PhD in Renaissance Literature

1. Cambridge is a superb place to study for a PhD in early modern literature. A large and lively Faculty (names are listed below – individuals are happy to be approached about particular projects), with a wide range of interests, means that we can consider and support research proposals in a very wide range of aspects of the field. This period is central to the life of the Faculty also because almost all our undergraduates take papers on ‘English Literature and its Contexts, 1500-1700’ and on Shakespeare. Some go on to further early modern options in their final year. This means there are good opportunities for postgraduate students to get involved in teaching. Training in teaching and in other aspects of professional life (such as presentation skills) are all available. The early modern community in Cambridge is a lively one, with various links between different Faculties. Among the more recent and exciting are the Centre for Material Texts, based in the Faculty of English, and the Interdisciplinary Renaissance Seminar. The resources for studying this period in the University Library and the college libraries are world-class, and we encourage students to explore these materials whenever possible. Many former Cambridge PhD students have gone on to be leaders in the subject around the world.

2. Faculty Members who act as PhD supervisors or advisors for Renaissance topics include

Dr Gavin Alexander Dr Amy Morris
Dr Christopher Burlinson Dr Charles Moseley
Professor Helen Cooper Dr Joe Moshenska
Dr Katrin Ettenhuber Dr Subha Mukherji
Dr Paul Hartle Dr Sophie Read
Dr David Hillman Dr Jason Scott-Warren
Dr Edward Holberton Dr Andrew Taylor
Professor John Kerrigan Dr Christopher Tilmouth
Dr Bonnie Lander Johnson Dr Edward Wilson-Lee
Dr Hester Lees Jeffries Dr Andrew Zurcher
Dr Raphael Lyne  


3. Current and recently graduated PhD students' topics include


A. Bowles, 'A ready writers pen': Ralph Crane's transcriptions of A Game at Chesse
A. Bumke, Donne's Rhetoric of Disease
P. Dickerson, Skin and the Fabric of Perception in Seventeenth-Century Poetry
E. Firestone, Cognitive Approaches to the Improbable in Shakespeare
K. Forsyth, Commerce and Confession in the Marian Book Trade
C. Gorman, Poetry and Material Philosophies, 1644-1687
B. Horbury, Shakespeare’s Prodigal Sons: representations of filial duty and the parable in early modern drama
J. Jarrett, Shakespeare's Mathematical Arts: Geometry, Arithmetic, Cognition
J. Kwong, Playing the Whore: Representations of Whoredom on the Early Modern Stage
C. Leahy, The Intellectual context of Gavin Douglas's Eneados
J. O'Donoghue, How Literary Metaphors Communicate: The Communicative Value of Metaphor in Literature
A. Saunders, Annotations in 16th and 17th Century Literature
J. Stollova, "Richard would outlive his overthrow": Post-Shakespearean Representations of Richard III
A. Wong, Aspects of the Kiss-Poem, 1450-1700: The Neo-Latin 'Basium' Genre and its Influence on Early Modern British Verse
T. Wright, How the Rhetorical Techniques of Western Classical Drama Influenced the Dramatic Reception of Verse during the English Renaissance

Medieval and Renaissance

K. Crowcroft, Analysis of Ideas abouth the Senses: Medieval into renaissance, with An Edition of Tomkis' 'Lingua'
D. Singh, Editing Chaucer's 'Works' in the Renaissance: Thomas Speghtj's 1598 and 1602 Folio Editions

4. Links to Research Groups

The Centre for Material Texts

Medieval and Renaissance Research Hub

Renaissance Graduate Seminar

Interdisciplinary Early Modern Seminar

History of Material Texts Seminar