Alastair BellanyAlastair Bellany is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University, and a member of the Executive Board of the interdisciplinary Rutgers British Studies Center (

His research focuses on the political culture of early modern Britain, with a particular interest in the histories of political media, court culture and political violence.

He is the author of The Politics of Court Scandal in Early Modern England: News Culture and the Overbury Affair, 1603-1660 (Cambridge University Press, 2002); and co-editor (with Andrew McRae) of Early Stuart Libels: An Edition of Poetry From Manuscript Sources ( He is currently completing two books co-written with Tom Cogswell: The Murder of James I: Medicine, Libel and Early Modern Poison Politics; and England’s Assassin: The Murder of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.

Department of History
Rutgers University
16 Seminary Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Professor Chris BrooksChris Brooks is Professor of History at Durham University.

He has wide-ranging research interests in the history of early-modern England, with a particular focus on the law and its social and cultural implications.

His publications include Law, Politics and Society in Early Modern England, and he is currently preparing the 1625-1689 volume of the Oxford History of the Laws of England.

Department of History
Durham University
43 North Bailey 

Martin Butler

Martin Butler is Professor of Renaissance Drama in the School of English, University of Leeds.

He is the author of Theatre and Crisis 1632-1642 (Cambridge University Press, 1984) and The Stuart Court Masque and Political Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2009). He also edited Cymbeline for the new Cambridge Shakespeare (2005) and The Tempest for the Penguin Shakespeare (2007),

Also, with David Bevington and Ian Donaldson, he is general editor of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Ben Jonson (Cambridge University Press, 2012), and the second release of the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Ben Jonson Online will go live in May 2015.

He is currently completing a book called Ben Jonson, Man of Letters.

School of English
University of Leeds

Bradin CormackBradin Cormack is Professor of English at Princeton University.

He is author of A Power to Do Justice: Jurisdiction, English Literature, and the Rise of Common Law, 1509-1625 (University of Chicago Press, 2007) and of Book Use, Book Theory, co-authored with Carla Mazzio (University of Chicago Library, 2005).

He is co-editor, with Leonard Barkan and Sean Keilen, of The Forms of Renaissance Thought: New Essays on Literature and Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) and, with Richard Strier and Martha Nussbaum, of Shakespeare and the Law: A Conversation among the Disciplines and Professions (University of Chicago Press, 2013).

He has published on issues of sovereignty in Shakespeare Quarterly, and he is currently working on two books, a philosophical study of Shakespeare’s sonnets and a short monograph on Shakespeare and Law.

Princeton University
Department of English
22 McCosh Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544

Alan CromartieAlan Cromartie is Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Reading.

He is the author of Sir Matthew Hale: law, religion, and natural philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 1995) and The constitutionalist revolution: an essay on the history of England (Cambridge University Press, 2006), and the editor of Thomas Hobbes, A dialogue between a philosopher and student, of the common laws of England (Oxford University Press, 2005).

Recently, he was Director of the Leverhulme Trust Major Research Programme ‘The Liberal Way of War’, for which he edited *Liberal Wars: Anglo-American strategy, ideology, and practice* (Routledge, 2015). He is working on a new interpretation of the thought of Thomas Hobbes.

SPEIR (School of Politics, Economics and International Relations)
University of Reading

Frances DolanFrances E. Dolan is Professor of English at the University of California, Davis.  Her work has often focused on the interrelationships among law, literature, and history.

She is the author of True Relations: Reading, Literature, and Evidence in Seventeenth-Century England (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013); Marriage and Violence:  The Early Modern Legacy (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008); Whores of Babylon: Catholicism, Gender, and Seventeenth-Century Print Culture (University of Notre Dame Press, 1999; 2005), and Dangerous Familiars:  Representations of Domestic Crime in England, 1550-1700 (Cornell University Press, 1994).

She has also published essays in numerous edited collections and journals.  She is the editor of The Taming of the Shrew:  Texts and Contexts (Bedford, 1996), and of five plays for the new Pelican Shakespeare. A former president of the Shakespeare Association of America, she has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (at the Newberry and Folger libraries), the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and, most recently, the Huntington Library, where she was a Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellow.

She is currently working on Time and Terroir:  A Northern California Renaissance, which opens up dialogues between early modern England and early twenty-first century Northern California regarding bees, orchards and hedgerows, soil amendment, and the idea of local food.

