BA Honours (University of London, 1987), PhD (Edinburgh, 1995)
(From 1988-1990 I taught English at the Univerity of Silesia, Gliwice, and the Polish Academy of Science, Warsaw.)
I am currently on research leave, 2013-2015 (Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship).
I am a member of the following Faculty/University Committees: University Appeals Panel for Promotions Review of Academic Staff and HASS Faculty Appointment Board.
Editor of Renaissance Studies, and a member of Council for the Society of Renaissance Studies (2012-2017).
Member of the AHRC Advisory Board (2012-2015), and the AHRC 'Care for the Future' Advisory Group.
Member of English Association Higher Education Committee (2013-18).
I am exernal examiner for English Literature programmes at Durham University and Oxford University.
I have broad interests in early modern culture and literature, including the works of Spenser, Shakespeare and Milton, but I specialise on the writers of the mid to late sixteenth century. I work across several fields: the history of ideas (and political thought), the history of reading, the history of rhetoric and the medical humanities.
I spoke about 'Rhetoric' and John Hart, the Tudor spelling reformer on Fry's English Delight, Radio 4 (August 26th 2013 and September 2nd 2013). I was interviewed by Elizabeth Day for her article on 'Storytelling: how reading aloud is back in fashion', which was published in the Observer, 6th January, 2013.
I am writing a new monograph, 'Shared Reading in the English Renaissance'. I aim to discover who read aloud/heard books - boys and girls, women of different social ranks, servants, university students, working men and women - and what this meant for the semi-literate, civic culture of this period. I hope also to discover the various, sometimes surprising places where this took place: birthing rooms, sick rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, closets, gardens, print shops, taverns, anatomy theatres, as well as classrooms, colleges, law courts. Finally, I will explore the dissemination of habits of ‘disputation’ among a broader constituency of hearers and discussants than is usually recognized (i.e. beyond the classroom). This project is supported by a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship (2013-15). With Professor Richard Wistreich, Royal Northern College of Music, I am leading an AHRC-funded Research Network 'Voices and Books in Early Modern England, 1500-1800' (2014-2015).
For related activities see 'Shared Reading' and 'Reading and Health in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800'.
With my colleague Anne Whitehead in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics at Newcastle University, I am developing a proposal for a Companion to the Critical Medical Humanities (Edinburgh University Press) in collaboration with Sarah Atkinson, Jane Macnaughton, and Angela Woods of the Centre for Medical Humanities at the University of Durham.
With Andrew Hadfield (University of Sussex) I am editing 21st-Century Oxford Authors: Thomas Nashe (Oxford University Press, 2015/16).
I welcome research proposals from students interested in any aspect of early modern reading and writing.
Current postgraduate students include: (with Cathrine Degnan, GPS) Jane Nolan, (with Kate Chedgzoy) Thongrob Ruenbanthoeng.
My past PhD students include: Peter Adegbie; Grace Jones (AHRC); Jessica Jung (AHRC); Robin Kirschbaum; Lorraine McNeill, Fahimeh Naseri.
Editor of 'Renaissance Studies', 2012-2017
Council Member, Renaissance Society, 2012-2017
Member of the AHRC Advisory Board, 2012-2015.
Member of the AHRC Advisory Group for the 'Care for the Future' strategic theme
Member of English Association Higher Education Committee (2013-16).
I am a Fellow of the English Association. I was a CRASSH Fellow, University of Cambridge, 2006
AHRC Research Network (2014-15) 'Voices and Books in Early Modern England, 1500-1800'.
Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2013-15) for 'Useful Books: Reading and Talking in the English Renaissance'.
British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant (2012-13) for 21st-Century Oxford Authors: Thomas Nashe.
WellcomeTrust Small Research Grant (2012-13), for a research project on the reading aloud of Thomas Raynalde's The Woman's Book (1545).
Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2009) for 'Diet, Dialogue and the Early Modern Body Politic'.
British Academy Small Research Grant (2007) for 'Reading the Medical Regimens'.