My research concentrates on early modern drama in its cultural and historical contexts, with a particular focus on early modern stage practice, post-Reformation religion, visual arts, nostalgia, and the representations of space.
My first monograph - Shakespeare’s Unreformed Fictions (Oxford University Press, 2013) - explores Catholicism’s imaginative hold on post-reformation drama. This book considers how Shakespeare makes literary capital out of conflicted attitudes to ‘un-Reformed’ material and analyses the interactions between ideological and theatrical fiction, and literary and theological transcendence. In 2014 this book was made joint winner of the Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award.
I am currently working on a new book-length project (Renaissance Theatricalities) which explores the mixed representational form of plays, which are made up of: speech, dance, combat, dumb shows, entr’actes and jigs. Considering the varying interpretive demands these different devices place on audiences, I investigate the nature of representation itself. I analyse the interrelationship between different theatrical activities, and reveal the dynamic ways in which meaning is made in plays.
In addition, I am co-editing a collection of essays on Stage Directions and Shakespearean Theatre (Arden, forthcoming 2017) with Dr Sarah Dustagheer. Bringing together literary critics, editors and theatre practitioners, this book explores the theatrical, imaginative and literary function of Renaissance stage directions.
I also run a termly seminar series called Shakespeare Teachers’ Conversations: a forum for those involved in Shakespeare education in schools, universities and the wider arts sector.