Dr Sarah Olive



I am a Senior Lecturer in English in Education. I was born in the UK and moved to Australia as a teenager. I majored in English at the University of Adelaide, before completing a PhD in Education at the University of Cambridge. I was awarded an AHRC-funded PhD studentship on the cultural value of Shakespeare at the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, graduating in 2011. I continue my affiliation there as a Visiting Lecturer on several MA programmes.

Departmental roles

My previous departmental roles include:

  • Programme Leader for the BA English in Education - a role I held for six years
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Deputy Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Undergraduate Admissions Tutor
  • Undergraduate Dissertation Coordinator
  • Member of the Departmental Ethics Committee

I currently run the department's Twitter account (@DeptEdYork).

University roles

These include:

  • Member of the University's Special Cases Committee
  • Supervisor for the York Learning and Teaching Award
  • An organising committee member of the biennial York International Shakespeare Festival

I previously served on the steering committee of the York Learning and Teaching Forum, with particular responsibility for workshop topics.



My ongoing research programmes focus on Shakespeare in popular culture, particularly television and social media, as well as Shakespeare in education in East and South East Asia. These extend my previous work on Shakespeare in UK policy and pedagogy, captured in my 2015 monograph Shakespeare Valued: Education policy and pedagogy, 1989-2009 (Bristol: Intellect). I welcome application from prospective research students in related areas.

My research is published in journals including Borrowers and Lenders, Cahiers Élisabéthains, The Drama Review, Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, Shakespeare Survey and Use of English. I have contributed items to the volumes Broadcast Your Shakespeare, The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare, The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare and Year of Shakespeare.

Research group(s)


I have received numerous grants from the British Academy, British Council, ESRC, GB Sasakawa Foundation and World Universities Network. I won the York-Waikato staff exchange in 2012.

Available PhD research projects

View all of our current available PhD research projects.


My PhD students, supervised to completion, include Dr Daniel Xerri on the teaching of poetry in Malta (with Dr Nick McGuinn) and Dr Chelsea Swift on reading identities of young people in East Yorkshire.

My current PhD students work on Shakespeare for rehabilitation, Shakespeare and human rights, and Chinese parents' use of English-language picture books (with Dr Clementine Beauvais).

External activities


  • Founding Editor of the British Shakespeare Association's Teaching Shakespeare and its Education Network blog
  • Chair of the Association's Education Committee since 2011
  • Member of the peer-reviewed journal Palgrave Communications advisory board
  • Steering group member of the British Conference of Undergraduate Research

I have given research seminars, pre-show talks, public lectures, workshops and attended conferences in Adelaide, Bergen, Birmingham, Brighton, Canberra, Canterbury, Chicago, Glasgow, Hanoi, Helsingor, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Hull, London, Lodz, Melbourne, Newcastle, New Delhi, New Orleans, Nottingham, Oxford, Prague, Seoul, Statford-upon-Avon, Takasaki, Telemark, Tokyo, Toronto, Vancouver, Warwick, Washington DC and Worcester. I regularly undertake international recruitment activities for the department in East Asia.

Editorial duties

I write frequenty for online publications such as Reviewing Shakespeare and I have contributed pieces to The Conversation and British Sociological Association postgraduate forum.


Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 323473

My full, current CV as well as publications are available at https://york.academia.edu/SarahOlive