Paul Yachnin

Contact Information
(514) 398-4400 ext 09349
Email address: 
paul.yachnin [at]

McGill University Department of English
853 Sherbrooke Street West
Arts Building
Montreal, QC H3A 0G5 CANADA

Faculty Members
Tomlinson Professor of Shakespeare Studies; Director, Early Modern Conversions Project; Director, TRaCE Project
Drama and Theatre

Ph.D. (Toronto)
M.Litt. (Edinburgh)
​​B.A. (McGill)


Teaching areas: 

Early modern literature, especially Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton; Law and Literature; Animalities in History and Literature; Literary History; Early modern publics and public making; Institutional Politics of Literature; Forms of Conversion; Textual Editing

Taught previously at: 

University of Toronto, Wilfrid Laurier University, University of British Columbia

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 


  • SSHRC Partnership Grant (2013-2018): “Early Modern Conversions: Religions, Cultures, Cognitive Ecologies”
  • SSHRC Major Collaborative Research Initiative Grant (2005-2010): “Making Publics: Media, Markets, and Association in Early Modern Europe”
  • FQRSC Programme de soutien aux équipes de recherché (2006-2010): “Language Incorporated: Culture Markets, Actors' Bodies, and Shakespeare's World of Words,” a project of the McGill Shakespeare and Performance Research Team
Selected publications: 



Making Publics in Shakespeare’s Playhouse. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, forthcoming, 2017.

Shakespeare’s World of Words. Ed. Paul Yachnin. Arden Shakespeare. London: Bloomsbury, 2015.

Forms of Association: Making Publics in Early Modern Europe. Ed. Paul Yachnin and Marlene Eberhart. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2015.

Making Publics in Early Modern Europe: People, Things, Forms of Knowledge. Ed. Bronwen Wilson and Paul Yachnin. London and New York: Routledge, 2010; paperback, Routledge, 2011.

Shakespeare and Character: Theory, History, Performance, and Theatrical Persons. Ed. Paul Yachnin and Jessica Slights. London: Palgrave, 2009.

Shakespeare and the Eighteenth Century. Ed. Peter Sabor and Paul Yachnin. London: Ashgate, 2008.

Shakespeare and the Cultures of Performance. Ed. Paul Yachnin and Patricia Badir. London: Ashgate, 2008.

The Culture of Playgoing in Shakespeare’s England: A Collaborative Debate. With Anthony Dawson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001; paperback, Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Stage-wrights: Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton and the Making of Theatrical Value. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997.  


The Tempest: An Edition. Broadview Press and Internet Shakespeare Editions. Co-edited with Brent Whitted. Online edition 2012; print edition, forthcoming 2017.

Richard II.  Oxford Shakespeare; World’s Classics. Co-edited with Anthony Dawson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Meeting of Gallants at an Ordinary and Plato's Cap. In The Complete Works of Thomas Middleton. Ed. Gary Taylor and John Lavagnino. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Chapters (selected)

“The Laws of Measure for Measure.” In Shakespeare and Judgment. Ed Kevin Curran. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016.

 “The Publicity of the Look: Cymbeline and the Visual Field.” In Shakespeare in our Time: A Shakespeare Association of America Companion. London: Bloomsbury, 2016.

 “Slips of Wilderness: Verbal and Gestural Language in Measure for Measure. With Patrick Neilson. In Shakespeare’s World of Words. London: Bloomsbury, 2015. 187-210.

“The Reformation of Space in Shakespeare’s Playhouse.” In Making Space Public in Early Modern Europe: Performance, Geography, Privacy. Ed. Angela Vanhaelen and Joseph P. Ward. London and New York: Routledge, 2013. 262-80.

 “Playing with Space: Making a Public in Middleton’s Theatre.” In A Handbook of Middleton Studies. Ed. Gary Taylor and Trish Thomas Henley. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. 32-46.

 “Shakespeare’s Public Animals.” In Humankinds: The Renaissance and its Anthropologies. Ed. Andreas Höfele and Stephan Laqué. Berlin, New York: De Gruyter, 2011. 185-98.

“The Well-Hung Shrew.” Co-authored with Jennifer Shea. In Ecocritical Shakespeare. Ed. Lynne Bruckner and Dan Brayton. London: Ashgate Press, 2011. 105-22.

 “Shakespeare and the Spaces of Publicity.” Opinion publica y espacio urbano en la Edad Moderna. Ed. Carmen  Serrano Sanchez. Gijon: Ediciones Trea, 2010. 15-24.

 “Hamlet and the Social Thing in Early Modern England.” In Making Publics in Early Modern Europe: People, Things, Forms of Knowledge. Ed. Bronwen Wilson and Paul Yachnin. London and New York: Routledge, 2010. 81-95.

“Metatheatre and Character: The Winter’s Tale.” Co-authored with Myrna Wyatt Selkirk. In Shakespeare and Character: Theory, History, Performance, and Theatrical Persons. Ed. Paul Yachnin and Jessica Slights. London: Palgrave, 2009. 139-57.

