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Peter Donaldson
Ford Foundation Professor in the Humanities
Office: 14N-431  .  PBX: 617-253-1447  .  Email: psdlit@mit.edu

Peter Donaldson Research Interests: Shakespeare; Shakespeare on film; Renaissance literature; Machiavelli; educational technology and digital archives

Peter S. Donaldson was educated at Columbia (BA 64, PhD 74) and Cambridge (BA 66 MA 70), where he held the Euretta J. Kellett Fellowship. His early research on the convergence of Machiavellian and sacred politics led to the publication of a previously unknown treatise by Bishop Stephen Gardiner, Queen Mary's Chancellor, which uses passages from The Prince to reflect on English dynastic politics, and eventually to Machiavelli and Mystery of State (Cambridge U Press, 1988). Since the late 1980s he has focussed on two major research areas: Shakespeare on Film (Shakespearean Films/Shakespearean Directors and a series of articles now being revised for a book on Shakespeare and Media Allegory) and electronic projects involving Shakespeare across media. These include the Shakespeare Electronic Archive (http://shea.mit.edu), Hamlet on the Ramparts (http://shea.mit.edu/ramparts) and XMAS: Cross-Media Annotation System, which supports the use of DVDs, images, and texts in student on-line discussions, in class presentations and multimedia essays (http://web.mit.edu/shakspere/xmas). Donaldson has also been a pioneer in the use of media-rich presentations for scholarly and intepretive use, beginning with "Ghostly Texts and Virtual Performances: Old Hamlet in New Media" (SAA Plenary, 1993) and continuing with multimedia essay/presentations on many of the recent wave of Shakespeare films (e.g. "Digital Archives and Sibylline Fragments" Postmodern Culture 8.2 [1998] on Prospero's Books, online at Project Muse and at http://shea.mit.edu/eob). Donaldson is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (UK), has held research fellowships from the NEH and ACLS, and was the first Lloyd Davis Visiting Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Queensland (2006). In his spare time he takes pictures of small flowers in Vermont with a T-90 and collects Konica Pop cameras.

Head of Literature, 1990-2005
Ann Fetter Friedlaender Professor of Humanities, 1993-1998
Class of 1960 Fellow for Excellence in Teaching, 2001-2003



Shakespearean Films/Shakespearean Directors
Unwin Hyman, 1990.

Machiavelli and Mystery of State
Cambridge University Press, 1988

A Machiavellian Treatise by Stephen Gardiner
Cambridge University Press, 1976


Selected Articles

"Hamlet among the Pixelvisionaries: Video Art, Authenticity and Wisdom in Michael Almeryeda's Hamlet" A Concise Companion to Shakespeare on Screen. Ed. Diana Henderson. Oxford: Blackwell's, 2006: 216-37.

"Game Space/Tragic Space: Julie Taymor's Titus" in Barbara Hodgdon, ed., A Companion to Shakespeare and Performance. Eds. Barbara Hodgdon and William Worthen. Oxford: Blackwell's, 2005: 457-477.

"The Shakespeare Electronic Archive: Tools for On-Line learning and Scholarship" The Internet and the University: Forum 2003. Eds. Maureen E. Devlin, Richard Larson and Joel Myerson. Boulder: Educause: 2004 : 61-92

"'Let's Be Going:' A Parent Reads GeekCereal" Rethinking Media Change: The Aesthetics of Transition. Eds. David Thorburn and Henry Jenkins. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003: 253-260. Hypertext version at http://web.mit.edu/m-i-t/articles/index_donaldson.html

"Shakespeare in the Age of Post-Mechanical Reproduction: Sexual and Electronic Magic in Prospero's Books," Shakespeare the Movie II Eds. Richard Burt and Lynda E. Boose. New York: Routledge, 2003: 105-119. First appeared in Shakespeare the Movie, Eds. Lynda E. Boose and Richard Burt. Routledge, 1997: 148-168.

"The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Film, Russell Jackson, ed., and Kenneth Rothwell, A History of Shakespeare on Screen." (Review Essay). Shakespeare Studies 31 (2003): 240-61.

"'Two of Both Kinds': Marriage and Modernism in Peter Hall's Midsummer Night's Dream" The Reel Shakespeare: Alternative Shakespeare and Theory, Eds. Lisa Starks and Courtney Lehmann. American University Presses, 2002: 43-58.

"Cinema and the Kingdom of Death: Richard Loncraine's Richard III" Shakespeare Quarterly 52.2 (Summer, 2002): 241-259.

"'In Fair Verona:' Media, Spectacle and Performance in William Shakespeare's Romeo+Juliet" Shakespeare after Mass Media, Ed. Richard Burt. Palgrave, 2002: 59-82.

"'All which it inherit:' Shakespeare, Globes and Global Media" Shakespeare Survey 52 (1999): 183-200.

"The Electronic Archive in the Classroom: Multimedia Shakespeare at MIT," in Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance ed. Milla Riggio. New York: MLA,1999: 390-412

"Digital Archives and Sibylline Fragments: The Tempest and the End of Books," Postmodern Culture 8.2 (Jan., 1998). Special Issue on Film. (Online Journal at http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/postmodern_culture/ also at: http://shea.mit.edu/eob.

"Shakespeare and Electronic Textuality: Digital Archive as Expanded Text," Electronic Text: Investigations in Method and Theory, Ed. Kathryn Sutherland Oxford: Clarendon Pres, 1997: 173-197.

"Yta och djup: Blodets tron som filmisk allegori," (translation of "Surface and Depth: Throne of Blood as Cinematic Allegory," [ch. 3 of Shakespearean Films/ Shakespearean Directors]) Modern Filmteorie 2, Eds. Lars Gustaf Andersson and Eric Hedling. Lund: Studentlitteratur, 1995: 104-119.

"The Shakespeare Interactive Archive: New Directions in Electronic Scholarship on Text and Performance." Contextual Media Ed. Edward Barrett and Marie Redmond (Cambridge: MIT Press), 1995 103-28.

"Taking on Shakespeare: Kenneth Branagh's Henry V," Shakespeare Quarterly 42.1 (Spring, 1991): 60-71.

"Machiavelli and imitatio dei," Machiavelli Studies 2, (1989): 3-25.

"Liz White's Othello," Shakespeare Quarterly, 38.4 (Winter. 1987): 482-95.

"Olivier, Hamlet and Freud," Cinema Journal 26.4 (Summer, 1987): 22-48.

"Cardinal Pole, Machiavelli and Prophetic Typology," Leaders of the Reformation and Counter Reformation, Ed. Richard DeMolen. Associated University Presses, 1985 : 211-46.

"Bishop Gardiner, Machiavellian," Historical Journal 28 (1980): 1-16.

"George Rainsford's Ritratto D'Ingliterra (1556)". Edition and translation. Camden Miscellany 27 (1980): 49-111.


Classes Taught

21L.001 Foundations of Western Culture I

21L.002 Foundations of Western Culture II

21L.009 Shakespeare

21L.435 Literature and Film: Shakespeare, Film and Media

21L.458 The Bible

21L.463 Renaissance Literature

21L.706/CMS.840 Studies in Film

21L.708/CMS.910 Literature and Technology