקדמי בכיר
Prof. Shirley Zisser
Phone: 03-6409683
Fax: 03-6407312
Office: Webb - School of Languages, 509

Research and Teaching




Professor Shirley Sharon-Zisser's research focuses on Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis in its clinical and theoretical aspects as well as in it intersections with literary theory, rhetoric, and the visual arts and has published extensively on these topics in journals and book collections in English, Hebrew, and French. She is the author of The Risks of Simile in Renaissance Rhetoric (2001) and of Art, Death and Lacanian Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2007, with Efrat Biberman) and the editor of Critical Essays on Shakespeare's 'A Lover's Complaint' : Suffering Ecstasy (Ashgate, 2006), and of Lacanian Interpertations of Shakespeare (2010, with Douglas Brooks), Her current book project, on psychorhetoric, interrogates the nexus of rhetorical and literary theory and the unconscious as embodied and develops the concept of rhetorical erotogenicity. She underwent formation as a Lacanian psychoanalyst in Israel and France, and is also a practicing psychoanalyst, member of tthe   World Association of Psychoanalysis - AMP). She also holds an appointment as a Teacher of the Freudian Field, and teaches at the Lacanian Network in Israel (under the auspices of the Department of Psychoanalysis, University of Paris-8). She has lectured internationally, including at Charles University, Prague, Ludwig Maximilian Universuty of Munich,  Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, the Psychoanalyticsche Bibliotek Berlin, and Middlesex University, London.      

Professor Sharon-Zisser earned her doctorate with distinction from Tel Aviv University and was a post-doctoral fellow at Cornell University, where she worked with Professor Barbara Correll. Between 2009-2015 she served as Chair of the Department of English and American Studies at Tel Aviv University. Among the grants and scholarships she received are an ISF grant for book publication and a Fulbright Fellowship. 

Professor Sharon-Zisser regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on psychoanalysis, literature, and literary theory, and has supervised and supervises numerous doctoral dissertations.



  • 1982-1986: Tel Aviv University, BA in English and Philosophy (magna cum laude)
  • 1987-1990: Tel Aviv University, MA in English (summa cum laude)
  • 1990-1996: Tel Aviv University, PhD in English (summa cum laude)
  • 1996-1997: Cornell University, Postdoctoral Fellowship 
  • 2004-2007: Lesley University, Israel Extension, MA in Expressive Therapy (summa cum laude)
  • 2000-2005: Clinical Section of Tel Aviv/Jerusalem (under the auspices of the Department of Psychoanalysis, University of Paris VIII, Paris, France), Psychoanalysis
  • 2002-2003: Avni Institute of Fine Arts, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Herzeliya Museum of Modern Art, Visual Arts
  • 2005-2009: Center for Lacanian Studies, Tel Aviv (under the auspices of the Department of Psychoanalysis, University of Paris VIII, Paris, France), Psychoanalysis
  • 2005-2006: Abarbanel Psychiatric Hospital, Bat Yam, Israel; Children Outpatient Clinic, Art Therapy
  • 2006-2012: Kfar Ofarim Center for Autistic Adults, Art Therapy and Clinic in Psychoanalytic Orientation
  • 2009-Present:  Lacanian Psychoanalysis
  • 1997-2000: Tel Aviv University, Department of English and American Studies, Lecturer
  • 2000-2007: Tel Aviv University, Department of English and American Studies, Senior Lecturer
  • 2004-present: Tel Aviv University, Department of English and American Studies, Associate Professor
  • 2007-2015: Tel Aviv University, Department of English and American Studies, Chair
  • 2005-Present: Center for Lacanian Studies, Tel Aviv (under the auspices of the department of Psychoanalysis, University of Paris VIII, Paris, France), Teacher of the Freudian Field (appointed by Jacques-Alain Miller)
  • 2007-2009: "Hamidrasha" School of Art, Beit Berl Academic College, Israel, Graduate Program in Clinical Art Therapy, Academic Consultant
  • GIEP (Israeli Society of the New Lacanian School, NLS)
  • NLS (New Lacanian School)
  • AMP (World Association of Psychanalysis)
  • 2014: ISF grant for publication expenses of the book Death is the Mother of Beauty (Tel Aviv University Press, in Hebrew). With Efrat Biberman.  



1. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. The Risks of Simile in Renaissance RhetoricNew Studies in Aesthetics, vol. 32. New York: Lang, 2000 (378 pp).

2. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley, editor. Critical Essays on Shakespeare’s  A Lover’s Complaint: Suffering Ecstasy. London: Ashgate, 2006 (214 pp).

3. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley and Douglas Brooks, editors. Lacanian Interpretations of Shakespeare. Mellen, 2010.

4. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley, and Efrat Biberman. Death is the Mother of Beauty: On Death Drive in the Arts. Tel Aviv University Press, 2015 (in Hebrew). English version: Art, Death and Lacanian Psychoanalysis. London: Routledge, 2017.

Refereed Articles

1. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “Silence and Darkness in Paradise Lost.” Milton Studies 25 (1989): 191-214.

2. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “The Endless Knot: Aspects of Self-Reflexivity in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” REAL 6 (1989):67-100.

3. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “Plot as Rhetoric in Audun’s Story.” Gardar 22 (1991):27-36.

4. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “The Squire’s Tale and the Limits of Non-Mimetic Fiction.” Chaucer Review 26.4 (1992):377-394.

5. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “A Distinction No Longer of Use: Evolutionary Discourse and the Disappearance of the Trope/Figure Binarism.” Rhetorica 11 (1993):321-342.

6. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “To ‘See -- Comparatively’: Emily Dickinson’s Use of Simile.” The Emily Dickinson Journal 3.1 (1994): 59-84.  Also accepted by Language and Style (declined).

7. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “Undoing the ‘Tyrranous Advantage’: Renaissance Rhetoric and the Subduing of Female Power.” Women’s Studies 24 (1995):247-271.

8. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “‘Illustrer nôtre langue maternelle’: Illustrative Similes and Failed Phallic Economy in Early Modern Rhetoric.” Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies 9.2 (1997): 393-419.

9. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “Tropes and Topazes: The Colonialist Tropology of the Tropics in John Holmes’s Art of Rhetoric and Grammarian’s Astronomy.” Textual Practice 11.2 (1997):285-303. 

10. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “‘Similes Hollow’d With Sighs’: The Transferential Erotics of the Similaic Copula in Shakespeare’s ‘A Lover’s Complaint.’” Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies 11.1 (1999): 185-210.

11. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “Rhetorical Copulas/Bodily Copulations in Medieval and Renaissance Texts.” Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies 11.1 (1999):109-114.

12. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “Wanting Word of Woman, Subversive Speech of Simile: Écriture féminine and the Erotics of Rhetoric.” Intertexts 3.1 (1998): 33-55. 

13. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “Re-(de)-Erecting Collatine: Castrative collatio in The Rape of Lucrece.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 29.3 (1999): 55-70.  

14. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “The Erotics of Rhetorical Copulas, Archaic to Early Modern.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 29.3 (1999): 4-10.  

15. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “The Rhetoric of Middle Distance: Bi-Directional Similes and the Deconstruction of Racism in Faulkner’s Light in August.” Language and Style (forthcoming).

16. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “From ‘Guest’ to Occupier?: Unstable Hospitality and the Ahistoricity of Tropology in the Discourse of Rhetoric.” Philosophy and Rhetoric 32.4 (1999):309-333.

17. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “”Some Little Language Such as Lovers Use’: Virginia Woolf’s Elemental Erotics of Simile.” American Imago 58.2 (2001):567-595.

18. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “Judaism and Jouissance in Two Medieval Texts” (with Gila Aloni). Canadian Review of Comparative Literature 28.2-3 (2001):159-192.

19. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley "On Feminine Jouissance in the Envelope of Sense." Freudian Notebooks 11 (2002): 54-68. (in Hebrew).   

20. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “Geoffrey Chaucer’s 'lyne orientale': Mediterranean Languages in the Treatise on the Astrolabe” (with Gila Aloni). Mediterranean Historical Review 16. 2 (2001): 69-78.       

21. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “The Metrics of Cognition: Cognitive Poetics and the Unconscious.” Pragmatics and Cognition 11.1(2003):171-190.

22. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "The Philosophy of the Nostrils: Freud to Justine Frank." Freudian Notebooks 13 (2003): 65-91(in Hebrew).

23. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “'The Beginning that is Dead and Buried’: The Rhetorical Source of the Drive in the Rosalynd Texts.”  Journal of Lacanian Studies 2.2 (2004):210-229.

24. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "On Male Homosexuality in both Sexes: Freud, Fliess, and Archaic Sexuality." Gender Forum, special issue on "Male Accounts" (2004).  

25. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "Shakespeare's A Lover's Complaint as a Case of Cultural Foreclosure." Journal of Lacanian Studies 2005. 3.2 (2005):271-294.

26. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. From Sinthome-rule to Sinthome Roulettes: n the Real and the Ethical in Literary Style." Et Lacan 2 (2006): 21-28. (In Hebrew).

27. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "Lacan with Joyce: Towards Singularity." Makhbar-Ot: A Psychoanalytical Journal 1 (2006):104-111. (in Hebrew).

28. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "Eve's Sinthome: On the Phallus and the Combinatory of Hebrew Letters." Almanac of Psychoanalysis 5 (2006), special issue on "The Names of the Father in Religions and Culture." 193-201.

29. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "The Prior Root: The Transit through Hebrew in The Prioress's Tale"  (with Gila Aloni). Applied Semiotics 17 (2006): 54-64. 

30. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "Past-Orality: The Time of Arcadia (or the Time of the Object." Makhbar-Ot: A Psychoanalytical Journal 2 (2007):17-27. (In Hebrew). 

31. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "Runes and Ruins." Makhbar-Ot: A Psychoanalytical Journal 2 (2007): 177-183.

32. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "On Writing and Femininity, or the Non-Anxiety of Feminism." Makhbar-Ot: A Psychoanalytical Journal 2 (2007): 186-195.

33. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "On George Sylvester Viereck and Glimpses of the Great: An Introduction to Viereck's Interview with Freud." Makhbar-Ot: A Psychoanalytical Journal  2 (2007): 63-66.  

34. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. Topos, Eu-Topia, Topology: A Lacanian Theory of Utopia." Utopies: Memoire et Imaginaire, ed. Ilana Zinguer and Ruth Amar. Bleue Aule 2008.

35. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "Pauline Theology and the Letter of Hebrew Jouissance: The Case of the the Wife of Ba(i)th." Makhbar-Ot: A Psychoanalytical Journal  2 (2008): 79-84. (In Hebrew)

36. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "The Collage of Transmission: On Hollowing and Marking as Conditions of the Leap." (a): A Journal of Culture and the Unconscious.

37. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "Thin(k)ging Shakespeare." Pragmatics and Cognition 17.1 (2009):177-195.  

38. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley.  "'Love's Passives are its Activest Part'": A Psychoanalytic Aesthetics of Suffering Ecstasy in Medicine and n the Visual Arts." Et Lacan: Psychoanalytical Journal 4 (2009): 65-82.

39. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "P(e)ara-Dire: On Dante's Sinthomatic Use of the Semblant."  Papers of the Association Mondiale de Psychanalyse 5 (2009). (translations into French and Spanish).

40. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "The Prolepsis of Being, the Ellipsis of the Subject: On the Rhetorical Structure of the School." Et Lacan 5 (2010). 

41. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "The two Freudian Theories of Anxiety." Makhbar-Ot: A Psychoanalytical Journal 4 (2011).

42. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "Interpretation as an Encounter." Makhbar-Ot: A Psychoanalytical Journal 4 (2011).

43. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley "Anxiety is of the Order of the Image." Makhbar-Ot: A Psychoanalytical Journal 4 (2011).

44. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "Virginia Woolf's Automortography." Et Lacan: A Psychoanalytical Journal 6 (2011).  

45. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "Resistance au Travaille." Mental (a clinical journal of the New Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis) (2011).

46. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "L'ironie de la feminite." Mental (a clinical journal of the New Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis) (2012).

47. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “’Calliope’s Sc(D)ream’: Feminine Sexuality in Aristotle’s Works on Language.” The Letter: Irish Journal of Lacanian Psychoanalysis. 62 (2016):37-64.   

48. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “The Signifier in Motion: The Movement of Language in Psychoanalysis and in Aristotle’s Linguistic Theory.” Fractal: Revista de Psicologia. 28.3 (2016):307-315.

49. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “Art as Subjective Solution: A Lacanian Theory of Expressive Therapy.” Inscape: An International Journal of Art Therapy. 2017:1-12.

Chapters in Books  

1. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley.  “Richard Sherry.” Renaissance Rhetoricians, ed. Edward Malone. New York: Bruccoli Clark Layman, 2001, 235-248.

2. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “Archaic Subjectivity and/as Controversy.” In Subjectivity and Controversy, eds. Marcelo Dascal and Pierluigi Barrotta. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2005. 371-394.

3. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "Generating Critical Dialogue on Shakespeare’s A Lover’s Complaint" (with Stephen Whitworth). In Critical Essays on Shakespeare’s A Lover’s Complaint (Ashgate, 2006), 1-54.

4. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "‘’True to Bondage: The Rhetorical Forms of Female Masochism in Shakespeare’s A Lover’s Complaint." In Critical Essays on Shakespeare’s A Lover’s Complaint (Ashgate, 2006), 179-190.

5. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "Eating Time: Sigalit Landau's Rhetoric of Temp-Orality." Sigalit Landau, ed. Gabrielle Horn and Ruth Ronen (Berlin: Hantje Cantz and KW Museum for Contemporary Art, 2007), 205-217.  

6. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "The Poetic Function from Jakobson to Lacan: A Lacanian Theory of Poetics" Prague School and Theories of Structure, ed. Martin Prochazka, Jan Cermak and Christopher Norris. Prague: Litteraria Pragnesia, 2009, 281-293. 

7. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley.  "Rhetorical Erotogenicity: Shakespeare's Sonnets after Lacan's Borromean Clinic.’  Lacanian Interpretations of Shakespeare. Mellen, 2010. 75-110.

8. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "Lacan and the Renaissance." Lacanian Interpretations of Shakespeare, Mellen, 2010. 1-24.

9. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. The 'Hellish Tatoo': Schizography in Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart." Literature and Psychoanalysis. Ed. Alvin Henry. Cambridge Scholars' Press, 2013. 138-176.

Papers Presented at Scientific Meetings and Published in Proceedings

1. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. “Rhetorical Simulation, The Myth of Simonides, The Rites of Repression: A Semiotic Analysis of Their Archaic Interrelation.” Myths, Rites, Simulacra: Semiotic Viewpoints. Eds. Jeff Bernard and Gloria Withalm. Vienna: OGA, 2000. 419-432. 

2. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "Erotogenic Aesthetics:After Freud's Three Essays on Sexuality." Other Sex Proceedings, Tel Aviv, 2005. 

3. "Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. The Topological Mortography of the Palimpsest: Towards a Lacanian Aesthetics of the Writing of Death in the Photographic Act." Constructions of Death, Mourning, and Memory Proceedings. New Jersey: WAPACC, 2006. 44-48.

4. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "At the Phoneme's Limit: Writing the Sinthome." Proceedings of GIEP work day with Antoni Vicens, January 2010.  (in Hebrew).

5. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "Venir, tomber, de-venir." TLON: papers of the Congress of the AMP (World Association of Psychoanalysis), Paris, April 2010.


1. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley, and James Paxson, Guest Editors. “Rhetorical Copulas/Bodily Copulations in Medieval and Renaissance Texts.” Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 11.1 (1999).

2. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley, Guest Editor. “The Erotics of Rhetorical Copulas, Archaic to Early    Modern.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 29.3 (1999).

Other Publications

1. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. Article in Encyclopedia: "Rhetoric". Feminist Literary Theory. Ed. Beth Kowaleski-Wallace. New York: Garland, 1997. 348-349.

2. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. Response to Efrat Biberman's 'Remembering the Future." Time and Memory. (Netherlands: Brill, 2006), 275-276.

3. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. "Michele Montrelay: An Interview." Mi-Kan: A Literary Journal (2010).

Book Reviews

1. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. On G. Beiner's Shakespeare's Agonistic Comedy (Fulrleigh Dickinson University Press, 1994). Poetics Today 1996.

2. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. On Andrea Lunsford’s Reclaiming Rhetorica (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995). Rhetorica 16:4 (1998):433-435.  

3. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. On Giambattista Vico's The Art of Rhetoric, Trans. and Eds. Giorgio A. Pinton and Arthur W. Shippee (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1996). Pragmatics and Cognition (1999):426-432. 

4. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. On The Cambridge Companion to Lacan. Ed. Jean-Michel Rabate. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003). American Imago 62.3 (2005): 381-383.   

5. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. On Catherine Cox's The Judaic Other in Dante, Chaucer and the Gawain-Poet (University Press of Florida, 2005). Arthuriana  16.4 (2006).  

6. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley. On Brian Vickers's Shakespeare's A Lover's Complaint and John Davies  of Hereford (Cambridge University Press, 2007). Lacanian Interpretations of Shakespeare. Mellen (2010).  539-548.

Tel Aviv University makes every effort to respect copyright. If you own copyright to the content contained
here and / or the use of such content is in your opinion infringing, Contact us as soon as possible >>