School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Dr Emma Whipday

Lecturer in Renaissance Literature

Background

I am currently on a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, researching brother-sister relationships on the early modern stage. I work on early modern drama, focusing on genre, theatricality, 'practice as research', familial and service relationships, and domestic and sexual violence (for more information, see the 'Research' tab).

After growing up in the North East, I moved to Nottinghamshire, where I was educated at my local comprehensive: the Minster School in Southwell. I studied English Language and Literature at Oxford as an undergraduate, before studying for an MA in 'English: Shakespeare in History', and a PhD on Shakespeare and domestic tragedy, at UCL. I have taught at Shakespeare's Globe, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, King's College London, UCL, and Brasenose College, Oxford. I began my Leverhulme fellowship at UCL, before taking up my position as Lecturer in Renaissance Literature at Newcastle.

Research

Research Interests

I am interested in family, gender, and power on the early modern stage, and in early modern culture more broadly. My research focuses on the political significance of household dynamics; the generic expectations that shape texts; and the interplay between performers, playing spaces and audiences on the early modern stage and street. I have published on early modern 'true crime' news pamphlets, staging the home in domestic tragedy, household work in Macbeth and Othello, recent productions of early modern plays, and performance practice as research. My monograph Shakespeare's Domestic Tragedies, which explores domestic violence in Shakespeare's plays, domestic tragedies, and early modern popular culture, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.

Current Work

My current project, Subordinate Roles, explores the cultural importance of the brother-sister relationship, and how this relationship intersects with issues of patriarchal power, female agency, domestic authority, and the place of the unmarried woman in early modern society. It investigates the ways in which the drama of the period interrogates the familial, social, and political implications of the brother-sister bond, which is barely mentioned in the conduct literature, but is obsessively represented onstage.

I am also working on an ongoing project on the role of 'practice as research' as an approach to early modern drama, which involves collaborating with external organisations and creative practitioners to explore the possibilities of staging neglected early modern plays, and using 'verbatim theatre' techniques to investigate 'lost' plays, voices, and experiences.

Funding/Awards

My project on brother-sister relationships on the early modern stage is funded by a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship.

I received an award from the UCL Dean's Fund to direct a staged reading of Paradise Lost, adapted by Dr Eric Langley and co-directed with Dr Farah Karim-Cooper, at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse for Shakespeare's Glob in May 2018.

My play Shakespeare's Sister (Samuel French, 2016), which draws on my research on early modern family dynamics, won the Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass 'Pitch Your Play' Award 2015.

I was nominated for a King's Teaching Award at King's College London (2015-2016), and I am an Associate Fellow of the HEA.

Teaching

In 2018-19, I will be teaching on:

Women on Trial: Gender, Power and Performance in Early Modern England (semester 2; stage 3)

Publications