Medieval and Early Modern

The Department’s research in medieval and early modern literature ranges from medieval theatre through to work on theory, performance, gender, and religion in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 

Early modern literature represents a meeting point for many of the dominant research themes within the Department (writing and religion; literature and location; critical creative and literature and gender) and in cross-faculty research groups such as Corpus Research in Early Modern English.

Particularly important features of our research in the medieval and early modern include:

Medieval English Theatre

Medieval English Theatre is an international refereed journal publishing articles on medieval and early Tudor theatre and pageantry in all its aspects. The journal is edited and produced from Lancaster and is now in its 37th year. Recently, the distribution has been taken over by major publisher Boydell and Brewer, who advertise it as ' the premier journal in early theatre studies':

The Shakespeare Programme

The Shakespeare Programme - current activities include research on Shakespearean texts as part of early modern surfaces project and the performance, ceremony and ritual project, and work on Shakespeare’s language via the Corpus Research in Early Modern English group. It also works closely with Lancaster Castle as well with theatres, schools and members of the public.

Early Modern Reading Group

The Early Modern Reading Group - a group of staff and students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, who meet regularly to discuss Early Modern texts.

Shakespeare and His Sisters on Site

Shakespeare and His Sisters on Site is a project that uses Professor Alison Findlay’s research on site-specific performance of drama by Shakespeare and by two of his female contemporaries, Lady Jane Lumley and Lady Mary Wroth, to engage local communities with the drama and cultural history of their environments.

Northern Renaissance Seminar

The Northern Renaissance Seminar was reconvened by colleagues here in Lancaster in 2007, and is a peripatetic series of one-day events for the discussion of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature and culture.

Performance, Ceremony and Ritual

Performance, Ceremony and Ritual – a series of interdisciplinary seminars using theoretical models developed in social anthropology, and through practical work.

Early Modern Surfaces

Early Modern Surfaces – a project launched with a panel on 'Shakespearean Surfaces' at the British Shakespeare Association Conference (University of Warwick, 2007). The ideas opened in the panel have expanded to include a Theorizing Surfaces conference, the Surface Studies site, and to work on film and performance-based research that moves beyond the written text.

Locating Early Modern Religion

Locating Early Modern Religion. 'I was moved to open to the people that the steeple-house, and the ground whereon it stood were no more holy than that mountain'. These words, spoken by the Quaker George Fox in 1652, suggest just one of the ways in which early modern religion was shaped by the location in which it was generated, celebrated, experienced, or challenged, whether that be (as here) Firbank Fell in Cumbria, or the churches and chapels, cities and villages, private homes and royal courts, national assemblies and congregational meetings, in which early modern religion was formed and reformed.

Meg Twycross is currently working on the history of the manuscript of the Towneley Plays and the history of the Lancashire Catholic Towneley family.