Department of English
University of California at Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

Martin DzelzainisMartin Dzelzainis is Professor of Renaissance Literature and Thought at the University of Leicester.

He is the author of numerous essays, articles, collections and editions, including Milton’s Political Writings (Cambridge University Press, 1991), Marvell and Liberty (Palgrave Macmillan, 1999), co-edited with Warren Chernaik, and Marvell’s two-part satire, The Rehearsal Transpros’d (1672, 1673), co-edited with Annabel Patterson, in The Prose Works of Andrew Marvell (Yale University Press, 2003).

He is editor of the Andrew Marvell volume in the Oxford 21st-Century Oxford Authors series, the co-editor (with Edward Holberton) of The Oxford Handbook of Marvell, and of Volume X: The Histories for OUP’s The Complete Works of John Milton.   In 2014, he will be a Muriel McCarthy Research Fellow at Archbishop Marsh’s Library, Dublin.

Professor of Renaissance Literature and Thought
School of English
University of Leicester
Attenborough Tower 1410
University Road

Kathy EdenKathy Eden is the Chavkin Family Professor of English Literature and  Professor of Classics at Columbia University.

She studies the history of rhetorical and poetic theory in antiquity, including late antiquity, and the Renaissance, within the larger context of intellectual history and with an emphasis on the problems of reception.

Her publications include four books: Poetic and Legal Fiction in the Aristotelian Tradition (Princeton University Press, 1986), Hermeneutics and the Rhetorical Tradition: Chapters in the Ancient Legacy and Its Humanist Reception (Yale University Press, 1997; pbk 2003); Friends Hold All Things in Common: Tradition, Intellectual Property and the “Adages” of Erasmus (Yale University Press, 2001), and The Renaissance Rediscovery of Intimacy (Chicago University Press, 2012).

Her current project explores epistolary theory and the construction of letter collections in antiquity and the Renaissance.

401A Philosophy Hall,
Columbia University, New York,
New York, 10027

Peter GoodrichPeter Goodrich is Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York.

After an expansive and eccentric career spanning from Edinburgh to London, Peter moved to Cardozo School of Law in New York, where he is Director of the Program in Law and Humanities. His work of late has turned to the visual and includes a feature documentary film, co-authored and co-produced with Linda Mills, Auf Wiedersehen: ‘Til we Meet Again (Diskin Films, 2011) and the elegant treatise Legal Emblems and the Art of Law (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Professor of Law and Director, Law and Humanities
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
55 Fifth Avenue, Suite 411
New York, NY 10003

Paul HallidayPaul D. Halliday is Julian Bishko Professor of History & Professor of Law at the University of Virginia.

In 2010, he published Habeas Corpus: From England to Empire (Harvard University Press). In it, he explores how habeas corpus arose from royal power, not against it. By making the judge sovereign, habeas corpus protected and transformed ideas about the many kinds of liberty claimed by those who used the writ  in England, Quebec, India, and beyond. Habeas corpus thus gave people across the empire new ways to shape the exercise of authority. Only legislative action, in Parliament or in colonial assemblies, would hinder the work of judges who used the writ to “hear the sighs of prisoners.”

He is working on three projects now. The first concerns the material culture of law and the interaction of manuscript, print, and aural forms of knowledge in the eighteenth century. He is especially interested in how court clerks and their archival practices generated what counted as legal authority in English and colonial courts. Related to this, the second project considers imperial constitution making from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, and in particular, the role of the judicial office in making the constitutions of dominions from the Caribbean to Mauritius and beyond. He is also exploring the law concerning prisoners of war in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Corcoran Department of History
Nau Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA  22904-4180

Dr Steve HindleSteve Hindle is W. M. Keck Foundation Director of Research at the Huntington Library.

He is by training a social and economic historian of early modern England, and he previously worked at the University Warwick, where he was successively Director of the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, Deputy-Chair and Chair of the History Department.

He currently sits on the editorial boards of the Economic History Review, but also of the journals Rural History, the Journal of Historical SociologyHistoire Sociale/Social History and the Huntington Library Quarterly. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society; and has served on the Executive Committee of the Economic History Society; the British Academy Publications Committee for Records of Social and Economic History; and the Councils of the Dugdale Society and the North American Conference on British Studies.

