Researcher biography

Peter Holbrook is Professor of Shakespeare and English Renaissance Literature at the University of Queensland, and Director of the UQ Node of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe 1100-1800).

Peter’s research has focused on political, social, and philosophical aspects of English Renaissance literature, and on how numerous writers and thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (including Nietzsche, Thomas Hardy, and T.S. Eliot) have engaged with Shakespeare. He is the author of Shakespeare’s Individualism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010); Literature and Degree in Renaissance England: Nashe, Bourgeois Tragedy, Shakespeare (Newark, N.J. and London: University of Delaware Press, 1994); and English Renaissance Tragedy: Ideas of Freedom (London: Bloomsbury/Arden Shakespeare, 2015). He is editor of a special issue of The Shakespearean International Yearbook entitled Shakespeare and Montaigne Revisited, and co-editor, with David Bevington, of The Politics of the Stuart Court Masque (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). Shakespeare's Creative Legacies: Artists, Writers, Performers, Readers was co-edited with Paul Edmondson and appeared with Bloomsbury/Arden Shakespeare in 2016.

At the University of Queensland, Peter has taught a wide range of English literature from the medieval period to the present, including Shakespeare; Chaucer; Milton; tragedy; Romanticism; the history of literary criticism; Renaissance and other drama; and modern and contemporary writers. He has supervised numerous Honours and Postgraduate dissertations on a variety of topics. He has contributed to public debates on the teaching of English in Australia, serving as a member of the Learning Area Reference Committee (English) for the Queensland Studies Authority, from 2010 to 2011, and as a member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, from 2006 to 2009. His work on literature and education has appeared many times in Australian print media and via broadcasts on ABC Radio National, and he has reviewed numerous academic publications for the Times Literary Supplement and other journals.

He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities; a Chief Investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe 1100-1800); and he served as Chair of the International Shakespeare Association from 2011-2017. He is currently a member of the Association's Executive Committee.