Allen, Michael J.


Allen, Michael J.
Distinguished Professor
Humanities 292
Tel: 310.825.4173
Fax: 310.267.4339
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  • B.A., and M.A. in English, D.Litt. in History, Wadham College, Oxford, 1964, 1966, 1987
  • Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1970


English medieval and Renaissance literature especially Shakespeare; Italian Quattrocento literature; Renaissance philosophy, especially the Platonism of Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola.

Selected Works

  • Marsilio Ficino: The Philebus Commentary (1975)
  • Marsilio Ficino and the Phaedran Charioteer (1981)
  • The Platonism of Marsilio Ficino (1984)
  • Icastes: Marsilio Ficino's Interpretation of Plato's 'Sophist' (1989)
  • Nuptial Arithmetic: Marsilio Ficino's Commentary on the Fatal Number in Book VIII of Plato's 'Republic' (1994)
  • Plato's Third Eye: Studies in Marsilio Ficino's Metaphysics and its Sources (1995)
  • Synoptic Art: Marsilio Ficino on the History of Platonic Interpretation (1998)
  • Marsilio Ficino: Platonic Theology, Ed. and tr. with James Hankins, six vols. (2001-2006)
  • Marsilio Ficino: Commentaries on Plato: Volume I: Phaedrus and Ion (2008)
Also coauthor of Sources and Analogues of Old English Poetry: the Major Latin Texts (1976), and coeditor of Shakespeare's Plays in Quarto (1982), Sir Philip Sidney's Achievements (1989), and Marsilio Ficino: His Theology, His Philosophy, His Legacy (2002).

Additional Information

Teaching focus: the range of English literature from the Anglo-Saxons to Milton, and especially Chaucer and Shakespeare. Research focus: the philosophical, theological, magical, and mythological issues explored by the fifteenth century Italian Platonists, Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola. Director of UCLA's Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (1988-93), Senior Editor of Renaissance Quarterly (1993-2001), Phi Beta Kappa National Visiting Scholar (2007-08), and President of the Renaissance Society of America (2006-08). Honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship; the Eby Award for Undergraduate Teaching; UCLA's Faculty Research Lectureship; visiting professorships at Munich, Toronto, Tempe, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; the Commendatore decoration from the Italian Republic; and in 2008 the International Galileo Galilei Prize (2008); elected a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy (2012); Scholar in Residence, American Academy in Rome (Spring 2013). Also an adjunct member of UCLA's Department of Italian.