School of English

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Julie Sanders

Professor of English Literature and Drama, Faculty of Arts



My research takes place in a series of overlapping areas. I am an early modern scholar with particular interests at present in drama and the writing of space and place. This has led to productive collaborations both with social historians of the period and the field of cultural geography. My book The Cultural Geography of Early Modern Drama, 1620-1650 was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011. Related to this I have just completed editions of two Richard Brome plays from this period, both with cultural geographical angles: The Northern Lass (1629) and The Sparagus Garden (1635). These appeared in 2010 in a free-access online edition of Brome's Complete Works (this project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council): http://. I have a track record in the field of textual editing, with a published edition of James Shirley as well as another (the 1635 play The Lady of Pleasure) forthcoming with OUP, and have contributed an edition of Ben Jonson's The New Inn (1629) to the forthcoming Complete Works of Jonson to be published by CUP in 2011. A major collection of essays, Ben Jonson in Context, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2010 and involves contributions from key scholars working in the field. I am also working with Dr James Loxley of the University of Edinburgh on a newly discovered manuscript relating to Jonson's 1618 walk to Scotland. This collaboration, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, will result in both a scholarly edition of the manuscript and a set of interpretative essays, Ben Jonson's Walk to Scotland to be published by CUP in 2014. This will be co-authored and edited with our postdoctoral fellow on the project Dr Anna Groundwater. I am also currently writing The Cambridge Introduction to Early Modern Drama due for publication by CUP in 2013.

Alongside my early modern research I am deeply engaged with the field of adaptation studies and questions of adaptation and appropriation. I have published two books on Shakespeare in this context as well as an overview of the field in the Routledge New Critical Idiom series. I am on the editorial board of three new journals in this area and consider it to be an exciting and fast-developing wing of English Studies.

In 2009 I was lucky enough to hold the Lloyd Davis Memorial Professorship in Shakespeare Studies at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, where I undertook both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. In 2010-11 I spoke at the Universities of Copenhagen, Ghent, and Notre Dame on adaptation studies. In 2012 I will be convening a seminar on 'Shakespeare in Place' at the Shakespeare Association of America gathering in Boston as well as participating in a symposium on craft and creativity in Alabama.

Expertise Summary

MA (Cambridge) MA, PhD (Warwick) Areas of expertise - seventeenth-century literature and history, including Jonson, Shakespeare, and Caroline Drama; literary and cultural geographies and theories of landscape, space, and place in an early modern context; contemporary adaptations and appropriations in fiction, music, drama and film; women's writing.

UG Modules taught I teach a wide range of both literature and drama modules at Nottingham, including core modules in both areas (for example: Studying Modern Literature, Analysing Performance, and period-based modules at Level 2). At Level 3 I teach on specialist modules on early modern drama ('Shakespeare and Jonson' is co-delivered with Professors Dillion and Hammond; 'Sites of Performance' launched in 2008 and previously I have run a module on 'Caroline Drama') and on contemporary fiction and film and adaptation ('Adaptation and Appropriation'). I regularly supervise undergraduate dissertations on Shakespeare and early modern drama. in 2011-12 I am working with third year students on new practice based dissertations involving collaborations with theatre companies and practitioners.

PG Modules taught At the postgraduate taught level, I have responsibility for modules on early modern literature and drama and also contribute to modules on twentieth-century and contemporary literature and drama. I have supervised MA dissertations on subjects as wide-ranging as contemporary poetry and ecology, Milton and the history of reception, Austen and adaptation, and Iain Sinclair's treatment of urban space.

Areas of Research Supervision At the level of doctoral research, I co-supervise a number of students working on very different projects. These have included contemporary linguistics and Shakespeare; memoir and performativity; biographical fiction; and film adaptations of D.H. Lawrence. In 2008 a new Postgraduate Teaching Fellow in the School began a PhD with me exploring the writing of space, place and cultural identity in a range of contemporary authors including W.G. Sebald, Iain Sinclair, Kathleen Jamie, and Robert Macfarlane and in 2009 a student working on Adaptations of Charles Dickens in China. In 2010, an AHRC funded student has joined me to work on the cultural geography of the Thames in the early modern period. In 2011 a student begins work on a project around You Tube Shakespeares and I'd love to see more projects of this kind in the future. I would also be very keen to supervise projects in other related fields, especially relating to my current research on early modern drama and ideas of site, space, performance and memory in theatre history.

Recent and Current Research Students

  • Margaret Eaton: Perfomativity in the life-writings of Frank McCourt
  • Sarah Grandage: (Former Postgraduate Teaching Fellow): Shakespeare and Contemporary Linguistic Appropriation
  • Klaudia Lee: Translations and Adaptations of Dickens in China
  • Jason Ward: Film Adaptations of D.H. Lawrence
  • Daniel Weston: Articulating Place: Representation and Experience in Contemporary Literary Landscapes
  • Jemima Matthews: The Use and Abuse of the Thames, 1550-1650

Teaching Summary

I am currently Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning at our Ningbo China campus so enjoying working with all faculties and staff there as well as colleagues in the UK and Malaysia on the new… read more

Research Summary

View my vodcast about Literature and Drama.

My research has two key strands: work on early modern literature and drama, in which I regularly engage in interdisciplinary dialogue and collaborations with cultural geographers and historians and adaptation studies which brings me into the more contemporary realms of contemporary fiction and film as well as new media engagements with key cultural figures and texts including Shakespeare. I currently co-supervise 7 PhD students all working in related areas.

I am, at present,working on an AHRC funded project relating to Ben Jonson's 1618 Walk to Scotland, collaborating with Professor James Loxley at the University of Edinburgh and working with our postdoctoral fellow on the project Dr Anna Groundwater, a historian, to produce an annotated edition and series of interpretative essays for Cambridge University Press as well as working with heritage partners as part of the project's wider public engagement angle.

I co-founded the multi-disciplinary research group on Landscape, Space, and Place at the University with Professor Stephen Daniels in Geography and we have enjoyed funding from the AHRC, Leverhulme Trust, and the British Academy among others for work in this area in recent years. We are particularly proud of the high level of postgraduate activity under this umbrella, including an annual PG workshop and one off events including a symposium on 'Early Modern Water' and a regular reading group currently led by Emma Zimmerman a postgraduate student in the School of English.

As well as the AHRC project, I have recently completed The Cambridge Introduction to Early Modern Drama which will be published in 2014 and have several articles forthcoming on site-specific performance, and on Shakespeare and Jonson in various cultural contexts and manifestations. In 2013 I spoke in Hong Kong and Seoul on adaptation theory and in 2014 I will be co-presenting a paper on 'Coriolanus' with Professor Susan Bennett of the University of Calgary at a conference in Taipei, Taiwan. This is the inaugural conference of the Asian Shakespeare Association. I am also co-editing a new commissioning series entitled 'Early Modern Literary Geographies' with Professor Garrett Sullivan at Penn State University for Oxford University Press.

I am currently Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning at our Ningbo China campus so enjoying working with all faculties and staff there as well as colleagues in the UK and Malaysia on the new Transforming Teaching programme.

Future Research

I am very keen to develop further research projects at the intersection between literary study, performance studies, and cultural history and geography. This extends to work, personal and collaborative, both in the early modern period, and on contemporary writing's engagement with the environment (fictional and non-fictional).

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