Robert White

Bob White is a Foundation Chief Investigator (2011–2018) and leader of the Meanings Program (2011–2018), which focused on the ways in which emotions have been defined and understood in premodern European culture, covering literature, history, visual arts, musicology, drama and others. Bob's own work concerns how emotions were described and represented in Shakespeare’s plays and adaptations of them into film. He also researches Peace Studies, and the younger Romantics especially Keats and Hazlitt. He is also involved in research into UWA’s New Fortune Theatre, an exact reconstruction of the Fortune Playhouse built in 1600 in London. From 2019, he is Emeritus Professor (English and Cultural Studies) at The University of Western Australia.


+61 8 6488 2070


Victims of War

Shakespeare In Our World

The New Fortune Theatre

Selected Publications


White, R. S. A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Language and Writing. London: Bloomsbury, 2020. 
White, R. S. 
Keats's Anatomy of Melancholy: Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St Agnes and Other Poems (1820). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020.

Megna, P., B. Phillips and R. S. White, eds. Hamlet and Emotions. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

White, R. S. Ambivalent Macbeth. Sydney: Sydney University Press, 2018.





Rawnsley, C. and R. S. White, eds. The New Fortune Theatre: That Vast Open Stage. Crawley: UWA Publishing, 2018.





White, R. S. Shakespeare's Cinema of Love: A Study in Genre and Influence. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016.





White, R. S. Avant Garde Hamlet: Text, Stage, Screen. New Jersey: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2015.





White, R. S., M. Houlahan and K. O'Loughlin, eds. Shakespeare and Emotions: Inheritances, Enactments, Legacies. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.





White, R. S. John Keats: A Literary Life. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. ISBN 978-1-113-703047-4

White, R. S. Shakespeare’s Cinema of Crime: Macbeth, Hamlet, and Film Genres Including Maqbool, Omkara and Eklavya. Kurukshetra, India: The Shakespeare Association of India, 2012. ISBN 978-81-920137-4-2

White, R. S. Pacifism and English Literature: Minstrels of Peace. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

White, R. S. Natural Rights and the Birth of Romanticism in the 1790s. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

Book Chapters

White, R. S. ‘Eklavya: Shakespeare Meets the Mahabarrata’. In Shakespeare and Indian Cinemas: “Local Habitations”, edited by P. Trviedi and P. Chakravarti, pp. 45–61. New York and London: Routledge, 2019.

White, R. S. ‘Horatio: Loyal Friend of Hamlet and Nutshell’. In Hamlet and Emotions, edited by P. Megna, B. Phillips and R. S. White, pp. 317–33. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

White, R. S. ‘Literary Humour in English: A Short Cultural History’. In Humour in the Arts: New Perspectives, edited by V. Westbrook and S.-L. Chao, pp. 20–39. London and New York: Routledge, 2019.

White, R. S. ‘Meta-, Mega-, and Multiple Emotions in Early Modern English Terminology’. In Before Emotion: The Language of Feeling, 400–1800, edited by J. F. Ruys, M. W. Champion and K. Essary, pp. 185–98. New York and London: Routledge, 2019.

White, R. S. ‘Paradoxes of Form and Chaos in the Poetry of Waterloo’. In Writing War in Britain and France, 1370–1854: A History of Emotions, edited by S. Downes, A. Lynch and K. O'Loughlin, pp. 183–99. London and New York: Routledge, 2019.

White, R. S. ‘Prologue to the Omen Coming On’. In Hamlet and Emotions, edited by P. Megna, B. Phillips and R. S. White, pp. xiii–xxv. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

White, R. S. 'Dress'd in a little brief authority': Shakespeare And the Value of Dissent’. In The Shakespearean International Yearbook, edited by T. Bishop and A. Joubin, pp. 84–100. 17 ed. London and New York: Routledge, 2018.

Ritchie, F. and R. S. White. ‘Shakespeare Quotation in the Romantic Age’. In Shakespeare and Quotation, edited by Julie Maxwell and Kate Rumbold, pp. 120‒35. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.

White, R. S. ‘Keats, Mourning and Melancholia’. In John Keats and the Medical Imagination, edited by Nicholas Roe, pp. 129‒52. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

White, R. S. ‘Romance for Television: The BBC Cymbeline’.  In Shakespeare on Screen: 'The Tempest' and Late Romances, edited by Sarah Hatchuel and Nathalie Vienne-Guerin, pp. 71‒90. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

White, R. S. and C. Rawnsley, 'Discrepant Emotional Awareness in Shakespeare'. In The Renaissance of Emotion: Understanding Affect in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries, edited by Richard Meek and Erin Sullivan, pp. 241–63. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015.

White, R. S. ‘Reclaiming Heartlands: Shakespeare and the History of Emotions in Literature’. In Shakespeare and Emotions: Inheritances, Enactments, Legacies, edited by R. S. White, M. Houlahan and K. O’Loughlin, pp. 1–14. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

White, R. S. ‘Victims of War: Battlefield Casualties and Literary Sensibility’. In Tracing War in British Enlightment and Romantic Culture, edited by N. Ramsey and G. Russell, pp. 61–76. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

Charland, L. C. and R. S. White. ‘Anatomy of a Passion: Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale as Case Study’. In Ordering Emotions in Europe, 1100–1800, edited by S. Broomhall, pp. 197–224. Leiden: Brill, 2015.

White, R. S. ‘1592–1594: Shakespeare’s “Other” Lost Years’. In Shakespeare The Man: New Decipherings, edited by R. W. Desai, pp. 53–66. Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2014.

