Jonathan Burton

Assistant Professor 
Department of English Language & Literature

562.907.4200 ext. 5021





Academic History

B.A., Haverford College
M.A., University of California, Riverside
Ph.D., City University of New York

Academic Interests

  • Early Modern Literature
  • Shakespeare
  • Postcolonial Literature
  • Theater
  • History of Education

Jonathan Burton has taught English at every level from 6th grade to the PhD, in New York, Maryland, West Virginia, California and Pakistan.  At Whittier College he teaches a range of courses including Shakespeare, Contemporary Drama, “Rhetoric for Liars,” and The History of Literary Criticism. Burton is the author of two books, Traffic and Turning: Islam and English Drama, 1579-1624 (2005) and Race in Early Modern England (2007). In addition, he has published numerous articles on topics in Shakespeare and early modern studies, including pieces on racial difference, religious conversion and Shakespeare in nineteenth-century schoolbooks. His most recent publication is a chapter on western encounters with non-European bodies for the Routledge History of Sex and the Body, 1500 to the Present. In addition to a book-length study of Shakespeare in American secondary education, Professor Burton is also currently working on three articles, the first on The Taming of the Shrew and the Arabian Nights, the second on a nineteenth century mash-up of Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet, and the third on “Reinventions of Race in the Renaissance."


Traffic and Turning: Islam and English Drama, 1579-1624

Race in Early Modern Culture: A Documentary Companion

Recent Articles

"Bodies, sex and race: western encounters with sex and bodies in non-European cultures" in The Routledge History of Sex and the Body in the West, 1500 to the Present, Eds. Kate Fisher and Sarah Toulalan (forthcoming 2012)

"Lay on, McGuffey: Shakespeare and the Shaping of High School English in America" in Shakespearean Educations, Eds. Coppelia Kahn and Heather Nathans (University of Delaware Press, 2011)

"The Shah's Two Ambassadors: The Travels of the Three English Brothers and the Global Early Modern" in Emissaries in Early Modern Literature and Culture: Mediation, Transmission, Traffic, 1550-1700, Eds.  B. Charry and G. Shahani (Ashgate, 2009)

"Emplotting the Early Modern Mediterranean” in The Mediterranean and the Early Modern English Literature and Culture, Ed. Goran Stanivukovich, (Palgrave, 2007).