Dr Clare EganLecturer in Medieval and Early Modern Literature
My research interests cover a wide range of drama and performance in medieval and early modern England, especially through the study of spectatorship. I study the ways in which people at the lower levels of society used performance in their everyday lives to enact communal conflicts; the focus of this research is the performance of provincial libels under James I. Preserved in the Star Chamber court records are accounts of early communities writing slanderous verses about one another and reading them aloud to local audiences, as well as fixing symbols to significant public places and acting various out mock-ceremonies. My research investigates the literary and performance nature of these sources along with their uses of place and space, including using digital mapping to locate them in their contemporary landscape using GIS (Geographic Information Systems). I also have research interests in early ecocriticism and communal reactions to early environmental problems, especially extreme weather events during the Little Ice Age.
The formation of identity and selfhood through literature and performance is my broader research area, especially the existence of anxiety over the boundaries of public and private life throughout the medieval period. I am interested in defamation, both libel and slander, as a form of early modern media and am currently working on false news and the circulation of disinformation in the early modern world.
I contribute lectures on medieval literature to the Part I Introduction to English Literature course and deliver lectures and seminars for the Part II Shakespeare and Renaissance to Restoration courses at Undergraduate level. I also convene a third year half-unit on Medieval Performances of Self.
At Masters leve, I convene modules on early modern environment and ecocriticism, as well as collaborative teaching with the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
PhD Supervision Interests
I would welcome research students working on any aspects of medieval to early modern literature relating to the research interests outlined above. In particular, I would be interested in research proposals relating to: - early drama, performance and spectatorship - libel, slander or defamation (pre-1642) - the records of Star Chamber - early selfhood and identity - false news, disinformation and early modern media - environmental problems (medieval to early modern) and ecocriticism Please contact me if your are interested in pursuing postgraduate research in any of these areas or others related to medieval and early modern studies.
Reading Mankind in a Culture of Defamation
Egan, C. 1/04/2019 In: Medieval English Theatre. 40, p. 116-147. 32 p.
Shared Futures: Early Career Academics in English Studies: Early Career Academics and Precarious Employment
Jones, C., Egan, C., English, E., Ras, I.A., Watkins, S. 2018
Women and the Performance of Libel in Early-Modern Devon
Egan, C. 2016 In: Medieval English Theatre. 38, 2, p. 145-162. 17 p.
‘Now fearing neither friend nor foe,/ To the worldes viewe these verses goe’: mapping libel performance in early-modern Devon
Egan, C. 2014 In: Medieval English Theatre. 36, p. 70-103. 34 p.