Mary Jane Barnett teaches literature and writing courses in Georgetown’s English Department, with an emphasis on Renaissance English literature, especially the drama of Shakespeare and other Elizabethan and Jacobean playwrights.


Her courses include “Shakespeare and the Other”; “Early Modern Monsters and Marvels”; and “Early Modern Revenge Tragedy: Crying like an Oyster Wife,” all three electives. Dr. Barnett also teaches in Georgetown’s Writing Department. Her popular “Utopian Ideals and Dystopian Disappointments,” is an interdisciplinary writing course that leads students from the core issues of Plato’s “Republic” to the current debate over the perils of artificial intelligence, once considered the apogee of utopian technologies. The College Academic Council has twice nominated Dr. Barnett to the now annual Georgetown College Honors ceremony, which formally recognizes faculty whom students feel have made a meaningful contribution to their college experience. In addition, for thirteen years Dr. Barnett has been the Associate Director of the Georgetown’s “Shakespeare in Performance” in London and Stratford-upon-Avon, a summer program that takes students abroad to study Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Dr. Barnett also taught for eight years in the Humanities Department at The George Washington University. In addition to teaching her course “Ideas in Western Culture: Aquinas to Locke,” Dr. Barnett and two colleagues developed and taught “Reading the National Cathedral” after being awarded a Dean’s grant to do so in 2004. This innovative course brought in faculty from the Departments of Religion, French, English and Music to lecture on the liturgical, literary, and historical contexts of the National Cathedral in particular and Gothic cathedrals generally. Dr. Barnett’s publications include “Defending Consensus in the Dialogue Concerning Heresies” (Moreana); “Tyndale’s Heretical Translation: Lollards, Lutherans, and an Economy of Circulation” (Renaissance Papers); and “Erasmus and the Hermeneutics of Linguistic Praxis” (Renaissance Quarterly). She has also reviewed for the Tyndale Society Journal. Education: B.A. Kenyon College, English Language and Literature Ph.D. University of Maryland, English Language and Literature, 1995 (Summa Cum Laude)