Robert N. Watson received his B.A. summa cum laude from Yale in 1975 and his Ph.D. with Highest Honors from Stanford in 1979, then spent six years as a professor at Harvard before coming to UCLA in 1986, where he has served as Chair of the Department of English and Chair of the Faculty of the UCLA College of Letters and Science, and is now Associate Vice-Provost for Educational Innovation.

     Professor Watson has won national senior research fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as a UC Presidentís Fellowship. His books include Back to Nature: The Green and the Real in the Late Renaissance (U Penn Press, January 2006), Shakespeare and the Hazards of Ambition (Harvard, 1984), Ben Jonson's Parodic Strategy: Literary Imperialism in the Comedies (Harvard, 1987) and The Rest is Silence: Death as Annihilation in the English Renaissance (UC, 1995). He is the editor of Critical Essays on Ben Jonson and of the New Mermaids editions of Jonson's Volpone and Every Man in His Humour (the latter also appears in an on the Web, with links to digital versions of the matching Folio pages, at He has also published many poems, book reviews, and scholarly articles on topics ranging from Elizabethan horsemanship to Thomas Pynchon

     Professor Watson teaches mostly Shakespeare and English Renaissance poetry, although in recent years he has created and led a new interdisciplinary General Education course on the history and culture of the United States from 1963-1974. He has served since 1997 as Head Scholar of the Teaching Shakespeare Summer Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.. In 2001, he was awarded the annual UCLA Distinguished Teaching Prize. He is the holder of the university-wide Gold Shield Faculty Prize for 2006-8, given to one faculty member every two years for outstanding achievements across the range of research, teaching, and public service.


  Back to Nature

Back to Nature
The Green and the Real in the Late Renaissance

Discounted Order Form

Wherefore Art Thou Tereu?:
Juliet and the Legacy of Rape


Shakespeare and the Hazards of Ambition -- dust jacket text Ben Jonson's Parodic Strategy -- dust jacket text The Rest is Silence -- dust jacket text Critical Essays on Ben Jonson -- excerpt from intro essay
and the Hazards of Ambition
Ben Jonson's Parodic Strategy: 
Literary Imperialism in the Comedies
The Rest Is Silence: 
Death as Annihilation 
in the English Renaissance
Critical Essays on 
Ben Jonson 

Every Man in His Humour

Volpone, Second Edition (New Mermaids)

Every Man in His Humour 

Volpone, Second Edition
(New Mermaids)


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   Last updated 8/7/2006