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Centres and Programmes:
Medieval & Renaissance Studies
Although the Lancaster Department of English and Creative Writing no longer offers research support in Medieval Studies, Professor Emeritus Meg Twycross is still attached to the Department, specialising in Medieval theatre, medieval iconography, encounters with the Other World, and the applications of Humanities Computing. For further information, click here.
Dr Robert Appelbaum: utopianism; colonialism; the semiotics of Renaissance food
Professor Alison Findlay: Renaissance drama and women's writing; Feminist approaches to Shakespeare; Richard Brome
Dr Hilary Hinds: Women from the radical sects of the second half of the seventeenth century; sectarian spirituality, gender, and colonialism
Dr Liz Oakley-Brown: the cultural politics of translation and national identity in the early modern England
Professor Emeritus Meg Twycross: Early Tudor theatre and festival
Renaissance and specifically Shakespeare Studies continue to be one of the areas for which the Department is recognised world-wide.
The appointment of Dr Robert Appelbaum in 2004 added a significant 'American' dimension to early modern research and deepened the Department's commitment to historicist work. He brings an established international reputation as author of an important book on utopianism (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and essays on colonialism. These interests combine in a volume he recently co-edited, Envisioning an English Empire: Jamestown and the Invention of the North Atlantic World ( University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005). His current research and writing are on the semiotics of Renaissance food, with an innovative study on the cultural history of the menu well advanced and likely to achieve celebrity status (Chicago U.P., contracted). His future projects cohere very promisingly with an emerging Departmental convergence around theories of 'Terrorism and Toleration'.
Professor Alison Findlay is one of the leading figures in study of English Renaissance theatre with particular prominence for path-breaking work on women dramatists. She has just published P laying Spaces in Early Women's Drama (Cambridge, 2006), a radically-theorised account of the spatial poetics employed by female dramatists. Her recent interests in venues and settings and in the drama of the royalist Cavendish family have been published in Sibling Relations and Gender in the Early Modern World (Ashgate, 2006), and the electronic journal Early Modern Literary Studies (2004). She continues to write on Shakespearean drama and gender, with recent essays on Richard II in Shakespeare's Histories and Counter Histories (Manchester University Press, 2006) , on As You Like It for the Literary Encyclopedia (2006), on All's Well That Ends Well ( Marian Moments in Early English Drama, 2007) and on the Shakespearean heroine, Shakespeare Yearbook (2004). She is currently writing Women in Shakespeare , for the Shakespeare Dictionary Series, to be published by Continuum.
Her publications and research intersect with a number of the principal thrusts of Departmental and Faculty thinking around issues of gender, locality, region, spirituality, and space. These come together very productively in the British Academy-funded research project on North-West Quakers she leads with Dr Hinds. Her future research projects include comparative work on location, ceremony and the performance history of Shakespeare and women dramatists, and research on the Hesketh Collection of rare books in Lancaster University Library. For separate pages on Professor's Findlay's work, see: The Shakespeare Programme, Renaissance Drama at Hoghton Tower and Playing Spaces in Renaissance Drama
Dr Hilary Hinds has broadened her established reputation for writing and research on seventeenth-century women and religion into exploration of the colonial geography of early Quakers and the politics of confessional space. Again, her interests in gender, spirituality, location, and in this case, colonialism, lock directly into the Department's strategic priorities and the Faculty's intellectual combinations. The historicist strength of her work was recently shown in a pioneering essay applying the theories of Michel de Certeau to Quaker and Fifth Monarchist relationships with place and movement: 'Sectarian Spaces: The Politics of Place and Gender in Seventeenth-Century Sectarian Writing,' ( Literature and History, Autumn 2004). This line of research is to be developed into a full-scale monograph on sectarian space with a major academic press, and overlaps with Professor Wilson's publications on secrecy and the spaces of English Catholic survival. Dr Hinds leads the British Academy project on 'Early Quakers in the North-West,' and her future research is likely to contribute very creatively to initiatives on 'Terrorism and Toleration'.
Lancaster's strength in Renaissance Studies has been increased by the addition of Dr Liz Oakley-Brown, joining the Department of English and creative Writiing in the academic year 2006-07. Her principle area of research is concerned with the construction of early modern identities (1480-1700). Her publications include the co-edited collection Translation and Nation: Towards a Cultural Politics of Englishness (with Roger Ellis, Multilingual Matters, 2001) and the monograph Ovid and the Cultural Politics of Translation in Early Modern England (Ashgate, 2006). She is currently working on an edited collection, Shakespeare and Translation (1550-1650) and a second monograph, provisionally entitled Shakespeare’s Skin: Reading and Writing Corporeal Surfaces in Elizabethan Drama. In 2006 she is co-organising a 2-day international conference (with Dr Louise Wilkinson, Canterbury Christ Church University) on The Ritual and Rhetoric of Queenship 1250-1650.
Members of the Department who contribute to the Shakespeare Programme recognise a particular responsibility to maintain Medieval and Renaissance studies at Lancaster University and value their collaboration with adjacent projects such as the 'Patronage Group' of the History Department.
Professor Emeritus Meg Twycross: Medieval theatre; medieval iconography; encounters with the Other World; the applications of Humanities Computing.
The journal Medieval English Theatre is published from the Department.
Professor Meg Twycross is co-editor of the journal Medieval English Theatre and its associated publications, and has published widely on medieval theatre. With Dr Sarah Carpenter of Edinburgh University she has just finished a book on Masks and Masking in Medieval and Early Tudor England. In March 2001 she was presented with a festschrift in her honour entitled Porci ante Margaritam. She also specialises in medieval iconography and research into the meticulous recreation of medieval performance conditions and organised two pageant-waggon sequences along part of the original route of the York Mystery Plays for the York festivals of 1988 and 1992. Her videos made with Lancaster University Television are used widely for teaching.