Research activities


Dr Richard Blakemore

has research interests in the social, maritime, and imperial history of the early modern Atlantic world, especially the place of working people in the early stages of globalisation. He has published articles on navigational instruments, sailors in the British civil wars, Atlantic piracy, British trade to West Africa, and maritime wages. His current project focuses on the role of British seafarers in the development of imperial and commercial networks across Europe and the Atlantic from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. He is also a Trustee of the British Commission for Maritime History.

Professor Cedric Brown

is currently working on texts as social transactions, especially with regard to epistolary and presentational forms, and on considerations of their material characteristics. He has been well known as a Miltonist and scholar of occasional poetic and dramatic works. Recent work has been on Donne, Milton, Herrick, Traherne, and the movement of elite poetic texts into provincial circles, including Catholic circles.

Professor Brown was the founder editor and is now joint general editor of the very long-running book series, Early Modern Literature in History.  Find out more about this series, which is affiliated to the EMRC, Early Modern Literature in History (PDF - 160KB)

Dr Rebecca Bullard

works on the literary culture of seventeenth and eighteenth century England. Her current research project focuses on the concept of 'the gathered text'. This project explores the ways in which signatures (that is, the letters printed at the bottom of a page as a supplement to the page numbers at the top) and gatherings (the booklets of leaves, also called quires, out of which all early printed books are made) could have been read and interpreted by the first users of early modern books. As such, this project interrogates the relationship between analytical bibliography and interpretative literary criticism. You can view a report of a recent conference and exhibition on 'the gathered text' that Dr Bullard organised at the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Dr Bullard has broader research interests in early modern women's writing and in the relationship between literature and party politics. Her essays on women's writing have appeared in The Huntington Library Quarterly, The Seventeenth Century and English Studies. Her first monograph, The Politics of Disclosure, 1674-1725 (2009), was a study of the secret history - a polemical form of history-writing that flourished during the political turmoil of the first age of party politics. Dr Bullard continues to research the interconnections between the literary and political cultures of this period, focusing on well known authors such as Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift, as well as less canonical writers such as Delarivier Manley and Eliza Haywood.

Professor Alan Cromartie

has research and teaching interests in the history of political thought. He is the author of Sir Matthew Hale: Law, Religion and Natural Philosophy (Cambridge, 1995), the editor of Thomas Hobbes' A Dialogue Between a Philosopher and a Student, of the Common Laws of England (Oxford, 2005) and has published articles in the Historical Journal, History of Political Thought and Past and Present. His latest monograph is The Constitutionalist Revolution, English Political Thought 1530-1642 (Cambridge University Press, 2006). He is currently working on a study of Thomas Hobbes.

Dr Rachel Foxley

works on the political thought and political culture of seventeenth-century England, particularly in the civil war period, combining this with a broader interest in the reception of classical political ideas in the early modern period. She is completing a monograph on the Levellers and the political thought of the English Revolution, and has published articles on the Levellers' political thought in Historical Journal, History of Political Thought, and The Seventeenth Century. Further essays on Oliver Cromwell, on the religious provisions of the 'Agreements of the People', and on the problem of early modern 'radicalism' are forthcoming in edited collections. Her essay on 'Gender and intellectual history' in Richard Whatmore and Brian Young, eds., Palgrave Advances in Intellectual History (2006) developed an argument for the importance of attending to gender in the history of political thought, and this forms one dimension of Dr Foxley's ongoing research. She held a Leverhulme research fellowship in 2007-8 for her project 'Gender, democracy, and the republican tradition', which considers early modern republicans' usage of ancient anti-democratic tropes with a focus on the gendering of these political traditions.

She is a member of the international research network on The Legacy of Greek Political Thought based at Reading.

See Dr Rachel Foxley's staff profile 

Dr Elizabeth Heale

has recently published essays on mid-Tudor autobiographical writing, on early Tudor poetry, and on Spenser, in The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Literature (2009), The Cambridge History of English Poetry (2010), and The Oxford Handbook of Edmund Spenser (2010). She has published an essay on Shakespeare's sonnets in a special issue of the journal Shakespeare (2009) and an essay on sixteenth century travel writing forthcoming in a volume of essays on Hakluyt. She is currently completing an edition of 'The Devonshire Manuscript of early Tudor miscellany verse' which will be published by The Other Voice imprint of the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies at Toronto University. Future research projects include a biography of Lady Margaret Douglas, who owned the Devonshire manuscript, and who was a significant figure in Scottish and English politics in the mid-sixteenth century.

