JavaScript / JQuery Page Suffix:


Bio Page

  • Julian Yates
    H. Fletcher Brown Professor of English
    Winterthur Liaison
    University of Delaware
    Department of English
    129 Memorial Hall
    Newark, DE 19716


    Julian Yates received his B.A. (Hons.) in English Language and Literature from St. Anne's College, Oxford University in 1990 and PhD in English Literature from UCLA in 1996.  He is the author of some forty essays on Medieval and Renaissance literature and culture, questions of ecology, the posthuman, and literary theory; and four books: Error, Misuse, Failure: Object Lessons from the English Renaissance (University of Minnesota Press, 2003), which was a finalist for the Modern Language Association's Best First Book Prize; What's the Worst Thing You Can Do To Shakespeare? (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), co-authored with Richard Burt; Object-Oriented Environs in Early Modern England (Punctum Books, 2016), co-edited with Jeffrey Jerome Cohen; and Of Sheep, Oranges, and Yeast:  A Multipecies Impression (Minnesota, 2017), which won the Society for Literature, Science, and Arts' Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Prize.  His research has been supported by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Huntington Library, and the American Philosophical Society.

    Current Projects include: a book on Shakespeare's dramaturgy and contemporary ecologies of refuge titled Cosmopolitical Shakespeares; and, with Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, a study of the legacies of Noah's Ark in contemporary accounts of global warming, Noah's Arkive: Towards an Ecology of Refuge.


  • Ph.D., English Literature, UCLA, 1996
  • M.A., English Literature, UCLA, 1993
  • B.A., English and American Literature and Language, St. Anne's College - Oxford University, 1990

Research Projects 


  • Of Sheep, Oranges, and Yeast: A Multispecies Impression
    Yates, Julian
    University of Minnesota Press, 2017.

    In what senses do animals, plants, and minerals “write”? How does their “writing” mark our lives—our past, present, and future? Addressing such questions with an exhilarating blend of creative flair and theoretical depth, Of Sheep, Oranges, and Yeast traces how the lives of, yes, sheep, oranges, gold, and yeast mark the stories of those animals we call “human.”

    Bringing together often separate conversations in animal studies, plant studies, ecotheory, and biopolitics, Of Sheep, Oranges, and Yeast crafts scripts for literary and historical study that embrace the fact that we come into being through our relations to other animal, plant, fungal, microbial, viral, mineral, and chemical actors. The book opens and closes in the company of a Shakespearean character talking through his painful encounter with the skin of a lamb (in the form of parchment). This encounter stages a visceral awareness of what Julian Yates names a “multispecies impression,” the way all acts of writing are saturated with the “writing” of other beings. Yates then develops a multimodal reading strategy that traces a series of anthropo-zoo-genetic figures that derive from our comaking with sheep (keyed to the story of biopolitics), oranges (keyed to economy), and yeast (keyed to the notion of foundation or infrastructure).

    Working with an array of materials (published and archival), across disciplines and historical periods (Classical to postmodern), the book allows sheep, oranges, and yeast to dictate their own chronologies and plot their own stories. What emerges is a methodology that fundamentally alters what it means to read in the twenty-first century.​  

  • Object Oriented Environs
    Yates, Julian; Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
    New York: Punctum Books, 2016.

    Object Oriented Environs is the lively archive of a critical confluence between the environmental turn so vigorous within early modern studies, and thing theory (object oriented ontology, vibrant materialism, the new materialism and speculative realism). The book unfolds a conversation that attempts to move beyond anthropocentrism and examine nonhumans at every scale, their relations to each other, and the ethics of human enmeshment within an agentic material world. The diverse essays, reflections, images and ephemera collected here offer a laboratory for probing the mystery and potential autonomy of objects, in their alliances and in performance.

    The book is the trace of an event-space crafted over a day of conversation in two seminars at the Shakespeare Association of America meeting in 2014 in St. Louis and offers its nineteen essays as the end to the work-cycle of the collective we crafted that day. It is a noisy collation, full of bees, bushes, laundry, crutches, lists, poems, plague vectors, planks, chairs, rain, shoes, meat, body parts, books, and assorted humans (living and dead), and also a repertoire of dance steps, ways of configuring the relations between subject and object, actors or actants (human and otherwise). It is also a book that asks readers to ponder their environs, to consider the particularities of their world, of their reading experiences, and to consider what orders of meaning we might be able to derive from attending closely to all the very many things we come into being with.

    Contributors include: Lizz Angello, Sallie Anglin, Keith M. Botelho, Patricia A. Cahill, Jeffrey Cohen, Drew Daniel, Christine Hoffmann, Neal Klomp, Julia Lupton, Vin Nardizzi, Tara Pedersen, Tripthi Pillai, Karen Raber, Pauline Reid, Emily Rendek, Lindsey Row-Heyveld, Debapriya Sarkar, Rob Wakeman, Jennifer Waldron, Luke Wilson, and Julian Yates.

  • What's the Worst Thing You Can Do to Shakespeare?
    Yates, Julian; Richard Burt
    London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

    ​What's the worst thing you can do to Shakespeare? The answer is simple: don't read him. To that end, Richard Burt and Julian Yates embark here on a project of un/reading the Bard, through both reverent and irreverent discourse. Addressing recent critical debates around problems of print and performance, works in media theory and deconstruction, and film adaptations, the chapters uncover areas of confluence and reveal the inventive ways in which these areas respond to each other. Ultimately, this book turns conventional challenges into a roadmap for textual analysis and a thorough reconsideration of the plays in light of their absorption into global culture.

  • Error, Misuse, Failure: Object Lessons from the English Renaissance
    Yates, Julian
    Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003.

    Drawing object lessons from failing technological devices, Error, Misuse, Failure plumbs the foundations of Renaissance culture in England, recovering a curious language of mistakes, dirt, and parasitism that associates the failures of these "things" with the figures of Rome, Catholicism, and Sodom. This book is one of the first forays into translating the philosophical insights of Michel Serres and Bruno Latour into Renaissance Studies. It does so with an eye to the potential these two thinkers have for rethinking our received histories and ways of reading.

  • UD College /Dept. Name  •   Address  •   Newark, DE 19716  •   USA
    Phone: 302-xxx-xxxx  •   E-mail:


© Copyright 2012, UD Department of English