Professor of Renaissance and Magical Literatures, University of Exeter

I am Professor of Renaissance and Magical Literatures, and work in the Humanities Department at the Penryn Campus with History and English colleagues.

My research investigates the relationships between writings about magic and the supernatural and those about identity (national, local, sexual, religious and so on) in modernity – i.e. from around 1500 to the present day. I’m interested in meetings between cultures and disciplines, past and present, and how fiction and scholarly writing impact on and express lived identities today.

At present I'm writing Rediscovering Renaissance Witchcraft (Routledge, 2016), a book examining the ways in which sixteenth and seventeenth century writings on witchcraft have continued to inspire modern literature, especially popular novels, poems and films in Britain and America.

I'm also the author of Imagining the Pagan Past: Gods and Goddesses in Literature and History since the Dark Ages. (London and New York: Routledge, 2013), Witchcraft Myths in American Culture (New York: Routledge, 2007). Possession, Puritanism and Print: Darrell, Harsnett, Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Exorcism Controversy (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2006), Reading Witchcraft: Stories of Early English Witches (London and New York: Routledge, 1999), with Garry Tregidga and Shelley Trower, Mysticism, Myth and Celtic Identity (London: and New York: Routledge, 2012) and with Jo Esra, The Arden Shakespeare Dictionary of Shakespeare’s Demonology (London: Arden/Bloomsbury).

Experience

  • –present
    Professor of Renaissance and Magical Literatures, University of Exeter