Exciting range of research across medieval and early modern Exciting range of research across medieval and early modern

The medieval and early modern research group is the focus for an exciting range of research in the School, including medieval and early modern biography and life writing, English medieval and early modern writers in Europe, early modern drama and theatricality, the carnivalesque and the history of dialogue.

Medieval and early modern forms of temporality - the engagement with and reformulation of the classical past, the issue of periodization between medieval and early modern itself, humanism and proto-humanism, and the ways in which authorship and authority are redefined in the medieval and early modern periods - constitutes a recurrent thematic interest across the Group's research.

Group members

Tony Gash works on Shakespeare and theatrical theory as it has developed across the major periods in theatre history. He is currently working on a monograph, The Substance of Shadows: Shakespeare's Dialogue with Plato.

Rebecca Pinner is fascinated by the relationships between literature, art, identity, context and culture throughout the Middle Ages, with a special focus on medieval East Anglia. She is currently working on her first monograph (2014) which explores the social, political and cultural construction of the cult of St Edmund, King and Martyr, in ninth to sixteenth-century East Anglia.

Thomas Roebuck works on early-modern antiquarianism and its place within early-modern historiography, scholarship, and literary writing.  He is currently working on a study of the late-seventeenth century scholar, orientalist and antiquary, Thomas Smith (1638-1710).  

William Rossiter focuses primarily on Anglo-Italian literary and cultural interaction from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, with an emphasis upon the divergent practices of translation in this timescale. His previous monograph Chaucer and Petrarch (2010) was the first book-length study of its subject, whilst his forthcoming monograph Wyatt Abroad: The Translation of Power (2014) examines the translations and adaptations produced by Sir Thomas Wyatt whilst he was Tudor ambassador to the major courts of Europe in the 1520s-1530s. 

Thomas Rutledge's  work focuses on the great classical translations of Virgil's Aeneid and Livy's Ab urbe condita, completed by Gavin Douglas in 1513 and by John Bellenden c.1533, on Robert Henryson's Orpheus and Eurydice, and on the relationship between these works and the parallel intertextual projects of Dante, Boccaccio, Veggio, Landino, and Poliziano. He is currently pursuing his interest in Ariosto's Romance-Epic, Orlando Furioso, and its Scottish translation by John Stewart of Baldynneis.

Karen Smyth's research focus is on late medieval literature and culture while drawing on connections across disciplines. She has a particular interest in East Anglian textual cultures and in the study of time, explored in her monograph Imaginings of Time in Lydgate and Hoccleve's Verse (2011). Her current project is an experimentation with newly emerging life writing forms in a book on John Lydgate, and a study of connections between the figurative styles of Norfolk authors and the iconography in the region.  

Peter Womack (Head of LDC) works on drama and theatricality in diverse periods from the Renaissance to the present day, especially including Shakespeare and the relation between theatrical form and political and cultural history, and has published widely in these areas. He is the author of English Renaissance Drama (2006) and his most recent book is Dialogue (The New Critical Idiom) (2011). 

Matt Woodcock is interested in sixteenth-century textual culture and in traditions and forms spanning the medieval and early modern periods.  His most recent book is Sir Philip Sidney and the Sidney Circle (2010). He is currently working on his forthcoming monograph Thomas Churchyard and the Construction of Professional Authorship.