Dr Harry Newman

Dr Harry Newman

Snr Lect. Shakespeare & Early Mod. Lit

Phone: +44 1784 276423

Personal profile

I joined Royal Holloway in 2015 after lecturing at the University of Kent for two years. My primary research interests are in early modern literature, gender & sexuality, language & rhetoric, material culture, theatre & book history, and the history of medicine. My first book, Impressive Shakespeare: Identity, Authority and the Imprint in Shakespearean Drama, was published by Routledge in 2019. (See examples of reviews in Renaissance Quarterly 73.3, Early Theatre 23.1, Shakespeare Studies 48, and The Review of English Studies 71.299.) Other publications include articles in the journals ShakespeareShakespeare BulletinRenaissance Drama and Lives and Letters, a special issue on "Metatheatre and Early Modern Drama" for Shakespeare Bulletin (co-edited with Sarah Dustagheer, 2018), and book chapters in The Book Trade in Early Modern England: Practices, Perceptions, Connections, ed. John Hinks and Victoria Gardner (Oak Knoll Press/British Library, 2014), and Medical Paratexts, Medieval to Modern: Dissecting the Page, ed. Diane Scott and Hannah Tweed (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).

My current project, The Birth of Characterinvestigates the rise of character as a concept and a commodity in early modern literature, theatre, art and culture, as well as its central role in the history of criticism. It aims to interrogate and diversify the stories we tell about the development of virtual humanity across time, creating new cultural histories of character and characterisation. I've won fellowships to research the project at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. and the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. I am editing a special issue on "Character Beyond Shakespeare" for the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies (forthcoming 2021), and co-editing (with Eoin Price) Reprints and Revivals of Renaissance Drama: Repetition and Renewal in Print and Performance (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press, 2022).

You can watch me being interviewed about some of my latest research by Andy Kesson here. And click here to watch my short video on "Life Behind the Paywall: How fictional characters became commodities, from Shakespeare to Netflix," which won the Modern Language Association "Humanities in Five" competition in 2021.

I am particularly interested in supervising PhD projects on Shakespeare and early modern literature that focus on the canon and literary/cultural history; gender & sexuality; character and selfhood; language, rhetoric & metaphor; material culture; theatre history; book history; or the history of medicine.

At present, I teach and lecture on the following modules:

  • EN1106 Shakespeare
  • EN2010 Renaissance Literature
  • EN2500 Shakespeare from Page to Stage
  • EN3011 Advanced Shakespeare: The Problem Plays
  • EN3125 Character and Selfhood in Early Modern Literature
  • EN5732 Critical Debate and Creative Response: King Lear and The Tempest (MA in Enlish Literature programme)

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