What changes when we read ‘things’?

Working under the broad heading of Materialities, our staff undertake research into Literary Cultures, Material Cultures, Performance Practice and Textual Scholarship.

Our work explores the things which people make, give and exchange – and considers how and why these things acquire meaning in the world. Our research also engages fundamentally with recent changes in literary studies which ask us to think about the text as an object and to understand the different things that ‘matter’ when we write, read, watch or otherwise experience literature.

We have worked on topics as diverse as modernist embodiment, the nineteenth-century séance, needlework in female coterie culture, Shakespeare’s ghosts, and early modern laundry. We also have significant and internationally recognised expertise in the field of textual editing, and our researchers have worked with groups such as the RSC on the history of performance.

Current and future projects include editing early modern drama for Oxford University Press, and a multivolume collection on Victorian Material Culture.

Academic staff with related research interests