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Major research grants

Leverhulme Fellowship; 1999

I was awarded a fully-funded Leverhulme Fellowship for research leave for one year to develop research on the manuscript diaries and journals in the Perdita catalogue.

A.H.R.B Project Grant Award; 1999-2001

£160,500 was awarded over three years for The Perdita Project for Early Women’s Manuscript Compilations.

AHRC Resource Enhancement Award; 2003-2005

£93,500 awarded for publishing the Perdita Project’s metadata on the Web.

The Perdita Project worked to uncover, catalogue and describe women’s manuscript compilations which date from the period between 1500 and 1700. It published the results of its research on the World Wide Web, as an aid to research in early modern women’s literature and history. The data included biographical research on the compilers, bibliographical research on the manuscripts, and a detailed contents index. The manuscript compilations contain autobiographical material and self-authored poetry as well as transcribed poetry, prose and recipes. The comprehensive catalogue contains nearly 450 items at present. The project has had several post-doctoral researchers, Dr. Victoria Burke, who is continuing the work at the University of Ottowa, Dr. Jonathan Gibson, Dr. Jill Millman, and Dr. Gillian Wright.

British Academy Project Grant; 2006-2008

£75,000 for 2-year project, ‘Constructing Elizabeth Isham’

In 2005 a fair copy manuscript of Elizabeth Isham’s ‘Life’ was found by Erica Longfellow in the Princeton University Library. The rough vade mecum, the notes for the fair copy, had formed the basis for biographical work on Elizabeth Isham and was held in Northamptonshire record office. The two manuscripts together form a unique opportunity to examine the rhetorical, process involved in constructing the fair copy ‘Life’ from the day-to-day notes. Both manuscripts are being transcribed for a web edition, and a dozen scholars with expertise in women’s autobiographical writing and in women’s manuscripts will be assembling in Princeton in September 2007 to assess what can be learned from the survival of these two manuscripts.

Research projects

The John Nichols Project, Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, Warwick University

In 2003 I was asked to take on the management of the John Nichols project, which had been part of the large AHRB grant for the establishment of the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance at the University of Warwick. The project’s primary output will be a critical edition of John Nichols’s seminal Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth (London: John Nichols, 1788-1823), to be published by OUP in five volumes as Court and Culture in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I: A New Edition of John Nichols’ ‘Progresses’. The Progresses is a unique collection of early modern source materials which the printer and antiquarian John Nichols (1745-1826) used to illustrate the life and times of Queen Elizabeth I, her court, courtiers, and subjects. More than forty experts from the UK, Ireland, North America, and New Zealand have edited afresh a number of seminal Elizabethan entertainment texts and pieces of occasional verse – in many cases, for the first time since they were published by Nichols in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

The two main Research Fellows on the project have been Jayne Archer and Elizabeth Goldring. Gabriel Heaton (now at Sothebys), Sarah Knight (now at Leicester University) and Faith Eales have also been employed on the Project at various times. The editing is now complete and the manscript was delivered to OUP in September 2007. It will be published in the autumn of 2009.

Advisory board member

Centre for Editing Lives and Letters (Queen Mary and Birkbeck, University of London)

Scriptorium (University of Cambridge)

Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts Project, Institute of English Studies, London

Invitations to give plenary talks at international conferences

‘Lyric Contexts’, November 2001, University of Groningen

‘The Dissenting Hymn’, May 2006, Centre for Dissenting Studies, University of London

‘George Herbert's Travels: International Print and Cultural Legacies’, October 10-11, 2008, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA. Plenary Addresses by: Richard Strier, University of Chicago, Elizabeth Clarke, University of Warwick, Judith Maltby, Corpus Christi College, Oxford

Conferences organized

Eighth International Conference of Religion and Literature at Westminster College, Oxford, 1996: “The Trace of the Other”

Ninth International Conference of Religion and Literature at Westminster College, Oxford, 1998: “Re-reading the Canon”

“Still Kissing the Rod: Women’s Writing in 2005” St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, July 2005

Invited seminars

Sussex University Intellectual History Seminar, 2002: Durham University, Centre for Seventeenth-Century Studies Seminar, 2002: Oxford University Graduate Seminar, 2003: Oxford University ‘Reading Texts’ seminar, 2003; Glasgow University, 2004: IBHR, Early Modern Seminar, January 2005: Oxford University Theology and Literature seminar, October 2006.

