Public men on public stages: magistracy, state and popular drama, 1590-1610
I'm very interested in interdisciplinary approaches, having done my undergraduate degree at Oxford in History and English, during which I specialised in the early modern period, and my Masters in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London. My undergraduate thesis examined the manner in which a small group of early modern plays from around 1590 to 1610 intervened in the contested discourse of 'commonwealth' in order to make critiques of governance, while my Masters thesis examined early modern law in early Stuart drama. My doctoral project stems from these research projects: I am using early modern drama to examine the early modern magistracy and its relationship to the state and authority. I am building upon the work of Steve Hindle, Michael J. Braddick and Norman Jones to investigate perceptions of magistracy and governance through an interdisciplinary framework that integrates performance and practice with political thought.
I am especially interested in considering drama in performance as a source base for the study of political and intellectual history; my Masters thesis examined the mutual performative modes of law and drama, arguing for a shared hermeneutics of the body that allowed both actor and lawyer to appear believable. I hope to bring the ideas of performing jurisdiction and authority into an examination of the way drama could act as a form of popular, accessible discourse over the structure of political authority.
I presented a paper based upon my Masters thesis at the CIJIET conference in Murcia in October 2017, entitled 'In his own person: the hermeneutics of embodied performance in early Stuart law and drama'. In February 2018, I presented a paper entitled: '‘By my shaking, I am the guilty man, and not the judge’: Legal and Dramatic Uses of Embodied Emotion in Massinger’s The Roman Actor'' at the London Shakespeare Centre and Shakespeare's Globe Inaugural Graduate Conference 'Making Connections: Early Modern Texts and Cultures' in February 2018.
I convene the Literature and History in Early Modern England seminar with Chris Gausden and Fraser Buchanan, and the Theatre and Performance Studies Reading Group with Hannah Greenstreet, Kitty Gurnos-Davies, Alex Thomas and Cédric Ploix.