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 
Simon Ditchfield (Department of History).

The Centre Administrator is
Brittany Scowcroft 

Academic staff

Academic Staff

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

Keith Allen, MA (Cambridge), PhD (UCL) 
Philosophy of perception (especially colour), early modern philosophy, phenomenology, and the philosophy of philosophy

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

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

Emilie Murphy, BA, MA, PhD (York);
Soundscapes, Music and Religious Culture

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

Jane Raisch, BA (Univ of Pennsylvania), PhD. (Univ of California, Berkeley)
The literature of C16 and C17 England and Europe; the reception of the classical world.

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

Laura Stewart, MA (St Andrews), MSc. PhD (Edinburgh)
Scottish Political Culture; State Formation & Political Communication

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

Tim Stuart-Buttle, PhD (Oxford) 
Early modern European intellectual history, and the history of political thought

Neil Tarrant, MA (Edinburgh), DPhil. (Sussex)
Intellectual & Cultural History of C16 Italy

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

Peter Mazur was 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. In 2013 Peter published 'The New Christians of Spanish Naples, 1528-1671: A Fragile Elite', with Palgrave Macmillan.

Abigail Shinn ( was 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. She is currently Lecturer in Early Modern Literature at the English Department at Goldsmiths University.

Research Associates

Eleni Liapi ( did her first degrees at the University of Athens (BA & MA) and her PhD at the University of York.   She has taught at the University of York, the University of Aberdeen, and Leeds Beckett University. Lena now teaches at the History Department at the University of Keele, Staffordshire.

Robin Macdonald ( was awarded her PhD in History at the University of York. She has recently completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe 1100-1800) at the University of Western Australia. Robin’s work focuses on histories of encounter in seventeenth-century North America, in particular, encounters of people and environments. She is currently completing her monograph, Habits in New France: Bodies, Environments, and Beliefs, 1634–1700. Robin is also co-editor (with Emilie K. M. Murphy and Elizabeth L. Swann) of Sensing the Sacred in Medieval and Early Modern Culture (Routledge). 

Svenn-Arve Myklebost (known as Sam; was 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. Myklebost has published a number of articles and book chapters in journals such as ImageTextEarly Modern Literary StudiesEarly Modern Culture Online and The Shakespearean International Yearbook. He is now Associate Professor at Volda University College, Norway.

Dustin M. Neighbors ( was awarded his PhD in Early Modern History from the University of York in 2018. His doctoral thesis, titled “’With My Rulinge’: Agency, Queenship, and Political Culture through Royal Progresses in the Reign of Elizabeth I”, focused on royal spectacles, female agency, the development of sixteenth and seventeenth-century political culture. Along with teaching for the history department at the University of York, Dustin has maintained a long-standing and close relationship with the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies. He served as chair of the Cabinet of Curiosities (a CREMS postgraduate forum run by and for all postgraduates) from 2015-2016. He was the first official representative of the CREMS-University of Nebraska, Lincoln Visiting Scholars Partnership in 2016. Dustin continues his research endeavours as he develops publications and projects, which include an article that features his discovery of primary manuscript material that has not previously been used within scholarship on Elizabeth I. Additionally, Dustin is working on his monograph (provisionally under contract for publication in 2020) on female hunting from the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries and its use in cultivating agency, identity, and as a means of survival. Dustin’s long-term project will be a digital humanities project that will develop an online, interactive map that traces the routes and visits of Tudor royal progresses.

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 Lecturer in History of Art at Aberdeen University.

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 ( 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).

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. She is now a Lecturer in the English Department at Liverpool John Moore University.