Patricia Parker received her M.A. in English at the University of Toronto and taught for three years in Tanzania, whose President Julius Nyerere also translated Shakespeare into Kiswahili. After teaching at the University of East Africa, she completed her Ph.D. at Yale, in Comparative Literature, and taught for 11 years at the University of Toronto, as Professor of English and Comparative Literature. First invited to Stanford as a Visiting Professor in 1986, she joined the Departments of English and Comparative Literature at Stanford in 1988. She has also taught as a Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley and as a a member of the core faculty at the School of Criticism and Theory (Cornell University, 1998). She is the author of three books (Inescapable Romance, a study of romance from Ariosto to Wallace Stevens; Literary Fat Ladies: Rhetoric, Gender, Property; and Shakespeare from the Margins) and co-editor of five collections of essays on criticism, theory, and cultural studies, including Shakespeare and the Question of Theory and Women, Race and Writing in the Early Modern Period. She has lectured widely in France, Germany, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, and other parts of the world, as well as at Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Chicago, Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, and other universities; as Gauss Seminar lecturer at Princeton; and as the Shakespeare's Birthday lecturer at the Folger Shakespeare Library; and has served on the Advisory Board of the English Institute. In 2003-4, she organized an international conference and public festival at Stanford devoted to “Shakespeare in Asia” (details and photos at She has also worked with students to create performance-based programs in the community. She currently teaches courses on Shakespeare (including Global Shakespeares), the Bible and Literature, Epic and Empire and other topics. In addition to books on Shakespeare, rhetoric, race, religion, and gender, her work in progress includes new editions of Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Academic Appointments

  • Professor, English
  • Professor, Comparative Literature

Administrative Appointments

  • Core Faculty, School of Criticism and Theory, Cornell University (1998 - 1998)
  • Visiting Professor, Stanford University (1986 - 1988)
  • Margery Bailey Professor in English or Dramatic Literature, Stanford University (1988 - Present)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Member, Advisory Board, English Institute

Program Affiliations

  • Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Professional Education

  • M.A., University of Toronto, English (1968)
  • B.A., University of Manitoba (1967)
  • Ph.D., Yale University, Comparative Literature (1976)

2019-20 Courses

Stanford Advisees

  • Doctoral Dissertation Reader (AC)
    Juan Lamata, Luis Rodriguez-Rincon, Hannah Smith-Drelich
  • Orals Evaluator
    Nicholas Fenech, Luis Rodriguez-Rincon
  • Doctoral (Program)
    Michael Menna

All Publications

  • Shakespeare from the Margins: Language, Culture, Context Parker, P. A. University of Chicago Press. 1996
  • Literary Fat Ladies: Rhetoric, Gender, Property Parker, P. A. Methuen. 1987
  • Shakespeare and the Question of Theory edited by Hartman, G. H., Parker, P. A. Routledge. 1985
  • Women, Race and Writing in the Early Modern Period edited by Hendricks, M., Parker, P. A. Routledge. 1983
  • Inescapable Romance: Studies in the Poetics of a Mode Parker, P. A. Princeton University Press. 1979