Peter Platt

English Department Chair, Ann Whitney Olin Professor of English


English, Medieval & Renaissance Studies


421 Barnard Hall
MW 10:15-11:15 am (must sign up on office door)


Peter G. Platt joined the Barnard faculty in 1994. Currently Chair of the English Department, he also was Chair from 2008-2014.  He is affiliated with—and for many years was the Chair of—Barnard's Medieval and Renaissance Studies program. 

Professor Platt teaches courses in Shakespeare, Renaissance drama, Renaissance studies, and critical writing. The author of Shakespeare and the Culture of Paradox and Reason Diminished: Shakespeare and the Marvelous, he recently edited, with Stephen Greenblatt, Shakespeare's Montaigne.  He is also the editor of Wonders, Marvels, and Monsters in Early Modern Culture. He has written articles on Shakespeare, Renaissance poetics and rhetoric, and John Florio.  His Shakespeare's Essays: Sampling Montaigne from Hamlet to The Tempest was published in 2020.

  • D.Phil., Oxford University
  • M.A., Middlebury College
  • B.A., Yale University

  • Shakespeare
  • Renaissance studies
  • Renaissance drama
  • History of rhetoric

  • ENGL BC3159: English Colloquium
  • ENGL BC3163: Shakespeare I
  • ENGL BC3164: Shakespeare II
  • ENGL BC3169: Renaissance Drama
  • ENGL BC3193  Critical Writing
  • ENGL BC3915: Late Shakespeare (Senior Seminar)

Shakespeare's Essays: Sampling Montaigne from Hamlet to The Tempest (Edinburgh University Press, 2020)

Shakespeare's Montaigne, co-editor (New York Review Books, 2014)

Shakespeare and the Culture of Paradox (Ashgate, 2009)

Wonders, Marvels, and Monsters in Early Modern Culture, editor (University of Delaware Press, 1999)

Reason Diminished: Shakespeare and the Marvelous (University of Nebraska Press, 1997)

In The News

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author and alumna will oversee the creative writing program to help guide students on their journeys as writers. 

April 19, 2022