Dr Jason Scott-Warren, Faculty of English



Biographical Information

I studied English at Jesus College, Cambridge, and went on to become a graduate student and a Research Fellow there. From 1998-2004 I was a lecturer at the University of York, where I set up the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies; in 2004, I was appointed to a lectureship at Cambridge and a Fellowship of Gonville and Caius College. I did my PhD under the supervision of Warren Boutcher on books as gifts at the Elizabethan and Jacobean courts; this formed the basis of my first book. Since then, I have written numerous studies of early modern literature in circulation, as well as broader accounts of the relationship between writing and cultural history; for the latter, see my second book, Early Modern English Literature (2005). I am working on a book about Shakespeare's first documented reader, working title Ecologies of Reading in Early Modern England: Richard Stonley's Paper Trails. I'm also co-editing two collections with Andrew Zurcher: the first a collection of essays entitled Text, Food and the Early Modern Reader: Eating Words, the second the Oxford Handbook of Renaissance Poetry. 

I am Director of the Cambridge Centre for Material Texts, an initiative aimed at bringing people from across the University together to talk about the embodied forms of the sources they study. In this capacity I am one of the convenors of the 'History of Material Texts' seminar, and I've helped to organize several conferences, including one on the theme of 'Texts and Textiles' and another entitled 'Eating Words: Text, Image, Food'. More recently, I ran a colloquium in Cambridge on the Academic Book of the Future, as part of the first Academic Book Week, and I am on the steering committee for a conference entitled 'Digital Editing Now'.

I'm on the advisory board for the new Oxford Critical Edition of the Works of Thomas Nashe and for the ARHC-funded York/Cambridge project on 'Remembering the Reformation'. I also sit on the editorial board for the Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society and the Ashgate 'Material Readings in Early Modern Culture' series, and I'm a member of the Cambridge Digital Humanities Network.

Research Interests

Early modern literary and cultural history; history of reading/of the book; textual archaeologies; editing in theory and practice; writing and the self; literature and anthropology; materiality, embodiment, posthumanism; literatures of London.

Areas of Graduate Supervision

English and European Renaissance literature; early modern cultural history/cultural geography; history of reading; history of the book; early modern textual circulation; anthropological approaches to literature; material texts and material culture; writing and the self. Contributes to the Medieval and Renaissance Literature MPhil.

Selected Publications

  • 'Ligatures of the Early Modern Book', in Matthew Day and Caroline Archer, eds, Resurrecting the Book (forthcoming)
  • 'Marginalia as Making: Robert Nicolson's Books', in Katherine Acheson, ed., Early Modern Marginalia (forthcoming, 2017)
  • 'Bookkeeping and Life-Writing Revisited: Accounting for Richard Stonley', Past and Present (forthcoming, 2016)
  • 'Meet the Chillesters: The Printed Counterfeit in Early Modern London', English Literary Renaissance (forthcoming, 2016)
  • ‘Centre for Material Texts, Cambridge’, The New Bookbinder 34 (2014), 46-50
  • ‘Six Ages in Two Volumes’, in Ed Potten and Emily Dourish, eds, Emprynted in thys manere: Early Printed Treasures from Cambridge University Library (2014), 110-13
  • 'Nashe's Stuff', in Andrew Hadfield, ed., The Oxford Companion to English Prose, c. 1500-1640 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 204-18
  • 'Was Elizabeth I Richard II?: The Authenticity of Lambarde's "Conversation"', in Review of English Studies (2012)
  • 'What Can We Learn from Early Modern Drama?', Historical Journal 55/2 (2012), 553-62
  • 'Reading on the Threshold', in Subha Mukherji, ed., Thinking on Thresholds: The Poetics of Transitive Spaces (London: Anthem Press, 2011), 57-72
  • 'Unannotating Spenser', in Helen Smith and Louise Wilson, eds, Renaissance Paratexts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 153-64, 250-4
  • 'Books in the Bedchamber: Religion, Accounting and the Library of Richard Stonley', in John N. King, ed., Tudor Books and Readers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 232-52
  • 'Reading Graffiti in the Early Modern Book', in Huntington Library Quarterly 73 (2010), 363-81
  • Early Modern English Literature (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2005)
  • Tudor Drama Before Shakespeare, multi-author essay collection co-edited with Lloyd Kermode and Martine van Elk (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2005)
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, articles on John Harington of Stepney, Sir John Harington and Gabriel Harvey (2004)
  • 'When Theaters Were Bear-Gardens; or, What's at Stake in the Comedy of Humors', Shakespeare Quarterly 54.1 (2003), 63-82
  • 'Harington's Gossip', in Tom Freeman and Susan Doran, eds, The Myth of Elizabeth (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 221-41
  • Sir John Harington and the Book as Gift, Oxford University Press (2001)
  • 'News, Sociability and Bookbuying in Early Modern England: The Letters of Sir Thomas Cornwallis', The Library, 7th ser., 1 (2000), 377-98
  • 'Reconstructing Manuscript Networks: The Textual Transactions of Sir Stephen Powle', in Alexandra Shepard and Philip Withington, eds, Communities in Early Modern England (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), 18-37
  • 'Sir John Harington's Life of Ariosto and the Textual Economy of the Elizabethan Court', Reformation 3 (1998), 259-301
  • 'The Privy Politics of Sir John Harington's New Discourse of a Stale Subject, Called the Metamorphosis of Ajax', Studies in Philology 93 (1996), 412-42