Professor Ralph Houlbrooke

is a member of the group headed by Dr Helen Parish (History) that is editing the survey of the clergy of the province of Canterbury carried out under Archbishop Matthew Parker's overall supervision in 1560-2. He has recently published articles on politics and personalities in mid sixteenth-century Staffordshire, and on Edward VI. He has contributed a chapter on William Harrison's 'Description of England' to the soon to be published Oxford Companion to Holinshed.

Professor Beatrice Heuser

is currently researching English and European literature on warfare in the Elizabethan period. She is the author of The Strategy Makers: Thoughts on War and Society from Machiavelli to Clausewitz (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2010), The Evolution of Strategy: Thinking War from Antiquity to the Present (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), and, with C.D. Walton, the editor of Atrocities in Insurgencies and Counterinsurgencies, special issue of Civil Wars (forthcoming 2012).

Dr Chloe Houston

works on Early Modern literature and intellectual history, and in particular travel and travel writing, encounters between different cultures and religions, and utopias. Her current research focuses on presentations of Persia and Islam in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature and drama. Her thesis on 'The Early Modern utopia, 1516-1650' was completed in 2006 and is currently under revision for publication as a monograph. Dr Houston is also the editor of the forthcoming New Worlds Reflected: Travel and Utopia in the Early Modern Period (Ashgate, 2010), a collection of essays about travel, new worlds and ideal worlds from 1500-1800, and Membership Secretary of The Society for Renaissance Studies.

See Dr Chloe Houston's staff profile

Dr Mark Hutchings

works on Early Modern theatre culture, practice and performance. In addition to a longstanding interest in the stage's representation of the Ottoman Empire and the career of Thomas Middleton, he is currently working on Anglo-Spanish relations, specifically on the performance and reception of various kinds of dramatic and other texts, principally with regard to early modern diplomacy and the intersection between various forms of cultural exchange. Together with UK and Spain-based colleagues he has established a research network which focuses on the Archivo General at Simancas (a state repository of archives established by Philip II) and St. Alban's College in Valladolid (founded in 1589 and still active, it is the oldest seminary in Spain). In Spring 2008 he was a Visiting Fellow at the Universidad de Valladolid and contributes to the Masters in Advanced English Studies: Languages and Culture in Contact (convened by Valladolid and Salamanca universities). His current projects include a series of articles on Anglo-Spanish relations and a book-length study entitled The Figure in the Carpet: Turks, Companies, Repertories and the Early Modern Stage. Recent publications include (with A.A. Bromham), Middleton and his Collaborators (Northcote House, 2008), 'Middleton, the Quintessential Londoner', in Suzanne Gossett, gen. ed., Thomas Middleton in Context (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2010); (with Berta Cano Echevarria, Ana Saez, and Glyn Redworth), '"Comfort without offence'? The Performance and Transmission of Exile Literature: the English College at Valladolid, 1592-1615', Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Reforme 31.1 Winter / Hiver 2008, 31-67.

See Dr Mark Hutchings' staff profile

Mr Eric Kindel

is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into the history of stencils as used principally for lettering and marking out texts. The aim is to establish a broader historical account of this basic printing method by drawing together artefacts and practices that have in many cases fallen from view. 'The stencilled text' includes two main areas of work. 'Reconstructing stencil letters, c.1700' has involved the reconstruction of equipment for stencilling texts, as described in a late 17th-century manuscript compiled by Gilles Filleau des Billettes for the French Royal Academy of Sciences. 'Jean Gabriel Bery, maker of letters, Paris' is an investigation into the life and work of this Paris stencil maker from whom Benjamin Franklin purchased a large collection of stencils in 1781. Both areas of work have drawn on partnerships and collaborations with Prof. James Mosley and Dutch scholar and type designer Prof. Fred Smeijers; each area will form the basis of a forthcoming monograph.

Dr Mary Morrissey

works on early modern religious writings and sermons in particular, as well as Early Modern women's writing. Her monograph on Paul's Cross, the outdoor pulpit at St. Paul's Cathedral in London is forthcoming with Oxford University Press (2011). She is also editing Donne's civic sermons (Paul's Cross, St Mary's Spital, Virginia Company) for the Oxford Edition of the Sermons of John Donne, general editor Dr. Peter McCullough. She has published articles in Historical Journal, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, The Seventeenth Century and Women's Writing.

See Dr Mary Morrissey's staff profile

Professor Michelle O'Callaghan

is the author of The Shepheards Nation: Jacobean Spenserians and Early Stuart Political Culture (Oxford, 2000) and The English Wits: Literature and Sociability in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 2007), and Thomas Middleton, Renaissance Dramatist (Edinburgh, 2009) and the co-editor of Reading the Early Modern Dream: Terrors of the Night (Routledge, 2007). She has published articles in The Seventeenth Century, The Historical Journal, and The Huntington Library Quarterly.

