Professor, Literature Section
areas of expertise: literature, shakespeare, england, books, writing, languages
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 online 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  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).
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