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 and I now co-edit an Oxford University Press commissioning series with Garrett Sullivan at Penn State USA on Early Modern Literary Geographies. In 2015 we are convening two research seminars on this topic at the Shakespeare Association of America meeting in Vancouver.

With Professor James Loxley and Dr Anna Groundwater of the University of Edinburgh I have a book forthcoming with Cambridge University Press entitled Ben Jonson's Walk to Scotland which provides an edition of a newly discovered manuscript relating to Jonson's 1618 walk. This collaboration was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. My Cambridge Introduction to Early Modern Drama was published by CUP earlier this year. My next big research area is on the craft neighbourhoods and maker communities of early modern London and its environs.

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 which is currently going into a revised second edition. I am on the editorial board of three new journals in this area and consider it to be an exciting and fast-developing area..

I have held visiting fellowships at the Universities of Queensland in Australia and Calgary in Canada and have recently spoke in South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Resulting collaborations with scholars working in mainland China is an exciting new angle of my current work on Shakespeare.

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 have taught a wide range of both literature and drama modules at Nottingham, including core modules in both areas. I I regularly supervise undergraduate dissertations on Shakespeare and early modern drama and pioneered a programme of practice-based dissertations for third year students which have involved collaborations with companies in the higher education sector, in theatre and in the heritage industry in Nottingham.

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 a cultural geography of the River Thames in the early modern period, contemporary landscape and nature writings; contemporary linguistics and Shakespeare; memoir and performativity; biographical fiction; internet short film Shakespeare adaptations; and film adaptations of D.H. Lawrence. In 2014, a new AHRC-funded student has started a project on gender and the colonial landscapes of Virginia and Massachusetts in the seventeenth century and I am also working on a computer science based project on museum culture and audience participation in China. I am very keen to supervise projects in related fields, especially relating to my current research on early modern drama and ideas of site, space, performance and memory in theatre history and on global/local Shakespeares not least in an Asia-Pacific context.

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
  • Louise Chamberlain, 'Environment and Contemporary Poetry'
  • Makenzi Crouch, 'Internet short film Shakespeares'
  • Sarah O'Malley, 'Gender and Colonial Landscapes in the Seventeenth Century'
  • Rachael Stanley, 'Naturalism, Modernism and its Legacies'
  • interdisciplinary IDIC scholarship University of Nottingham Ningbo China: 'The Participatory Museum'

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 6 PhD students all working in related areas.

I recently completed 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 a 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. The book will be published by Cambridge University press this year.

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 published The Cambridge Introduction to Early Modern Drama as well as several articles 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 co-presented a paper on 'Coriolanus' with Professor Susan Bennett of the University of Calgary at a conference in Taipei, Taiwan. This was 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).

School of English

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