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English Faculty

Michael Mack – Associate Professor of English 

Michael Mack

Michael Mack specializes in Shakespeare and Renaissance literature, and his research interests include Shakespeare, sixteenth and seventeenth-century English poetry, and Renaissance poetic theory.

Dr. Mack has published a study of Sir Philip Sidney’s Apology for Poetry and he is currently working on a book provisionally and pretentiously entitled Shakespeare and the Human Condition. He regularly teaches Shakespeare at the undergraduate and graduate levels and the Renaissance humanities course in the University Honors Program. He has taught a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses, including the university’s two-course humanities sequence that he designed, Classics in Conversation and Classics in the Christian Tradition.
Dr. Mack has served as Director of the University Honors Program, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies. He previously served as Director of Undergraduate Studies for the English department, and he is now filling in for Dr. Gregory as Director of Graduate Studies. He has served on the Central Executive Committee of the Folger Institute and on the Advisory Board for the journal Moreana. He is currently on the Advisory Board for Sophia Press and on the Editorial Committee for CUA Press. He also served, back when he was young and fit, as the assistant coach for the CUA men’s tennis team.
Michael Mack received his A.B. from Harvard University, where his concentration was Economics, and his Ph.D. in English from Columbia University. He has been at CUA since 1997.



Sidney’s Poetics: Imitating Creation. Washington: Catholic University Press, 2005. Reprint, 2011.

“Philip Sidney.” In Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy, edited by Marco Sgarbi. Springer, forthcoming.
“Why Read Shakespeare?: A Real Question and the Search for a Good Answer.” In Literature. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, forthcoming.
Foreword to Touches of Sweet Harmony: Pythagorean Cosmology and Renaissance Poetics, by S. K. Heninger, Jr. New York: Angelico Press, 2013.
“The Consolation of Art in the Tempest and the Aeneid.”  In Reading the Renaissance: Ideas and Idioms from Shakespeare to Milton, edited by Marc Berley, 57-77. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2003.
Selected Presentations
“Shakespeare’s Ethics.” Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, November 2012.
Hamlet: Shakespeare’s Mousetrap?” Christendom College, Front Royal, VA, February, 2011.
 “Looking at Nothing in King Lear.” American Psychoanalytic Association, New York, NY, June 2010.
“The Liberal Arts: From Greece to Green Bay.” Green Bay, WI, June 2010.
“Shakespeare on Love: Four Lectures” Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., October-November 2009.
“Judgment and Perspective in Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra.” Shakespeare Theatre, Washington, D.C., April 2008.
 “Critical History of Hamlet.” Shakespeare Theatre, Washington, D.C., June 2007.
 “Shakespeare and Verdi.” Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., June 2005.
“Seeing Man: Holbein’s Ambassadors.” Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., April 2005.
 “Sidney’s Platonism.” Renaissance Society of America, New York, April 2004.
 “Shakespeare on Human Nature: Six Lectures.” Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., July – August 2003.
“Corruption and Degeneration in Troilus and Cressida and All’s Well.” Shakespeare Association of America, Victoria, Canada, April 2003.
“Shakespeare on Human Nature.” Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., May 2001.
“The Liberal Arts: A Classical Ideal and its Historical Development.” Thomas More Society, Washington, D.C., May 2001.
“Shakespeare, Montaigne, and the Human Condition.” International Shakespeare Association, Valencia, Spain, April 2001.


Dr. Mack has served as Director of the University Honors Program, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies. Professor Mack directs the graduate program in English at CUA. For more information about the graduate program, see here.


Office: 238 Marist Annex
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20064

Phone: 202-319-5168



  • HUM 101 – Classics in Conversation
  • ENG/HUM 124 – Classics in the Christian Tradition
  • HSHU 203 – The Age of Discovery
  • ENG 231, 232 – British Literature
  • ENG 331 – Intensive Readings in Lyric
  • ENG 332 – Intensive Readings in Drama
  • ENG 345 – The Epic from Homer to Joyce
  • ENG 369 – Renaissance Lyric
  • ENG 461, 462 – Shakespeare
  • ENG 662 – Spenser
  • ENG 726 – Readings in Renaissance Literature
  • ENG 835 – Metaphysical Poetry
  • ENG 861 – Renaissance Lyric Seminar
  • ENG 889 – Shakespeare Seminar


Ph.D., Columbia University, 1998

A.B., Harvard University, 1985


Areas of Expertise

  • Shakespeare
  • Sixteenth and seventeenth-century English poetry
  • Renaissance poetics
  • Philosophical and theological backgrounds for Renaissance literature