Jonathan Burton

Jonathan BurtonProfessor of English
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 on Shakespeare, Contemporary Drama, Transcultural Literature and The History of Literary Criticism. A graduate of Haverford College, another Quaker-founded liberal arts college, Professor Burton was drawn to Whittier for its emphasis on diversity, service and the Quaker values of listening to and learning from others.  He seeks to embed those same values in a pedagogy that embraces performance practices, creative writing, and the digital humanities.  A fearless and occasionally successful chef, Professor Burton loves to cook for friends and family.  He is also a mediocre but enthusiastic paddle-boarder. 

Professional Activity


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

Race in Early Modern Culture: A Documentary Companion

Recent and Forthcoming Articles 

“Erasing for Inclusion: Romeo and Juliet in Hispanic Serving Institutions” in The Modern Language Association Companion to Teaching Romeo and Juliet (2021)

“The Reinventions of Race in Thomas Heywood’s The Four Prentices of London” (Forthcoming in Renaissance Drama 2020)

“Defiant Re-Envisioning in The Qualities of Mercy Project” (The Sundial, 2020)

“Race” in A Cultural History of Western Empires: 1450-1650 (2017)

“The New Hamlet and the New Woman: A Shakespearean Mashup in 1902” Borrowers and Lenders (2017)

“Elizabeth’s Turkish Trade and Marlowe’s Tamburlaine Trap” Theater for a New Audience 360° Series (2014)

“Christopher Sly’s Arabian Night: Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew as World Literature” Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies (2014)

"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, (2013)

"Lay on, McGuffey: Shakespeare and the Shaping of High School English in America" in Shakespearean Educations (2011)