I specialise in the literature and history of early modern England, with a particular interest in questions of gender, textuality, and materiality. My current book project, tentatively titled The Life in Things: Matter, Materials, and Objects in Early Modern England brings together early modern and modern ideas about matter, and the liveliness of objects, to argue for an enduring history of vitalist thinking. I am Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded project ‘Conversion Narratives in Early Modern England’ and you can read about our research and activities on the project blog.
I have published and taught widely on early modern print and manuscript, women and the print trade, and material texts. Recent publications include 'Grossly Material Things': Women and Book Production in Early Modern England (Oxford, 2012) and (edited with Louise Wilson), Renaissance Paratexts (Cambridge, 2011), as well as articles on women's reading and U.S. Armed Services Editions.
My research interests include the history of the book, and in particular a more rigorous approach to theorising the material text, women and gender in early modern England, and questions of religious experience, travel, and conversion. My new project grapples with matter theory and the liveliness of objects. I am especially interested in questions of metaphor and embodiment, drawing on the phenomenological tradition alongside recent work in sociology, anthropology, linguistics, and cognitive neuroscience to chart ways of being in the world.
Conversion Narratives in Early Modern Europe
Monograph: The Life in Things: Matter, Materials, and Objects in Early Modern England
Edited Collections: Gender and Conversion (with Simon Ditchfield)
A Handbook to the Early Modern Bible (with Kevin Killeen and Rachel Willie)
Chapters: ‘The rise of Shakespeare in print, 1593-98’, in M. J. Kidnie and Sonia Massai (eds), Shakespeare and Textual Studies (forthcoming 2013)
‘“A woman’s work is never done: domestic labour and popular culture”’, in Matthew Dimmock, Andrew Hadfield, and Abigail Shinn (eds), Companion to Popular Culture in Early Modern England (forthcoming 2013)
‘Buying and collecting’, in Andy Kesson and Emma Smith (eds), The Elizabethan Top Ten: Defining Print Popularity in Early Modern England (forthcoming 2012)
Other projects: ‘Printing Press Technology’ in Bruce Smith (general ed.), The Cambridge World Shakespeare Encyclopedia, 2 vols. print and online as Cambridge World Shakespeare Online (forthcoming, 2012)
I have supervised or am supervising PhD theses on Interregnum drama and the ‘paper stage’, ballads and history, concepts of taste and disgust, and textiles. I would welcome applications from students working on book history, objects, women's writing and making, literature and religion.
‘Grossly material things’: women and book production in early modern England (Oxford University Press, 2012).
Renaissance Paratexts (Cambridge University Press, 2011), co-edited with Louise Wilson.
‘“My own small private library”: U.S. Armed Services Editions and the culture of collecting’, in Matthew Day and John Hinks (eds), From Compositor to Collector: Essays on the Book Trade, 1660-2010 (New Castle, Delaware and London: Oak Knoll Press and the British Library, 2011), 337-353.
‘“more swete vnto the eare / than holsome for ye mynde”: Embodying Early Modern Women’s Reading’, Huntington Library Quarterly, 73:3 (September 2010), 413-32.
‘“Imprinted by Simeon-such-a-signe”: Reading Early Modern Imprints’, in Helen Smith and Louise Wilson (eds), Renaissance Paratexts (Cambridge University Press, 2011), 17-33.
‘Old Authors,Women Writers, and the New Print Technology’, in Kent Cartwright (ed.), A Companion to Tudor Literature and Culture, 1485-1603 (Blackwells, 2010), 178-191.
‘Shakespeare: A Man in Print?’, in Richard Meek, Jane Rickard, and Richard Wilson (eds), Shakespeare's Book: Essays in Reading, Writing and Reception (Manchester University Press, 2008), 59-78.
‘The Publishing Trade in Shakespeare’s Time’, in Andrew Murphy (ed.), A Concise Companion to Shakespeare and the Text (London: Blackwells, 2007), 17-34.
‘“This one poore blacke gowne lined with white”: The clothing of the 16th-century book”, in Catherine Richardson (ed.), Clothing Culture: 1350-1650 (Ashgate, 2004), 194-208.
‘“Print[ing] your royal father off”: early modern female stationers and the gendering of the British book trades’, in TEXT: an Interdisciplinary Annual of Textual Studies, 15 (2003), 163-86.