In 2011, she began work on a British Academy funded project, The early printed poetry miscellanies, 1557 - 1621: A digitised edition, which is accompanied by a study entitled 'Making Poetry: Print Culture and the Verse Miscellany in Renaissance England'.

Her special interests include early modern poetry, especially pastoral and satire, Elizabethan printed miscellanies, Spenser and the Spenserians, Jonson, Middleton, cultures of sociability and the literature of travel in the early seventeenth-century. 

See Professor Michelle O'Callaghan's staff profile

Professor Helen Parish

has research interests in Early Modern history, particularly the Reformation in England and Europe. She is the author of Clerical Marriage and the English Reformation: Precedent, Policy, and Practice (Ashgate, 2000), Monks, Miracles and Magic: Reformation Representations of the Medieval Church (Routledge, 2005), and Clerical Celibacy in the West, c. 1100-1700 (Ashgate, 2010), edited a volume of essays Religion and Superstition in Reformation Europe (Manchester University Press, 2002) with Dr W.G. Naphy, and has published in Studies in Church History and Reformation. She was the principal investigator on the Leverhulme Trust funded project, The Parker Certificates:  The state of the English clergy in 1559, in collaboration with Dr Felicity Heal (Oxford), Professor Ralph Houlbrooke (Reading), and a Research Assistant, Dr Fiona Youngman. (Research at the Department of History.)

She is now working on an edition of the selected works of the English Protestant polemicist John Bale, and is co-editing a volume of essays exploring concepts of authority in the Reformation.  

See Dr Helen Parish's staff profile

Dr Lisa Sampson

has research interests in literary culture and society in the Renaissance and Early Modern period with a particular focus on sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century theatre, court culture, women's writing, academies and literary networks, and questions of genre, gender, performance and reception, and critical theory. She is currently completing a critical edition of the earliest known work of secular dama by a woman (Barbara Torelli Benedetti's Partenia, favola boschereccia, c.1587) and, in the longer term, she is working on a monograph on Theatre and the Italian Academies. She is the co-investigator for the major 4-year AHRC funded project:Italian Academies, 1525 - 1700: the first networks of the intellectual exchange in Early Modern Europe, and sub-editor of The Italianist.

See Dr Lisa Sampson's staff profile

Professor Hugo Tucker

has research interests in the comparative study of Renaissance lyric poetry (French, Italian and neo-Latin), intertextuality, Rome in Renaissance writing, the writing of exile and displacement in the Renaissance, Renaissance cento-writing and censorship, the subversive and coded aspects of Rimbaud's French and Latin writing. In connection with these interests he has published numerous articles in edited volumes and learned journals, and has organised or co-organised several international conferences. Current projects include an edition (in collaboration with other scholars) of the French and Latin works of Du Bellay (for Champion, Paris), an edition of the extensive French, Latin and Greek annotations by Henri Estienne of the French poetry of Du Bellay, and a major monograph: The Mosaic of Words: the Cento as a genre and as a concept in Early Modern Europe. Other publications include The Poet's Odyssey: Joachim Du Bellay and the Antiquitez de Rome (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), Du Bellay: Les Regrets et autres œuvres poëtiques (Gallimard: Foliothèque, 2000), Forms of the "Medieval" in the "Renaissance": A Multidisciplinary Exploration of a Cultural Continuum, ed. G.H. Tucker, EMF Critiques [University of Virginia] (Charlottesville, Virginia: Rookwood Press, 2000 [2001]), Homo viator: Itineraries of Exile, Displacement and Writing in Renaissance Europe, Travaux d'Humanisme et Renaissance 376 (Geneva: Droz, 2003).

Carolyn D Williams

has published books and articles on gender, early modern female role-models, masculinity, medical history, the uses and abuses of antiquity and on representations of Boadicea from 98 to 2006 AD. She is the author of Pope, Homer, and Manliness (Routledge, 1993) and Boudica and Her Stories: Narrative Transformations of a Warrior Queen (University of Delaware Press, 2009), and has co-edited oman to Woman: Female Negotiations in the Long Eighteenth Century (University of Delaware Press, 2010). Her interests include the early modern roots of Gothic and performance in the early modern theatre. She is currently engaged in a book-length project on returning to life in drama from 1600 to 1800, and a brief study of writing in blood on the early modern stage.

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