Dr Johanna Harris

Senior Lecturer


Extension: 5828

Telephone: 01392 725828

B.A. (Syd.), MSt., DPhil. (Oxon.)

I arrived at Exeter in 2011, after having taught at the Universities of Oxford and Geneva. My research focuses on the nonfictional prose of the early modern period, with a particular focus on letters and on the religious politics of the period. My research combines an interest in the stylistic qualities of early modern writing with historical research, and I particularly enjoy tracing the interconnections of lives and letters of the period. My work to date has focused in detail on well known writers such as Andrew Marvell and Thomas Traherne as well as lesser known writers such as Brilliana Harley and Lucy Robartes. I am currently working on two major editing projects for OUP: the correspondence of the nonconformist Richard Baxter, and a volume of the poetry of Traherne, and I have extensive experience with early modern manuscripts. My book on puritan epistolary communities, Godly Letters, is nearly complete (contracted to Palgrave Macmillan). Two further interpretive projects are at an earlier stage: a consideration of the stylistic and ethical value of dignity in the early modern period, and a history of the verse epistle from Wyatt to Dryden.

Since 2011 I have co-ordinated the Exeter Care Homes Reading Project, a volunteer initiative that trains and sends English students into local care homes to read with residents. The project has garnered local and national press and TV coverage, and is supported by awards from the Annual Fund and the Headley Trust (Sainsbury Foundation). In 2015 I was awarded the 350th 'Points of Light' by Prime Minister David Cameron.