School of the Arts, English and Drama

News and Events

2 May 2016

Huge funding success for Professor of 17th Century Studies

Congratulations are in order for Professor Elaine Hobby, who has just been awarded a major AHRC grant for her project on Aphra Behn, entitled ‘Editing Aphra Behn in the Digital Age’!

The four-year project, starting in July this year, will produce an 8-volume Complete Works (to be published by Cambridge University Press) of the writer generally said to be the first professional female writer in English – Aphra Behn (1640-89). The project as a whole is valued at £940,308, with the AHRC providing funding of £752,247 at 80% of full economic costing.

Loughborough will be the lead institution, with Professor Hobby as Principal Investigator and Dr Gillian Wright of the University of Birmingham and Dr Mel Evans of the University of Leicester serving as Co-Investigators. The project also employs Dr Claire Bowditch as a full-time Postdoctoral Assistant here at Loughborough, where she was awarded her PhD in 2015. A second Postdoctoral Assistant will be shared between Birmingham and Leicester.

There are more than 20 contributing editors involved, based at universities across the UK, USA, Australia and continental Europe. The project’s electronic workbench, through which the team will share their work-in-progress, is being designed and built by the Digital Humanities Institute at the University of Sheffield. The project also includes partnerships with, among others, the National Archives, the National Theatre, the Queen’s Company in New York, and the National Library of Scotland.

This year, Professor Hobby has been on Special Leave, enabling her to take up 10 months of Fellowships at 6 US libraries. She is currently based at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC, and will go from there to the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas before returning to Loughborough in August this year. Earlier this academic year she has been at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), Houghton Library (Harvard University)Firestone Memorial Library (Princeton University), and the Huntington Library.

This is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved in the bid for funding and the upcoming project. We are excited to see where it leads over the next four years!