PhD profiles

Samir al-Jasim

Supervised by Philip Schwyzer, Samir al-Jasim’s thesis explores the application of “Possible Worlds Theory” to the rhetorical culture of early modern England and the plays of William Shakespeare.

James Alsop

“Playing dead: ‘living death’ in early modern theatre.” Supervised by Pascale Aebischer, this project examines conceptions of ‘living death’ in early modern England – specifically its theatre, which was a veritable lacuna of the almost-living and the not-quite-dead.

Anna Blaen

Co-supervised by Hugh Roberts (French) and Karen Edwards, as part of the Gossip and Nonsense: Excessive Language in Renaissance France and England project, Anna Blaen is looking at the use of euphemism, both in theory and practice, in early modern French and English texts. One of her main questions is what was scandalous to say in this period, and how did people get round this and say it anyway with euphemism. The texts she is examining range from medical (such as Joubert's) to literary (such as Middleton's and Jonson's) to rhetorical and theoretical (such as Montaigne's and Erasmus').

Charlotte Campton

Supervised by Andrew McRae, Charlotte Campton is researching the representation of inns and taverns in early modern drama.

Callan Davies

Supervised by Pascale Aebischer, Callan's thesis (funded by the AHRC) focusses on the practical and material "use" of moral images in Jacobean drama.  He is interested in the relationship of images and material objects/texts to abstract ethical ideas; how and why is moral thought made practical on the early modern stage?

Anna-Marie Linnell

Supervised by Andrew McRae and supervised by Andrew McRae and Paulina Kewes (Oxford) Anna-Marie’s project looks the representation of the Stuart consorts over the course of the seventeenth century. More precisely, she is interested in how the consort's image was used to form ideas about the state. As a participant in the Stuart Successions Project, she focuses on texts that were produced when a new monarch came to the throne. How do the stories spun about the consorts at moments of succession reflect on the way that contemporaries wanted that succession to be shaped?

Charlotte Markey

Supervised by Pascale Aebischer and Edward Paleit, Charlotte Markey works on the influence of humanism on Tudor and early Stuart drama with a specific focus on humanist attitudes to the economy as portrayed on the stage. How did the humanist revival of classical and patristic texts affect the movement's response to the transition from feudalism and capitalism during this period and how was drama an essential tool for humanist intellectuals to explore these issues?

Alanna Skuse

‘Constructing cancer in early modern England’: Alanna Skuse’s inter-disciplinary research project (funded by the Wellcome Trust) examines the way in which early modern medics, patients and lay people thought and wrote about cancer, focussing on the examination of medical and instructional texts as literary artefacts. This project is co-supervised by Andrew McRae in the department of English, and Sarah Toulalan in Medical History.

Min-ju Wu

Supervised by Philip Schwyzer, Min-ju Wu’s research focuses on the form of Shakespeare’s late plays in their Jacobean political context.

Richard Wells

Richard's research combines historical and structural analysis to investigate the semantic field of the apple as object, image and idea, as it has developed over millennia of cultivation: embedding persistent patterns of experience, perception and imagination in the common culture and in Western literature and art. The apple has acquired the traditional attributes of the sacred fruit in the religious mythologies of ancient Europe, and also functions as the Model Object for exploring the dialectics of sense-experience and knowledge, mediating reality and illusion, nature and culture. Historical transformations studied in detail include the deployment of apple imagery in England from 'The Great Instauration' to the early Royal Society, establishing new contexts for the story of Newton and the apple.