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Research Fellow, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, The Open University

Professional biography
I joined The Open University in 2001. A graduate of UCL, I gained my DPhil in 1995 from St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, where I also served as Research Associate and Graduate Advisor from 2001 to 2005. Before joining the OU, I held Alexander von Humboldt, Herzog August Library and NIAS (Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study) Fellowships, and was Senior Research Fellow at Wimbledon School of Art for four years. From 2016 to 2019, I am also serving as Visiting Professor at the University of Trier (DFG Forschergruppe 2539: Resilienz).

Research interests
My research focuses on early modern English and comparative drama and performance culture. I am a member of the OU Book History, Gender in the Humanities, and Medieval and Early Modern Research Groups. Outputs of research projects funded by the Herzog August Library, AHRC and British Academy include my three monographs: Healing, performance and ceremony in the writings of three early modern physicians: Hippolytus Guarinonius and the brothers Felix and Thomas Platter (Ashgate, 2012), Women, Medicine and Theatre, 1500-1750: Literary Mountebanks and Performing Quacks (Ashgate, 2007) and The art of commedia: a study in the commedia dell’arte 1560-1620 with special reference to the visual records (Rodopi, 2006).

I am series editor (with Prof. Jim Davis) of the four volume Ashgate Performance Practice Reprint Series (2014), hold the 2015 Stephen Joseph Award of the Society for Theatre Research, and the outputs of my 2014-2015 Wellcome Trust funded research on monstrous performers include my articles “A wonderfull monster borne in Germany’: hairy girls in medieval and early modern German book, court and performance culture” (in German Life and Letters), “Literary anthropologies and Pedro González, the “Wild Man” of Tenerife” (in Medical Cultures of the Early Modern Spanish Empire) and "Virtuous needleworkers, vicious apes: the embroideries of Mary Queen of Scots and Bess of Hardwick" (in Künstlerinnen: neue Perspektiven auf ein Forschungsfeld der Vormoderne).

Since 1.1.2014, I have also published on:
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE ("Shakespeare’s “portrait of a blinking idiot”: transnational reflections" in Transnational Mobilities in Early Modern Theater; “'A plague o’ these pickle herring': from London drinkers to European stage clown" in Ninth World Shakespeare Congress: Renaissance Shakespeare: Shakespeare Renaissances; "Shakespearean players in early modern Europe", co-authored with Pavel Drábek, in The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare);
EDMUND SPENSER ("Maik Goth, Monsters and the Poetic Imagination in The Faerie Queene, and Tara Pedersen, Mermaids and the Production of Knowledge in Early Modern England" in Spenser Review 46.1.6);
SAMUEL BUTLER ("Historical and literary contexts for the Skimmington: impotence and Samuel Butler’s 'Hudibras'" in Cuckoldry, Impotence and Adultery in Europe, 15th–17th Century);
TRAVEL LITERATURE ("German Patrons of Venetian Carnival Art: Archduke Ferdinand II of Tyrol’s Ambras Collections and the 1579 Travel Journal of Prince Ferdinand of Bavaria" in Von kurzer Dauer? Fallbeispiele zu temporären Kunstzentren der Vormoderne; "The theatrical impact of St Francis Xavier's canonization: Pietro Della Valle's account of the 1624 Jesuit festivities in Goa”, Ludica 19-20);
THEATRE ICONOGRAPHY ('Images of the commedia dell'arte' in The Routledge Companion to Commedia dell'Arte; "Lucas van Leyden's 'Toothdrawer', 1523: Passion play merchant scenes and the religious origins of quack depictions" in Peraikos' Erben: Die Genese der Genremalerei bis 1550; "Die Ikonografie der Commedia dell'arte bis 1750" in Spettacolo barocco! Triumph des Theaters).

I peer review for academic and trade publishers, journals and research funding bodies, in the UK, US, Canada and Europe, and serve on the editorial boards of Early Theatre and Commedia dell'Arte, Annuario Internazionale, the executive committee of the UK Alexander von Humboldt Association (co-organizer, with host Dr Ian MacLaren, Scotland Meeting, Glasgow, June 2016; Programmes Sub-committee, with Prof. Geoff Thornton, Annual Meeting, Oxford, Sept.2016), the steering committee of the discipline-shaping NYU-based international research collective Theater Without Borders (Organizer: TWB Annual Workshop 2012; co-convenor, with Prof. Pavel Drabek, TWB Publication Workshop 2016), and the committee of TOIA (The Oxford Italian Association), for whom I organized public lectures at St Anne's College, Oxford in 2015, by OU colleagues Profs Helen King and Nicola Watson (details here).

My external presentations since 1.1.2014 include: BERLIN (RSA March 2015); DURHAM (SiTM, July 2016); ESSEN (KWI, Sept 2015); FLORENCE (Technologies of Spectacle II, Oct 2017); FREIBURG (FRIAS, Feb 2017); GDANSK (ESRA, July 2017); GIESSEN (Universität Giessen, Dec 2015); GLASGOW (1st Alexander von Humboldt Association UK Scotland meeting, June 2016); IRSEE (Schwabenakademie, March 2015 & March 2016); KÖLN (TWB Annual Workshop, Schloss Wahn, May 2017); LEEDS (Tetley Art Gallery, March 2017; IMC, July 2017); LONDON (The Globe Theatre, Jan 2016; Birkbeck College, April & May 2016, Feb 2017; In Light of Gloriana, Tower of London, Nov 2016; KCL, Dec 2017); MAINZ (Institut für Film-, Theater- und empirische Kulturwissenschaft, May 2017); NEW DELHI (National School of Drama: 16th National Festival of Indian Drama, Jan 2014); OXFORD (Oxford Embroiderers' Guild, Jan 2014; All Souls' College, Feb 2014; TWB Annual Workshop, Ertegun House, June 2014; Prison/Exile: Controlled Spaces in Early Modern Europe, Ertegun House, March 2017); PARIS (Universite Sorbonne Nouvelle, May 2014; TWB Annual Workshops, June 2015 [NYU Paris] & June 2016 [Sorbonne]); TOURS (15th Round Table on Tudor Theatre, Sept 2017); TRIER (University of Trier DFG Forschergruppe 2539: Resilienz, May 2017); VIENNA (Universität Wien, Dec 2015); WOLFENBUETTEL (39th International HAB Summer School, Aug 2015; 15. Jahrestreffen des Wolfenbütteler Arbeitskreises für Barockforschung, July 2016; Technologies of Spectacle I, Feb 2017).


  • –present
    Research Fellow, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, The Open University