Adam SmythA.C. Bradley-J.C. Maxwell Tutorial Fellow in English Literature 1350-1660, and University Lecturer in the History of the Book 1450-1650

  • Core subject area: English literature.
  • Teaching: Papers on English literature from 1350 to 1660; graduate teaching in early modern literature, including the history of the book 1450-1650.
  • Research interests: I work on the literature and culture of England in the 16th and 17th centuries, and in particular (or at the moment) the intersection of the literary and the material, the archival and the canonical. My books include Autobiography in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, 2010), and Profit and Delight: Printed Miscellanies in England, 1640-1682 (Wayne State University Press, 2004). I've also written recent chapters and articles on Shakespeare and laughter; George Herbert and Little Gidding; William Strode; Ben Jonson's creative practices; early modern jokes; diaries; commonplace books; almanacs; reading practices; textual transmission; drinking; and satire. I'm currently editing two essay collections – A History of English Autobiography for Cambridge University Press, and Book Destruction from the Medieval to the Contemporary for Palgrave – and two journal special editions: an issue of the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies on ‘Renaissance Collage’, exploring knives, scissors and glue as tools of reading, and an issue of Critical Quarterly on missing texts. My current book project examines the inventive materiality of early modern texts, and the remarkable things readers did to books in the name of reading (cutting, pasting, annotating, burning). I write regularly for the Times Literary Supplement and the London Review of Books.

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