Dr Gavin Alexander, Faculty of English

 

 

Biographical Information

Gavin Alexander is a Reader in Renaissance Literature in the Faculty of English.

Research Interests

English literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  Particular research interests include Philip Sidney and related writers; poetry and music in the Renaissance; lyric; rhetoric; poetics; the history of literary criticism; textual studies; classical receptions; versification; literature and the visual arts; literature and material culture.  Published work includes a book on the literary response to Sidney, a Penguin Classics edition of Renaissance literary criticism, and an edition of an important, late Elizabethan treatise on poetics, which was discovered in manuscript only recently.

Currently completing a book on English Renaissance poets and music, starting one on lyric, co-editing a volume on early modern European criticism, and editing Fulke Greville's Caelica and miscellaneous poems for the new Oxford University Press edition of Greville's complete works. 

Video of keynote at York in 2013 on 'The proportions of early modern poetics' here.  Audio of talk about modernisation at a conference on editing in Newcastle in 2014 here.  Details, keynote, and a storify summary of a conference convened at CRASSH on 'The places of early modern criticism' in 2015 here.

Areas of Graduate Supervision

Current and recent doctoral student topics:

  • Buildings, Texts, and Selves in Early Modern Women's Writing
  • Mathematics and Elizabethan drama
  • Logic and Miscellaneity in Late Sixteenth-Century Literature
  • The Herbert family and music
  • Literature and the visual imagination, 1580-1630
  • Elizabethan prose fiction and print
  • Sidney's Arcadia and the reader
  • Shakespeare and the rhetoric of the far-fetched
  • Donne and hermeneutics
  • Elizabethan romance
  • Elizabethan music printing and copyright

Member of the teaching team for the MPhil in Medieval and Renaissance Literature.  Palaeography teaching for this course led to English Handwriting: An Online Course, a collaboration with colleagues Raphael Lyne and Andrew Zurcher, and many of the Faculty's graduate students.

Selected Publications

BOOKS AND EDITIONS

  • ed., William Scott, The Model of Poesy (Cambridge: C.U.P., 2013)
    blog    amazon    CUP
  • Renaissance Figures of Speech, ed. Gavin Alexander, Sylvia Adamson, and Katrin Ettenhuber (Cambridge: C.U.P., 2007)
    amazon    CUP
  • Writing After Sidney: The Literary Response to Sir Phillip Sidney, 1586-1640 (Oxford: O.U.P., 2006)
    amazon    OUP    sample chapter at OUP
  • ed., Sidney's 'The Defence of Poesy' and Selected Renaissance Literary Criticism (London: Penguin Classics, 2004)
    amazon    Penguin

ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS

  • 'Writing and the Hermeneutics of Posthumous Publication: Greville's Afterlives', in The Measure of the Mind: Fulke Greville and the Literary Culture of the English Renaissance, ed. Russell J. Leo III, Katrin Röder, and Freya Sierhuis (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2018)
  • '"The conjunction cannot be hurtful?": Sidney's Arcadia and Mingled Genres', in The Oxford History of the Novel in English, Volume I: Prose Fiction in English from the Origins of Print to 1750, ed. Thomas Keymer (Oxford: O.U.P., forthcoming 2017)
  • 'The Problems with Old-Spelling Editions', in A Handbook of Editing Early Modern Texts, ed. Claire Loffman and Harriet Phillips (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017), 97-102
  • 'Martin Peerson and Greville's Caelica:  From Lyric Sequence to Songbook', Sidney Journal, 35 (2017), 1-20
  • 'Loving and Reading in Sidney', Studies in Philology, 114 (2017), 39-66
  • 'Gascoigne and Practical Music: Playing Loath to Depart', Review of English Studies, 67 (2016), 42-61
  • 'The Classics in Literary Criticism', in The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature, Vol. 2 - 1558-1660, ed. Patrick Cheney and Philip Hardie (Oxford: O.U.P., 2015), 87-101
  • 'Spenser in Music', in Spenser in the Moment, ed. Paul J. Hecht and J. B. Lethbridge (Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2015), 137-52
  • 'Sidney, Scott, and the Proportions of Poetics', Sidney Journal, 33.1 (2015), 7-28 [special issue on Scott]
  • 'The Sources of the Verse Examples in Gascoigne's Certayne Notes of Instruction', Notes and Queries, 62 (2015), 52-3
  • 'On the Reuse of Poetic Form: The Ghost in the Shell', in The Work of Form: Poetics and Materiality in Early Modern Culture, ed. Ben Burton and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Oxford: O.U.P., 2014), 123-43
  • 'Song in Shakespeare: Rhetoric, Identity, Agency', in The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare's Poetry, ed. Jonathan Post (Oxford: O.U.P., 2013)
  • 'Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia', in The Oxford Handbook of English Prose 1500-1640, ed. Andrew Hadfield (Oxford: O.U.P., 2013)
  • 'William Scott and the Dating of George Wyatt's Sonnets', Notes and Queries 59.1 (2012), 58-60
  • 'Final Intentions or Process? Editing Greville's Caelica', in SEL 52.1 (2012), 13-33
  • 'Of Pattern and Proportion', in Elizabethan and Jacobean England: Sources and Documents of the English Renaissance, ed. Arthur F. Kinney (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 595-602
  • 'Rhetoric', in A New Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture, ed. Michael Hattaway, 2 vols (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), I, 38-54
  • 'Seeing through Words in Theories of Poetry: Sidney, Puttenham, Lodge', in A Companion to Tudor Literature, ed. Kent Cartwright (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 350-63
  • 'Prosopopoeia: The Speaking Figure', in Renaissance Figures of Speech (2007; see below), 96-112
  • 'The Musical Sidneys', John Donne Journal, 25 (2006), 65-105; special issue on literature and music, ed. Richard S. Peterson
  • 'The Elizabethan Lyric as Contrafactum: Robert Sidney's "French Tune" Identified', Music and Letters, 84 (2003), 378-402
  • 'Sidney's Interruptions', Studies in Philology, 98 (2001), 184-204
  • 'A New Manuscript of the Sidney Psalms: A Preliminary Report', Sidney Journal, 18.1 (2000), 43-56
  • 'Fulke Greville and the Afterlife', Huntington Library Quarterly, 62 (1999), 203-231
  • 'The Triumph of Death: A Critical Edition in Modern Spelling of the Countess of Pembroke's translation of Petrarch's Trionfo della Morte', Sidney Journal, 17.1 (1999), 2-18 [and http://www.english.cam.ac.uk/ceres/sidneiana/triumph2.htm]
  • 'Mary Sidney Herbert: The Psalmes, the Triumph, and the Scribes', Sidney Journal, 16.2 (1998), 16-30
  • 'Constant Works: A Framework for Reading Mary Wroth', Sidney Journal, 14.2 (1996/97), 5-32