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Peter Kirwan


As of September 19th 2011, I am based full-time at the University of Nottingham. I can now best be reached at .

Welcome to my e-portfolio! My name is Pete Kirwan, and I completed my doctoral research in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies.

I first came to the University of Warwick in 2001, completing my BA and MA (part time) in the English Department, specialising in Shakespearean text and performance. Prior to commencing my PhD I remained employed at the University, spending two years at Warwick Arts Centre before joining the CAPITAL Centre as Office Manager. In September 2008 I returned to the English department to begin my doctoral study.

Using this e-portfolio

Separate sections of this e-portfolio deal with my research, publications, conferences, teaching experience and performance-based work. There are also links to my PhD blog entries and my academic diary. Please use the links on left and right to browse all of these sections.

My Research

Title: The Shakespeare Apocrypha

Supervisor: Professor Jonathan Bate

Mentor: Dr. Paul Prescott

"The Shakespeare Apocrypha" is the name given to the loose group of plays that exist on the fringe of Shakespeare's canon. In conjunction with the new edition of a selection of these plays being undertaken by Professor Jonathan Bate and Professor Eric Rasmussen, my thesis deals with several aspects of the Apocryphal plays:

History: Where did these plays come from? I will trace the Apocrypha from their first appearance in print and contemporary reference through four centuries of textual scholarship. Within this I am particularly interested in how the plays have been treated in relation to the established canon, who they have been attributed to and how, consequently, they have appeared in non-textual media (e.g. on the stage).

Attribution: How do we assign an author to an anonymous play? The thesis will be heavily concerned with methodologies of authorship; first, looking at the grounds on which plays have been attributed (or not) to Shakespeare throughout history and identifying those circumstances in which tests have been carried out poorly or where gaps exist in the research. At the other end of the historicla scale, I will be engaging with current thinking regarding stylometric testing and working with the rest of the project team to apply the most recent methods of establishing authorship to the Apocryphal plays.

Cultural Value: What do we mean by Apocryphal? What is the 'status', or authority, of an Apocryphal play? The very word, 'Apocrypha', suggests a Shakespeare with quasi-biblical status, a Shakespeare whose cultural value is diminished by association with plays historically considered to be unworthy' of him. This thesis will confront Shakespeare as cultural object, consider the effects of bardolatrous biases on textual scholarship and look ahead to the impact of the new edition on our understanding of "Shakespeare".

For more information, please see my research page.

My thesis is part of the AHRC-funded Collaborative Plays by Shakespeare and Others project. Please follow the link to find out more about the project.

Year started: 2008

Funding: AHRC

 Pete Kirwan

Pete Kirwan

PhD Blog


Contact Me

P dot P dot Kirwan at warwick dot ac dot uk

Sidelights on Shakespeare seminar series 

Will @ Warwick podcast series
Will @ Warwick podcasts

PhD Life Blog