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Helen Davies

Helen Davies

Research Student

County College
Lancaster University
United Kingdom

My thesis investigates representations of non-normative embodiment and selfhood in the fifteenth and sixteenth century through the critical lens of disability studies. As part of the fast-growing field of early-modern disability studies, my research marks an important contribution to the understanding of cultural attitiudes towards somatic difference during the turbulent transitionary period of Tudor England.

Thesis Title

Unravelling representations of the disabled body in early modern Literature

Research Interests

My main research interests are embodiment, selfhood, identity, corporeality, body studies, disability, deformity, prosthetics, and messy transitions (from visual to scripture, Platagenet to Tudor, Catholicism to Protestantism).

External Roles

School Liaison Officer, Lancaster Season of Shakespeare 2013/14.

As part of the Lancaster Season of Shakespeare, I worked closely with Professor Alison Findlay to set up and run a course of workshops in primary, high schools and colleges that allowed students to interact with early-modern literature in new and exciting ways. My role involved signing up eleven schools, tailoring workshops to their curriculum and running a selection of the workshops myself, thus I have demonstrated teaching capabilities from KS1 to A level. I also created and ran a wordpress site with information on the Season of Shakespeare as a whole.  

Research Grants

Peel Studentship, Peel Trust 2012/13 and 2013/14

Wilcock Scholarship, Bowland College 2013/14

Outstanding Contribution Award, Department of English and Creative Writing 2013

Additional Information

I have co-founded and run the Early Modern Reading Group at Lancaster University. This group is open to Undergraduates, Postgraduates and Lecturers and has proven to be a great success. We provide an inviting forum for people with a shared interest in early modern literature to read outside of their specific research area and enjoy non-canonical texts.

Business and Enterprise

Shakespeare Charity Event 2013

In order to raise money for a local charity I co-organised a one-day Shakespeare event which brought our academic research out into the community. The day consisted of group readings of Shakespeare, a selection of papers given by University Lecturers, two drama workshops and was rounded off with a performance of Macbeth by a local theatre group, Bingo Dragon at The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster. Books were kindly donated by Manchester University Press and Cambridge University Press to sell on the day.


The digitisation of early modern ‘disability’: ways of reading Tudor literature

Davies, H. 22/02/2014

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper


Unravelling the disabled body in Tudor literature

Davies, H. 27/11/2013

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper


From throne to tramme: the ‘disabled’ seat of Henry VIII

Davies, H. 09/2012

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper

A question of self: the detachable body of skin

Davies, H. 06/2012

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper

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