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Department of English and Modern Languages
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+44 (0)1865 484299
Katharine completed her BA, MPhil and PhD at the University of Cambridge, and held lectureships at Worcester College (University of Oxford) and University College London before arriving at Oxford Brookes in 2005. She specialises in Shakespeare and early modern literature, with particular interests in the history of emotion and sensation, and the interface between critical and creative writing. Her first book, Reading Sensations in Early Modern England (Palgrave, 2007), explored the power of literature to affect readers’ minds, bodies and souls; and was followed by a collection of essays (co-edited with Tanya Pollard) entitled Shakespearean Sensations: The Experience of Theatre in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Katharine’s archival work on the sources of Ben Jonson's masques was published in The Cambridge Works of Ben Jonson (Cambridge University Press, 2014). She is currently working on a study of vividness and artificial life provisionally entitled Life-like Shakespeare, and is editing a collection of essays entitled Shakespeare and Emotion (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2019).
Katharine is also working with Ewan Fernie (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham) on Marina, a new play based on Shakespeare's Pericles, which was adopted for Research and Development with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2018. She was Principal Investigator on Watching, a project funded by an Arts Award from the Wellcome Trust to explore the Renaissance history of sleep (www.watching.eca.ed.ac.uk). A collaboration between academics, scientists, theatre practitioners and schools, Watching culminated in March 2015 with four full-scale promenade performances by twilight of Katharine's new opera on sleep in the landmark Glasshouses of Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden. Watching was profiled on BBC Radio 3 (Free Thinking) and on Radio Scotland (The Culture Show).
Katharine writes creatively, and a selection of her poems will appear in The Harvard Review in 2019. Her poetry was shortlisted for the international Bridport Prize in 2013 and 2014, and for the Dermot Healy Poetry Competition in 2014. With colleagues at Oxford, Lancaster and Berkeley, she is a commissioning editor of beyond criticism, a new series of books with Bloomsbury Publishing which sets out to explore the interface between critical and creative writing. The series launched in 2017, together with its online organ (www.thebee.buzz). Katharine also has extensive experience as a librettist. An opera based on Wagner’s Das Rheingold, written in collaboration with composer David Knotts, was commissioned by English National Opera to celebrate the opening of the new Clore Studio at the London Coliseum and premiered in a full-scale professional production in April 2004. Katharine has also collaborated with David on operas for the Youth Group at Glyndebourne and London’s W11 Opera. Her opera entitled The Quicken Tree, based on Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene and written in collaboration with composer Dee Isaacs, was performed in Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens in March 2011.
Outside Oxford Brookes, Katharine is Executive Secretary of The Malone Society (www.malonesociety.com). Since its foundation in 1906, the Society’s purpose has been to make more accessible the materials essential for the study of English Renaissance drama.
Katharine is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has recently examined PhD dissertations at the Shakespeare Institute, the University of Cambridge, the University of St Andrews, and Loughborough University. She is External Examiner for BA programmes in English at the University of Bristol, and for MA programmes (including Shakespeare and Creativity) at the Shakespeare Institute.
This strong and timely collection provides fresh insights into how Shakespeare's plays and poems were understood to affect bodies, minds and emotions. Contemporary criticism has had surprisingly little to say about the early modern period's investment in imagining literature's impact on feeling. Shakespearean Sensations brings together scholarship from a range of well-known and new voices to address this fundamental gap. The book includes a comprehensive introduction by Katharine A. Craik and Tanya Pollard and comprises three sections focusing on sensations aroused in the plays; sensations evoked in the playhouse; and sensations found in the imaginative space of the poems. With dedicated essays on Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello and Twelfth Night, the collection explores how seriously early modern writers took their relationship with their audiences and reveals new connections between early modern literary texts and the emotional and physiological experiences of theatregoers.
This book considers early modern and postmodern ideals of health, vigor, ability, beauty, well-being, and happiness, uncovering and historicizing the complex negotiations among physical embodiment, emotional response, and communally-sanctioned behavior in Shakespeare's literary and material world. The volume visits a series of questions about the history of the body and how early modern cultures understand physical ability or vigor, emotional competence or satisfaction, and joy or self-fulfillment. Individual essays investigate the purported disabilities of the "crook-back" King Richard III or the "corpulent" Falstaff, the conflicts between different health-care belief-systems in The Taming of the Shrew and Hamlet, the power of figurative language to delineate or even instigate puberty in the Sonnets or Romeo and Juliet, and the ways in which the powerful or moneyed mediate the access of the poor and injured to cure or even to care. Integrating insights from Disability Studies, Health Studies, and Happiness Studies, this book develops both a detailed literary-historical analysis and a provocative cultural argument about the emphasis we place on popular notions of fitness and contentment today.
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