Dr Alison Knight

Personal profile

I joined Royal Holloway in 2020 as lecturer in interdisciplinary Early Modern Studies, a role which bridges the English and history departments. Prior to joining Royal Holloway, I held Leverhulme and ERC postdoctoral research fellowships at the University of Cambridge. My primary research interests are the history and interpretation of the Bible in England and religious migration to England in the sixteenth century; I am interested in the intersecting nature of writing, interpretation, and religion, as well as the linkages between literature, transnational religious history, humanist scholarship, translation studies, and the history of the book.

My first monograph, The Dark Bible: Cultures of Interpretation in Early Modern England (forthcoming, OUP) explores approaches to biblical obscurity in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, and is particularly interested in the intersecting nature of writing, interpretation, and religion. She have published on John Donne, Lancelot Andrewes, George Herbert, and M.R. James, in journals such as Studies in Philology and The John Donne Journal and in collections like The Oxford Handbook of the Early Modern Bible, The Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Bible and the Arts, Labourers in the Vineyard of the Lord: Scholarship and the Making of the King James Version of the Bible (Brill, 2018), The Bible in Western Literature (forthcoming, Bloomsbury), and Using Early Modern Scholarship in Nineteenth-century Britain (forthcoming, CUP). In 2020, I received the John Donne Society's Distinguished Publication Award.

My current research project stems from my Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship held at the University of Cambridge, titled The Stranger Churches: Hate Speech and Religious Refugees in Early Modern England. This project links literary, historical, religious, and geopolitical approaches in order to investigate England’s charged public discourse surrounding continental Protestants fleeing persecution. Public discourse surrounding religious refugees in early modern England ranged from violent and vitriolic to compassionate and protective. Prior to this project, I also held a European Research Council Fellowship as a member of the collaborative, interdisciplinary project ‘The Bible and Classical Antiquity in Nineteenth Century Culture’ based at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) at Cambridge. I have written several articles that stem from this project, on the 1881 Revised Version of the Bible, on M.R. James, and on nineteenth-century concepts of ‘Bible English’.

I currently teach on the following modules:

  • EN1106 Shakespeare
  • EN2010 Renaissance Literature
  • HS2018 The Tudor Monarchy
  • HS3298 Representing Authority

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