White, R. S. ‘“Variable Passions”: Shakespeare’s Mixed Emotions’. In Conjunctions of Mind, Soul and Body from Plato to the Enlightenment, edited by D. Kambasković, pp. 119–32. Dordrecht: Springer, Studies in the History of the Philosophy of Mind 15, 2014.

White, R. S. ‘Some Reflections on Shakespeare and Feminism’. In Women in Shakespeare: A Post-Feminist Review, edited by B. S. Dahiya, pp. 22–45. New Delhi: Viva Books, 2013.

White, R. S. 'Twelfth Night: The Backstory’. In Twelfth Night: A Critical Reader: Arden Early Modern Drama Guide, edited by Alison Findlay and Liz Oakley-Brown, pp. 27–51. London: Bloomsbury, 2013.

White, R. S. ‘Must Humanity Perforce Prey upon Itself? King Lear, War and the Humanities’. In What is the Human: Australian Voices from the Humanities, edited by L. E. Semler, B. Hodge and P. Kelly, pp. 189‒204. Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2012.

White, R. S. Shakespeare’s Scholars as Postmodernists’. In Scholars in Shakespeare: A Postmodern Scrutiny, edited by B. S. Dahiya and M. Sharma, pp. 77–96. Kurekshetra: The Shakespeare Association of India, 2011.

Journal Articles

White, R. S. Gusto: Keats, Hazlitt, and Pictorial Art’. The Keats-Shelley Review 32.1 (2018): 4754.

White, R. S. ‘Autodidactic Sonnets’.  Cogent Arts and Humanities 3.1 (2016). DOI:10.1080/23311983.2016.1237139

White, R. S. ‘Smiles that Reveal, Smiles that Conceal’. Shakespeare: Journal of British Shakespeare Association 10 (2015): 1–14.

White, R. S. ‘Making Something Out of “Nothing” in Shakespeare’. Shakespeare Survey 66 (2013): 232–45.

White, R. S. ‘Emotional Landscapes: Romantic Travels in Scotland’. Keats-Shelley Review 27 (August, 2013): 76–90.

White, R. S. '"False Friends": Affective Semantics in Shakespeare'. SHAKESPEARE 8.3 (2012): 286‒99.

Selected Presentations

Public Lecture: ‘Love in Times of War: War Wives and Widows in Shakespeare’, Institute of Advanced Studies, The University of Western Australia, 10 April 2018.

Presentation: ‘The Pot Plant of Love and Death: John Keats and Freud’s Mourning and Melancholia’, to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Section of the History, Philosophy and Ethics of Psychiatry (WA), Workspace Unlimited, Swanbourne (WA), 3 October 2017.

Public Lecture: ‘Sense and Sensibility and Jane Austen’s Lexicon of Emotions’, ‘New Perspectives on Jane Austen’ lecture series, Institute of Advanced Studies/Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, UWA, 20 June 2017.

Symposium Paper: ‘Ian McEwan’s Nutshell as Avant-Garde Hamlet’, ‘Hamlet and Emotions: Then and Now’ CHE symposium, UWA, 10–11 April 2017.

Plenary Lecture: '"Food for powder, food for powder; they'll fill a pit as well as better: tush, man, mortal men, mortal men": War Casualities, Shakespeare style'. ‘Cultures of Mortality’ Shakespeare's Globe, London, 1‒3 December 2016.

Keats Foundation Annual Lecture 2016: ‘“I look upon fine Phrases like a Lover”: Keats’s Shakespearean Quotations’, Keats House, Hampstead, London, UK, 6 September 2016.

Public Presentation: 'Shakespeare and Emotions', 'Shakespeare-400-Emotions' Institute of Advanced Studies event, UWA, 26 April 2016.

Symposium paper: ‘Ask a Pacifist’, ‘War and Emotions’ CHE symposium, UWA, 17 August 2015.

Workshop paper: ‘Fictional Doctors and Public Policy Issues’, ‘Physicians, Persuasion and Politics: Lobbying and Culture in Britain and France, c.1780–1940’ workshop, University of Southampton, UK, 6 July 2015.

Plenary lecture: ‘Keats, Mourning and Melancholia’, ‘John Keats: Poet-Physician, Physician-Poet, 1815–1821: A Bicentenary Conference’, organised by the Keats Foundation, London, UK, 3 May 2015.

Plenary lecture: ‘Kipling and Yeats at 150’, ‘Yeats and Kipling: Retrospectives, Perspectives’ conference, University of New Delhi, India, 12 March 2015.

Conference Paper: ‘Elijah Moshinsky’s Cymbeline’, Société Française Shakespeare ‘Shakespeare 450’ conference,  The Sorbonne, Paris, France, 25 April 2014.

Public Presentation: ‘Verdi’s Iago’, at ‘Iago: the Man, the Devil and Emotion’, UWA, 10 February 2014.

Plenary Opening Address: ‘Shakespeare's Republic of Little People’, Shakespeare Association of India Conference ‘Shakespeare and Republicanism’, Jammu University, India, 16–18 October 2013.

Keynote Address: ‘Animal Rights and Romantic Sensibility’, Romantic Studies Association of Australasia 2012 Postgraduate Symposium, The University of Melbourne, 15–17 November 2012.

Plenary Lecture: ‘Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare’, Indian Shakespeare Association, Khota, Rajasthan, India, 1–6 October 2012.

Conference Presentation: ‘Discrepant Emotional Awareness in Shakespeare’at ‘Passion’ seminar, International Shakespeare Association, Stratford on Avon, UK, 6–10 August, 2012.

Plenary Presentation: ‘Smiles that Reveal, Smiles that Conceal’; British Shakespeare Association, Lancaster University, UK, 20–26 February 2012.