Conference papers

October 2006: “The Forbidden Sermon”, ‘Preaching and Politics’ conference, University of Cambridge

December 2005: “A New Edition of Hester Pulter”, Modern Languages Association, Washington

April 2005: “George Herbert and Cambridge Scholars”, Renaissance Society of America, Cambridge

September 2004, “The Perdita Project” ‘The Long Restoration’ Loughborough University

September 2004: “Women in the Tower”, ‘Renaissance Imprisonment’, Tower of London

April 2004: “The Nichols Project”, panel organized at Renaissance Society of America, New York

June 2003: “St Stephen’s church and Mr Flotchon’s coffee-house: Robert Wild and Friends” Keele University

April 2003; “Beyond Microhistory: Women’s Manuscripts in the Seventeenth Century”, Renaissance Society of America, Toronto

September 2001: Early Modern Women’s Receipt Books, Warwick University: “Desert Island Favourites; The Cruso Recipe Book”

July 2001: Early Modern Women and Politics conference at Reading University: “Beyond Microhistory”

November 2000: “Medicine and Poetry in Manuscript Culture”, interdisciplinary workshop in medical history and literature at Attending to Early Modern Women conference, University of Maryland

June 2000: Oxford University graduate interdisciplinary seminar ‘Religion in the British Isles, 1500-1700’: “Mr. Jekyll and Dr. Watson: The double face of dissent, 1643-1690”

March 2000: ‘Cultures of Whiggism’, Jesus College, Oxford: “Tinker, tailor, soldier, poet: popular cultures of early Whiggism”

September 1999: British Women Writers conference, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque “Searching for the Lost: Early Modern Women’s Manuscripts and Electronic Resources”

July 1999: Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy: Seventeenth-Century Conference, University of Durham “The struggle for ‘true religion’ in literature and language, 1660-1688”

April 1999: Gender and Spirituality conference, University of Reading. “‘Fightings within and Fears without’: internal and external pressures on the spiritual journal”

April 1999: Shakespeare Association of America, San Francisco. “Anne, Lady Southwell: early seventeenth century gender politics and manuscript poetry”

July 1998: “Scribal publication and manuscript persuasion: Osborn MS b.221” at the Literature and History conference, University of Reading

October 1997: Lecture, “Early Modern Women’s Manuscript Compilations” in series ‘Early Modern Media Studies’, University of London Queen Mary College

July 1997: “Manuscript Culture and Xerox Copies”, 7th International Conference for Seventeenth-Century Studies, Durham University

July 1997: “A source for auto/biography: women’s manuscript journals”, Auto/biography Conference, Nottingham Trent University

June 1997: “Family context, literary contexts”, Margaret Cavendish conference, Oxford University

October 1996: “Women’s use of the religious lyric in the Civil War period”: ‘Literature and the English Civil Wars’, University of Michigan

September 1996: “The Garrisoned Muse: women’s manuscript writing in the Civil War”, ‘Times Transposed’ conference, University of London, Birkbeck College

February 1996: “Editing Text, Editing Women: ‘The Song of Songs’and Early Modern Women’s Advice Books”, Renaissance and Baroque Symposium on Gender, Miami University

July 1995: “Motion in Paradise”, Fifth International Milton Symposium, University of Wales, Bangor

November 1993: “Sacred Singer/Profane Poet: George Herbert’s Split Poetic Persona“, ‘Sacred and Profane’: George Herbert Quatercenternary Conference, Groningen University

September 1992: “Sacred Poems or Private Ejaculations? George Herbert’s Temple”, ‘Thinking to 2000’: 6th International Conference of Literature and Religion, Glasgow University

March 1992: Keble bicentenary lecturer, Keble College, Oxford, on George Herbert.