Richmond Barbour


Course Descriptions

Richmond Barbour
Professor of English

Office: Moreland 322
Phone: 541-737-1652
Email: rbarbour at

Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley 1990
B.A. Stanford University 1970

Richmond Barbour has taught English literature at Oregon State University since 1992. He specializes in Shakespeare, Renaissance literature and culture, theater history, travel writing, cross-cultural relations, and oceanic history. He also regularly teaches Classical Mythology and Classical Drama. His research interests have ranged from Ben Jonson and London’s print culture, to the relations between England’s theatrical and maritime industries in Shakespeare’s day, to the birth of the London East India Company and the emergence of global corporate power. His publications include Before Orientalism. London’s theatre of the East, 1576-1626 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), The Third Voyage Journals: Writing and Performance in the London East India Company, 1607-10 (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009), and articles in the Huntington Library Quarterly, PMLA, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Criticism, and (currently forthcoming) Clio. He has won numerous grants for research at the British Library and the Huntington Library. His current projects include editing a volume of Richard Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations (1598-1600), preparing a scholarly edition of a 1611-12 East India Company journal, and writing a book on the Company’s first generation.

Barbour Course Descriptions

Tales of the ancient Greek and Roman deities, epic heroes/heroines and their monstrous adversaries speak to our primal concerns about the origins and destinies of human beings, the nature of the world, and the mysteries of the spiritual realm. This course will trace the mythic genealogy of the first beings, the Titans, the Olympians, and heroic humans, examining their domains, conflicts, journeys, and amorous encounters. We will study the myths in their primary ancient sources, which include some of the most significant and influential works in the “Western” literary tradition, and relate them to narratives important in our culture today. Interrogating the human uses of story-telling and other muse-inspired arts, we will also examine the representation of the myths in painting, sculpture, and music.