Early Modern Research Group

We have particular expertise in literature from the Renaissance through to early Enlightenment (c.1550-1714), including key areas such as drama and performance; health and well-being; and politics and religion.

This research group involves the School’s early-modern researchers in a programme of papers, occasional conferences, and study groups. 

The group provides a forum for staff and postgraduates, principally to share early-stage research. The most recent research programme was around early modern attitudes to the body and health. 

It has a well-established interest in literary history of the early modern period, and has hosted international conferences with this focus. 

The group meets on average four times a year, fairly informally, often to hear new research from staff and post-graduates, as well as external speakers, and we are always happy to welcome new members too. 

Recent activities:

  • Invited Talk: Sara Read delivered a paper for the Darwin College Lecture Series (Cambridge): ‘Transitional Bleeding in Early Modern England’
  • Research Roundup: Ahead of the launch of the first tranche of Cambridge Edition of the Works of Aphra Behn, Elaine Hobby and Claire Bowditch present a summary of the challenges and joys of editing early modern writing.
  • Symposium: 'Honest Labour: Exploring the Interface between Work and Nonconformity' (Loughborough and The International John Bunyan Society).
  • Workshop: Exploring ideas relating to Gender and Work in a Postgraduate-led series of workshops
  • Coming soon: ‘Early Modern Words’: three-day International Conference (Loughborough and E-Abida)

Recent publications:

  • Armstrong, Catherine, American Slavery, American Imperialism US Perceptions of Global Servitude, 1870-1914 (Cambridge University Press, 2020)
  • Bakewell, Lyndsey and Sara Read ‘“To Make Fools Laugh, and Women Blush, and Wise Men Ashamed”, in Humour in the Arts: New Perspectives, ed. by Vivienne Westbrook and Shun-liang Chao (Routledge, 2020), pp. 178-201.
  • Bowditch, Claire and Elaine Hobby (eds), ‘Aphra Behn at her 350th Anniversary and Some Radical Reimaginings’, Women’s Writing, 27:3 (2020).
  • Fitzpatrick, Joan (ed.), Three Sixteenth Century Dietaries: A Critical Edition, Revels Companion Library (Manchester University Press, 2017).
  • Gill, Catie, New Critical Studies on Early Quaker Womenco-ed. With Michele Lise Tarter (Oxford University Press, 2018). 
  • Read, Sara, The Gossips’ Choice (Wild Pressed Books, 2020)
  • Wood, Nigel, Shakespeare and Reception Theory (Bloomsbury, 2020)

Members of the group

Catherine Armstrong 

School Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Reader in Modern History

Carol Bolton

Senior Lecturer in English

Claire Bowditch

AHRC Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Elaine Hobby

Professor of 17th-Century Studies

Chloe Owen

Research Student