Academic staff

Borthwick notorial seal

CREMS provides a forum for more than thirty academic staff and their postgraduates from eight leading departments at York, sharing strong affiliations with the departments of English, History, History of Art and Archaeology.

The Director of the Centre is 
Helen Smith (Department of English).

The Centre Administrator is 
Jacky Pankhurst.

Academic staff

Academic Staff

Tara Alberts, BA, MA, PhD (Cantab)
Encounters and exchanges, Europe and Asia 1500-1700

Gareth Beale, MSc, PhD (Southampton)  
Archaeolgy, Research Fellow,Centre for Digital Heritage 
Archaeology of the English Civil Wars; contemporary representations of 17th Century England. 

Monica Brito-Vieira, MA, PhD (Cantab)
Hobbes and ideas of representation

Sarah Brown, MA (York), FSA, FRHistS
History of Art, Director of York Glaziers Trust
Ecclesiastical architecture and stained glass

Judith Buchanan, BA (Bristol), DPhil (Oxon)
Shakespeare, film, performance

Stuart Carroll, BA (Bristol), PhD (London)
Religion and Violence in France; Neighbourliness & Community in France, Germany, England and Italy

John Cooper, MA, DPhil (Oxon), AM (Pennsylvania)
Religion, propaganda and monarchy in England

Michael Cordner, MA (Cantab)
Theatre, Film & Television
Renaissance and Restoration drama

Brian Cummings, MA, PhD (Cantab)
Anniversary Professor, English
Shakespeare, history of religion, history of the book

Hannah Degroff, MA, PhD (York)
Library and Archives
Library E-resources; country house libraries and archives

Tania Demitriou, BA, MA, PhD
EM literature and classical reception, Shakespeare

Simon Ditchfield, BA (York), MPhil, PhD (Warburg Inst)
Perceptions and uses of the past, Italian Counter-Reformation

Jonathan Finch, BA, MA, PhD (UEA)
Historic landscapes and church archaeology in England

Anthony Geraghty, BA (Birmingham), MA (London), PhD (Cantab)
History of Art
Architecture and architectural drawing in England

Kate Giles, BA, MA, DPhil (York)
Civic and ecclesiastical buildings in England

Natasha Glaisyer, BA (Canterbury, NZ), PhD (Cantab)
Cultures of commerce in England

Sarah Griffin, MSc (Aberystwyth)
Library and Archives
Special Collections; York Minster Library



Helen Hills, BA (Oxon), MA, PhD (London)
History of Art
Baroque architecture (Italy); the idea of 'baroque'; gender, religious devotion and architecture in post-Tridentine Italy

Robert Hollingworth, (New College, Oxford)
Anniversary Reader, Music
Founder of ensemble I Fagiolini

Mark Jenner, BA, DPhil (Oxon)
History of the body, conceptions of cleanliness, London

Richard Johns, MA (Courtauld), PhD (York)
History of Art
Grand-scale decorative history painting; visual culture in the long eighteenth century

Amanda Jones, MA, DPhil (Oxon)
Borthwick Institute
Popular protest in England; archives and palaeography

Oliver Jones, MA, PhD (York)
Early Modern travelling players and performance space

Kevin Killeen, BA, MA, PhD (London)

Early modern science, seventeenth century historiography, sermon culture and iconoclasm

Amanda Lillie, BA (Auckland), MA, PhD (London)
History of Art
Art and architecture in Italy, Florentine villas

Jeanne Nuechterlein, MA, PhD (Berkeley)
History of Art
Religious and secular imagery in Northern European art

Sarah Olive, PhD (Birmingham)
The place of Shakespeare and his contemporaries in education

Graham Parry, MA (Cantab), PhD (Columbia)
Relationship between literature and the visual arts, Milton

Liz Prettejohn, BA (Harvard) MA, PhD (Courtauld Inst)
History of Art
Receptions of ancient, medieval and Renaissance art

John Roe, BA (Cantab), MA, PhD (Harvard)
English and Italian literature: Petrarch, Machiavelli, Shakespeare

Richard Rowland, BA (York), MPhil, PhD (Oxon)
Renaissance and Classical drama, editing and performance



Peter Seymour, BA, DMusic (York)
Baroque and Classical music, performance practice, rhetoric

James Sharpe, BA, DPhil (Oxon)
Social and cultural history, witchcraft and crime

Erica Sheen, AGSM, BA, PhD (London)
Shakespeare, film studies, law and literature

Bill Sheils, BA (York), PhD (London)
English Reformation, nonconformity and recusancy, agrarian and urban space

Bill Sherman, BA (Columbia), MPhil, PhD (Cantab)

Books and readers, travel writing, Renaissance drama

Freya Sierhuis, PhD (Florence)
Intellectual and literary history of England and Dutch Republic; emotions in EM culture

Helen Smith, MA (Glasgow), PhD (York)
History of the book, Renaissance literature, feminist theory

