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Anna Reynolds



Anna Reynolds joined the department in 2019 as an Associate Lecturer. Before that, Anna was a Humanities Research Centre Postdoctoral Fellow (University of York) and a Research Assistant on the Leverhulme project ‘Shakespeare’s Scotland’ (University of Oxford). She completed her PhD at York in 2017 and has been awarded library fellowships by Princeton University; Durham University; Marsh’s Library, Dublin; the Harry Ransom Center; the Bibliographical Society (of America and the UK); and the Renaissance Society of America. She specialises in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature, book history, material culture, and ‘waste theory’ from the classical period to the modern day. She teaches on modules on medieval and Renaissance literature, drama (Shakespeare, ancient, and modern), and on the medical humanities at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Anna is the First-Year Coordinator and convenor of Key Concepts and the Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture MA.

Contact details

Dr Anna Reynolds
Department of English and Related Literature
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: ++44 1904 323351



Anna’s research focuses on the intersection of material culture and imaginative thought from classical Rome to the present day, with a particular focus on the history of the book in the early modern period. She borrows methodologies from archaeology, anthropology, history, and the emerging field of ‘discard studies’, combining them with traditional literary and bibliographical approaches. She is a member of the International Literary Waste Studies Network and is building an online database of early modern waste paper with Prof. Adam Smyth (University of Oxford) and Dr Megan Heffernan (DePaul University), with whom she organised the conference Histories, Theories, and Uses of Waste Paper in Early Modern England at Oxford in June 2019. Anna is completing her first monograph on Waste Paper in Early Modern England and is co-editing the collection The Paper Trade in Early Modern Europe: Practices, Materials, Networks (forthcoming: Brill 2020). She has chapters forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Women’s Writing and the Oxford Handbook of the Book in Early Modern England and has published on material and imaginative encounters with binding waste

Anna is currently working on a number of related projects: these explore the use of paper props on the early modern stage; the relationship of skin and paper in early modern thought; the place of the humoral body in the early modern environment; and ‘transgender’ Shakespeare. She is particularly interested in work on early modern prose and drama (especially Thomas Nashe, Thomas Middleton, François Rabelais, and Thomas Urquhart); in theatre history; book history; antiquarianism; natural history and the environment; science and science fiction; the reception of classical texts (especially Catullus and Martial); and the Reformation and the Bible.