Dr Alison Thorne
Tel : +44 (0)141 548 3391 (Ext. 3391)
- Group for Renaissance Research Reading (Academic)
My research interests are concentrated mainly in the early modern period. They include Shakespeare Studies (Vision and Rhetoric in Shakespeare, Palgrave 2000); early modern literature (particularly drama); rhetoric (especially its intersections with gender and politics); English visual culture; feminine speech genres (e.g complaint, supplication); gender studies and early modern women’s writing.
I am currently writing a monograph on the politics of female supplication in the literature and culture of early modern England. The first in-depth rhetorical and political analysis of supplication in the post-Homeric era, the book sets out to formulate a conceptual model of this ritualised cultural practice (with reference to cultural anthropology and gender studies) that will account for its unstable and contradictory qualities. Its central argument is that what is being perpetrated under the guise of this seemingly most abject form of entreaty is a self-assertive and often highly effective mode of political action. The first part of the book examines the classical and scriptural legacy and its continuing influence upon, and validation of, supplicatory acts in the early modern period, while the second part consists of a series of case studies, focusing in turn on the pleading strategies deployed in women’s petitionary letters, quasi-legal dramas, and the political tactics of the Civil War female petitioners.
I would particularly welcome applications from students interested in undertaking postgraduate research in the areas listed above, but I also have extensive experience of supervising PGR students in the early modern period and beyond. I have supervised or am currently the principal supervisor for PhD theses on: Ben Jonson’s masques; memory and nationhood in early modern literature; Geoffrey Whitney’s emblem books in the context of patronage systems; time and space in late twentieth century women’s writing; female education in the novels of Burney, Austen and eighteenth-century women’s magazines; Petrarchism in seventeenth-century English sonnet sequences; the legacy of the early modern ‘will’; Shakespeare and adaptation studies; defamation and slander in Elizabethan England and their dissemination in manuscript.
I am currently teaching undergraduate classes on Renaissance literature, two optional classes on Shakespeare, and the Postgraduate Research Skills class.
- Director of the MLitt in Northern Renaissance Studies (suspended for 2010-11)
- Mentor for Graduate Tutors in English Studies
- Convenor of the Staff-Student Liaison Committee
- Jennifer Richards and Alison Thorne (eds), Rhetoric, Women and Politics in Early Modern England (Routledge, 2007).
- 'Women's Petitionary Letters and Early Seventeenth-Century Treason Trials', Women's Writing: Special Issue on Epistolarity, 13:1 (Routledge, 2006), 23-43.
- 'There is a history in all men's lives: reinventing history in 2 Henry IV', in Dermot Cavanagh et al. (eds), Shakespeare's Histories and Counter-Histories (Manchester UP, 2006), 49-66.