“Looking for Richard II.” In Shakespeare and the Eighteenth Century. Ed. Peter Sabor and Paul Yachnin. London: Ashgate, 2008. 121-35.

 “Sheepishness in The Winter’s Tale.” In How to Do Things with Shakespeare: New Approaches, New Essays. Ed. Laurie Maguire. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008. 210-29.

“Eating Montaigne.” In Reading Renaissance Ethics. Ed. Marshall Grossman. New York and London: Routledge, 2007. 157-72.

"Wonder-Effects: Othello’s Handkerchief.” In Staged Properties in Early Modern English Drama. Ed. Natasha Korda and Jonathan Gil Harris. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 316-34.

Articles (selected)

“Rejoicing in the Law: The Performance of Authorship in A View from the Bridge.Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 60.1 (2012): 77-89.

With Desmond Manderson. “Shakespeare and Judgment: The Renewal of Law and Literature.” The European Legacy, 15 (2010): 195–213.

 “’The Perfection of Ten’: Populuxe Art and Artisanal Value in Troilus and Cressida.” Shakespeare Quarterly, 56 (2005): 306-25.

 “Reversal of Fortune:  Shakespeare, Middleton, and the Puritans.” ELH 70 (2003): 757-86.

"Scandalous Trades: Middleton's The Witch, the 'Populuxe' Market, and the Politics of Theatre." Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England 12 (1999): 218-35.

"Personations: The Taming of the Shrew and the Limits of Theoretical Criticism. Early Modern Literary Studies 2.1 (1996): 2.1-31.

"Magical Properties: Vision, Possession, and Wonder in Othello. Theatre Journal 48 (1996): 197-208.

"Shakespeare's Politics of Loyalty: Sovereignty and Subjectivity in Antony and Cleopatra." Studies in English Literature 33.2 (Spring 1993): 343-63.

"The Politics of Theatrical Mirth: A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Mad World, My Masters, and Measure for Measure." Shakespeare Quarterly 43.1 (Spring 1992): 51-66.

"The Powerless Theatre." English Literary Renaissance 21.1 (Winter 1991): 49-74.

Reports and Policy Publications

With Desmond Manderson. “Treating HPHD Disorder—Shakespeare, Law, and Public Life.” Cogent Arts & Humanities, November 2016.

 “Where are our PhDs are? A Report on the TRaCE Project.” University Affairs, May 17 2016.

“The Crisis in the Humanities: What would Shakespeare do?” Humanities 2016, 5(2), May 18 2016.

“Rethinking the Humanities PhD.” University Affairs, April 2015.

“Making Scholarship Public: Collaboration and Interdisciplinarity in Early Modern Studies.” Renaissance and Reformation, 37 (2014): 115-29.

With Leigh Yetter. “The Future of the PhD in the Humanities.” Policy Options, Nov-Dec 2014.

Lead author. White Paper on the Future of the PhD in the Humanities. Dec 2013.

Research-Creation and Public Exchange (selected)

  • “The Sublime Power of Conversion.” Lobby Talk, Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Stratford, Ontario. June 23 2016.
  • “Is Shakespeare Still Relevant?” Interview and call-in show, CBC Radio Montreal. April 22 2016.
  • Co-creator (with Amanda Kellock), panelist, and performer. “Bloody Caesar: Gender, Revolution, Violence.” With four actors from Repercussion Theatre’s all-female Julius Caesar, directed by Kellock. Also with Tina Packer. Blue Met / Metropolis Bleu Festival. Montreal, April 16 2016.
  • Lead creator and presenter, with Patricia Badir and Deborah Hay. “Changing Kate: The Taming of the Shrew.” Stratford Shakespeare Festival Forum. Stratford Ontario. June 14 2015. Early Modern Conversions public exchange event.
  • Lead creator and presenter, with Torrance Kirby and Colm Feore. Souls under Pressure: King Lear. Stratford Shakespeare Festival Forum. Stratford Ontario. August 17 2014. Early Modern Conversions public exchange event.
  • Dramaturgic Consultant. Harry the King: The Famous Victories of Henry V. Repercussion Theatre, Shakespeare-in-the-Park. Montreal. July and August 2014.
  • Co-presenter with Stephen Wittek. “Eye of Newt and Toe of Frog: An Ironic Shakespeare Breakfast.” Blue Met / Metropolis Bleu Festival. Montreal, May 3 2014.
  • Consultant. “Operatic Shakespeare: Opera Scenes based on Shakespeare.” An evening of scenes by Shakespeare set side by side with scenes from Shakespeare-inspired opera, directed by Patrick Hansen (Opera McGill) and Paul Hopkins (Repercussion Theatre / Shakespeare in the Park), McGill University, March 21 2014. IPLAI collaborative event.
  • Co-author and co-presenter. “Shakespeare’s Leading Women: What the World’s Greatest Playwright can Teach us about Leadership.” With Lucy Peacock. International Leadership Association—15th Annual Global Conference. Montreal, Nov 1 2013.
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