Tim Stanton, BA (Leicester), MA (York), PhD (Leicester)
Political philosophy, history of toleration, Locke

Tom Stoneham, MA (Oxon), MPhil, PhD (London)
Metaphysics and epistemology, especially idealism and theories of perception

Jonathan Wainwright, MA (Dunelm), PhD (Cantab)
Italian and English music, performance practice, patronage

Geoffrey Wall, BA (Sussex), BPhil (Oxon)
Rabelais, Shakespeare, Milton, psychoanalysis, life-writing

Christopher Webb, BA (Dunelm), MA (York)
Borthwick Institute
Paleography and archives

Sophie Weeks, MA, PhD (Leeds)
Early modern intellectual history; the history of science.

Catherine Wilson, BA (Yale), BPhil (Oxford), PhD (Princeton)
Anniversary Chair, Philosophy
Early Modern philosophy, epicureanism, Lucretius, Descartes

David Wootton, MA, PhD (Cantab), FRHistS
Intellectual and cultural history, medicine, political thought, drama

Cordula van Wyhe, MA, PhD (London)
History of Art
Baroque art in the Netherlands and France, patronage and court culture

Post Docs/Associates

Postdoctoral Fellows and Researchers

Abigail Shinn ( is a research fellow on the ‘Conversion Narratives’ project. She received her PhD from the University of Sussex in 2009, and has published, and given research papers, on Edmund Spenser, the popular press, and the almanac tradition in early modern England. As part of the Conversion Narratives project, Abi will publish a book-length study of conversion in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.

Peter Mazur ( is a research fellow on the ‘Conversion Narratives’ project. He received his PhD from Northwestern University in 2008. He has published, and given research papers, on conversion and the inquisition in Italy, with a particular focus on the melting-pot which was early modern Naples. As part of the Conversion Narratives project, Peter will publish a book-length study of conversion in Italy.

Research Associates

Emanuela Vai ( received her PhD in Art History  from the University of St Andrews and the University of Turin. Her research is centred on art history and musicology from the 15th-17th centuries and primarily concentrates on the performative, material and aural dimensions of architectural spaces in Renaissance Italy, including liturgy and the iconography of spaces and their ceremonies. Her research has been funded by the Society for Renaissance Studies, the Society for Italian Studies, the Royal Historical Society, the F&M Caligara Foundation for Interdisciplinary Studies, the Catholic University Centre in Rome and the University of St Andrews. She is currently undertaking an analysis of Salomon de Caus' De Vitruve (c. 1622-1624), a rare and unpublished manuscript commentary on the first book of Jean Martin's French translation of Vitruvius. This is part of her larger project that aims to bridge the art-science divide, focusing on the relationship between music, materiality and architecture in de Caus’ manuscripts, printed books, drawings and theories.

Susan Vincent was awarded her PhD byYork, on the cultural history of dress in Early Modern England, and has now expanded her research interests to include dress practices up to the present day. Currently she is working as the General Editor for a dress series forthcoming from Berg, and as a part of this is authoring a volume on Hair.  Her two previous books are Dressing the Elite: Clothes in Early Modern England (2003) and The Anatomy of Fashion: Dressing the Body from the Renaissance to Today (2009).

Svenn-Arve Myklebost (known as Sam; is a research fellow at the University of Bergen, working on a PhD dissertation on the adaptation of plays by William Shakespeare, primarily into comic book and manga form. He visited CREMS on a WUN Research Mobility Programme, under the supervision of Bill Sherman.

Simon Sandall (  was a research assistant on the Church Court Cause Papers project at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, and is now associated with further work to promote the project's findings.

Rachel Willie ( completed her PhD on Commonwealth and Restoration Drama in 2009 in the Department of English and Related Literature and is currently revising it for publication by Manchester University Press. Rachel helped to run the Bible in the Seventeenth Century Conference (York, July 2011). Her research interests lie broadly in seventeenth century literary history and culture. In October 2011 she was appointed to a temporary lectureship at Bangor University.

Helen Pierce ( held a postdoctoral fellowship with CREMS 2005-8 working towards the publication of her doctoral thesis. Helen works on British art of the early modern period (c.1550-1750), with a particular focus on the interplay between printed images, propaganda and polemic across the seventeenth century. Her monograph Unseemly Pictures: Graphic Satire and Politics in Early Modern England (Yale University Press) redresses an established art historical bias privileging genres such as elite portraiture over printed media, and challenges the presence of a pervasive 'iconophobia' in post-Reformation English culture. She is now working on two interrelated projects, one being a study of prints and politics during the Restoration period, the other looking at the artistic activities and networking of the late seventeenth-century York Virtuosi.  Helen has received grants and fellowships from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Huntington Library and the Scouloudi Foundation. She is currently works as a Teaching Fellow in History of Art at Aberdeen University.