Peter G. Platt

Peter Platt

Professor of English


English, Medieval & Renaissance Studies


421 Barnard Hall


Peter G. Platt joined the Barnard faculty in 1994. Currently Ann Whitney Olin Professor of English, he was Chair of the department from 2008 to 2014 and from 2018 to 2023.  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

With the premiere of the alumna’s Barbie movie, Gerwig’s professors reflect on the student and the program that helped inspire her.

July 20, 2023

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

Each spring, Barnard College presents selected faculty with awards to honor their commitment to exceptional teaching and research. Below are this year’s honorees.

May 20, 2019