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Chloe Houston

Dr Chloe Houston profile picture

Director of Undergraduate Admissions in the Department of English Literature.

From September 2023, I will be joint Head of Department.

Areas of interest

I work on the representation of cross-cultural encounter in the early modern period. I am interested in how different worlds, places, peoples and religions were depicted in early modern English writing, and especially travel literature and drama. My first monograph, The Renaissance Utopia (2013), was a study of ideal-state writing from More’s Utopia to the Restoration, and my second, Persia in Early Modern English Drama, 1530-1699: The Imagined Empire (2023), explored the depiction of the Persian empire on the early modern stage. I have also edited two collections of essays: New Worlds Reflected: Travel and Utopia in the Early Modern Period (2010) and, with Sophie Lemercier-Goddard and Ladan Niayesh, ‘A World of Words’: Writing Distant Travels and Linguistic Otherness in Early Modern England (c. 1550–1660) (forthcoming, 2023). With Eva Johanna Holmberg I co-edited a special issue of the journal Journeys: The International Journal of Travel & Travel Writing on ‘Shaping Strangers in Early Modern English Travel Writing’, and I have contributed chapters and articles to various publications, including Renaissance Studies, Studies in English Literature, Seventeenth Century, Utopian Studies, and Studies in Travel Writing.

Postgraduate supervision

I have supervised a number of PhD students to completion and am happy to talk to anyone who is interested in undertaking postgraduate research in early modern studies at Reading, and especially within my own area of research.


I convene three Part 3 modules, "The Bloody Stage: Revenge and Death in Renaissance Drama", "Classical and Renaissance Tragedy" and "Utopia and Dystopia in English and American Literature". I also convene the Part 1 module "Genre and Context" and give lectures on a range of modules including "Renaissance Texts and Cultures", "Shakespeare", and "Twentieth-Century American Literature". I convene the MA modules in "Early Modern Literature" and "The Global Renaissance".

Research centres and groups

You can follow the activities of the Early Modern Research Centre on Twitter @ReadingEMRC


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