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Zachary Lesser

Professor of English

Undergraduate Chair
Curriculum Vitae
Fisher-Bennett Hall 129
Fisher-Bennett Hall 213

Office Hours

fall 2015

WALK INS (in FB 129)

Mondays: 1—4:30

Tuesdays: 1—3

Wednesdays: 1—4

To make an appointment, please call Loretta Williams at (215) 898-7343

You can also visit Associate Undergraduate Chair Deborah Burnham's office hours for questions relating to our undergraduate program. 

Zachary Lesser received his PhD in English Literature from Columbia University and his BA in Renaissance Studies and Religious Studies from Brown University. Before coming to Penn, he taught at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His teaching and research interests focus on Shakespeare and early modern drama, the history of material texts, bibliography and editing, early modern political and religious debate, and digital humanities.

Prof. Lesser is a general editor of The Arden Shakespeare (fourth series), along with Peter Holland and Tiffany Stern. He is the author of Hamlet after Q1: An Uncanny History of the Shakespearean Text (Penn Press, 2015); and Renaissance Drama and the Politics of Publication: Readings in the English Book Trade (Cambridge University Press, 2004), which won the Elizabeth Dietz Award, presented annually by Studies in English Literature to the best book of the year in early modern studies. With Alan B. Farmer, he is co-creator of DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks, an online resource for studying the printing, publishing, and marketing of Renaissance drama. With Farmer, he is currently working on a revisionist study of print popularity, entitled Print, Plays, and Popularity in Shakespeare's England.

You can watch a video of Prof. Lesser discussing Hamlet After Q1 at the Chicago Humanities Festival in November, 2014.

An open-access self-archive of selected publications can be found here.

Prof. Lesser's policy on recommendations can be found here


Courses Taught

spring 2016

ENGL 038.001 The Age of Milton  

spring 2015

ENGL 101.001 Introduction to Shakespeare  

fall 2014

ENGL 038.401 Milton  
ENGL 200.301 Hamlet  

spring 2014

ENGL 101.001 Shakespeare  
ENGL 597.301 Shakespeare  

spring 2013

ENGL 236.301 Hamlet  

fall 2012

ENGL 016.303 Shakespeare/Not Shakespeare  
ENGL 311.301 English Honors Program  
ENGL 430.640 Shakespeare and Company  

fall 2011

ENGL 038.001 Age of Milton  

spring 2010

ENGL 101.001 Shakespeare  
ENGL 800.301 Pedagogy  

fall 2009

ENGL 038.001 Milton  

fall 2008

ENGL 311.301 Honors Thesis Seminar  

spring 2008

ENGL 101.001 Shakespeare  
ENGL 800.302 Pedagogy  

fall 2007

ENGL 038.001 The Age of Milton  

spring 2007

ENGL 016.304 Shakespeare/Not Shakespeare  

fall 2006

ENGL 038.001 The Age of Milton  

Doctoral Dissertation Advisees


Marissa Nicosia "Historical Futures in Seventeenth-Century Literature"


Claire M. L. Bourne "'A Play and No Play': Printing the Performance in Early Modern England"


Stephanie Elsky "Time Out of Mind: The Poetics of Custom and Common Law in Early Modern England"