School of the Arts, English and Drama

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Dr Catie Gill

Photo of Dr Catie Gill

Lecturer in English

Specialism: Early-Modernist

I was appointed as ‘Lecturer in Early Modern Writing’ in 2007, though I first came to Loughborough years earlier as a PhD student to work with Professor Elaine Hobby on a project about Women’s Autobiographical Writings. My teaching is broad-ranging as I contribute to core and to optional modules in the portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate modules. My research focusses on religio-political writings from the period 1630-1688, and I have a particular interest in scepticism. 

Catie Gill currently teaches on the Digital Humanities programme, and across the English undergraduate programmes, contributing to modules about Renaissance and Early Modern writing. Her particular area of expertise is the later seventeenth century – a point of unprecedented historical change – and she is a specialist in women’s writing from this period. With Dr Sara Read, she co-teaches ‘Women’s Writing in the Seventeenth Century’ and ‘The Return of the King: Literature 1660-1714’. She was short-listed for a Loughborough ‘Teaching Innovation’ award in 2017 (voted by students) for her work integrating the study of digital resources into undergraduate teaching.

Catie has also taught PGT and PGR students. At MA level, she has worked on courses about Early Modern culture and literature, and she currently co-convenes the ‘Research Methods’ module. She has supervised numerous dissertations, undergraduate and MA, on early modern authors. Since joining Loughborough in 2007, she has supervised three PhDs to completion.

Research: past and present

My current project is about literary feuding. I am researching the writing of controversy from the period 1685-1703 in order to explore the reading public’s appetite for polemical literature. In his much-read Anatomy of Melancholy (first published in 1621), Robert Burton suggested the he felt some bafflement when observing religious people disputing points of faith, opining ‘what it is that egges them, I know not’. I aim to answer this question (‘what egges them?’), while thinking also about the religious controversy’s reach in terms of audience, and, potentially, effect.

The subject of my first book was Quaker writing 1652-1688, specifically women’s writing. This project was fueled by a desire to explore gender norms, and to understand texts that were formally complex in terms of their publication. The resulting book, Women in the Seventeenth-Century Quaker Community (Ashgate, 2005), particularly focused on multiply-authored works. In subsequent articles and chapters, conference papers and invited talks, I have continued to expand my understanding of Quakerism. Quaker literature figures in several of my current projects, as the characters and the stories of Friends, as well as contemporary reaction to them, provides a rich body of source material for researching the lives of early modern people.

If you want to know about my research interests in gender and religion, you can do so by clicking here to link to Oxford University Press (2018), here to link again to Oxford University Press (2017), here to Manchester University Press (2016), and here to Routledge (2005). 

Awards and prizes

An article in Huntington Library Quarterly was part of the award-winning volume (Council of Learned Journals Voyager Prize, 2010). My current research project was funded in its early stages with a British Academy Small Research Grant (2009).

I welcome PhD applications on all things religious and political from the post-civil war period, particularly if you are interested in dissenting and non-conformist writers. In addition, I would love to hear your proposals on gender, women’s writing, and matters of identity.

PhDs supervised to completion

  • Jenna Townend (2017), ‘He was not a man that the next age can forget’: Textual Borrowings from George Herbert’s The Temple, 1633-1715 (co-supervised with Carol Bolton)
  • Katherine Aske (2015), ‘It is virtue and goodness only, that make the true beauty’: Understanding female beauty in the eighteenth century (co-supervised with Carol Bolton)
  • Anna Warzycha (2012), Enlargedness of mind and activity of spirit: Gender identities in the religious writings of mid-seventeenth-century England (co-supervised with Elaine Hobby)

Catie Gill was on the editorial panel of the journal Quaker Studies (2000-2016), and is a member of the Quaker Studies Research Association, The International John Bunyan Society, The Women’s Studies Group (1557-1877), and the Margaret Cavendish Society. She has also been the external examiner for two PhDs (Aberdeen, 2011; Birmingham University, 2015).