His first book, The State and Social Change in Early Modern England (Palgrave, 2000) was an attempt to explore the scale of popular participation in the process of governing rural England in the period c.1550-1640. Its concluding chapter, focusing on the governance of the rural parish, led him to an analysis not only of the social status and political attitudes of office-holders in rural communities, but also to an investigation of the politics of the poor rate. His second monograph, entitled On the Parish?: The Micro-Politics of Poor Relief in Rural England, c.1550-1750, was published by Oxford University Press in 2004, and was re-issued in paperback in 2009.

Since 2004 he has completed the research for his next project, a monographic study provisionally entitled ‘The Social Topography of a Rural Community: The Warwickshire Parish of Chilvers Coton, c.1600-1730‘, for which he was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship in 2010. The first fruits of this research appeared in 2011 with a study of domestic service at Arbury Hall during the period 1670-1710; and in 2013 with an analysis of the recruitment and remuneration of agricultural labor in the parish.

W. M. Keck Foundation Director of Research
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108

Edward HolbertonEdward Holberton is a Lecturer at Girton College and affiliated Lecturer at the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge.

His publications include:  Poetry and the Cromwellian Protectorate: Culture, Politics, and Institutions (Oxford University Press, 2008). 

His current research interests include poetry and drama of the civil war period, and relationships between literature and the wider Atlantic world between 1640-1740.

Girton College
Huntingdon Road

Rab HoustonRab Houston is Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews.

He published three long-term projects in 2014: 

1) Bride ales and penny weddings: recreations, reciprocity, and regions in Britain from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).  2) The coroners of northern Britain, c.1300-1700 (Houndsmills: Palgrave, 2014). 3) Peasant petitions: social relations and economic life on landed estates, 1600-1850 (Houndsmills: Palgrave, 2014).

He is currently working on two projects that have a legal dimension (and others that do not). 1) People-in-space, law-in-space: territoriality and jurisdiction in late medieval and early modern Britain and Ireland  2) ‘“The hard rind of legal history”’: F. W. Maitland and the writing of early modern English social history’.

School of History
University of St Andrews
71 South Street
St Andrews
KY16 9QW

Professor Jean E. HowardJean E. Howard is George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

She is on the editorial board of Shakespeare Studies and Renaissance Drama, and has published essays on Shakespeare, Pope, Ford, Heywood, Dekker, Marston, and Jonson, as well as on aspects of contemporary critical theory including new historicism, Marxism, and issues in feminism.

Her books include Shakespeare’s Art of Orchestration (1984); The Stage and Struggle in Early Modern England (1994); with Phyllis Rackin, Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare’s English Histories (1997); Marxist Shakespeares, edited with Scott Shershow (2000). She is a co-editor of The Norton Shakespeare (2nd ed. 2007) and General Editor of the Bedford Contextual Editions of Shakespeare.

She has recently published, with Crystal Bartolovich, a monograph on Shakespeare and Marx in the Great Shakespeareans series for Continuum Press (2012) and is currently completing a book entitled Staging History that uses Shakespeare’s history plays as a starting point for considering Tony Kushner and Caryl Churchill’s use of history in framing debates about current political issues. A book on early modern tragedy is also in the works.

608 Philosophy Hall,
Columbia University, New York,
New York, 10027

Daniel HulseboschDaniel Hulsebosch is the Charles Seligson Professor of Law at New York University.

He is a legal and constitutional historian whose scholarship ranges from the early modern British empire to the nineteenth-century United States. Throughout his work he explores the relationships between migration, territorial expansion, transnational sources of law, and the development of legal institutions and doctrines.

His first book, Constituting Empire: New York and the Transformation of Constitutionalism in the Atlantic World, 1664-1830 (University of North Carolina Press, 2005), examines the intersection of constitutionalism and imperial expansion in the British Empire and early United States by focusing on New York between 1664 to 1830.

Presently he is writing a book with Professor David Golove entitled, A Civilized Nation: The International Dimensions of American Constitution-Making, 1774-1816.  He is also working on another book, Writing Law on the Margins: Chancellor Kent and the Republic of Letters in the Early Republic.

Charles Seligson Professor of Law
New York University School of Law
40 Washington Square South, 503
New York, NY 10012

Lorna HutsonLorna Hutson is Berry Professor of English Literature at the University of St Andrews.

Lorna’s interests are in the rhetorical bases of Renaissance literature, and in the relationship between literary form and the formal aspects of non-literary culture.

Recent work includes the delivery of the Oxford Wells Shakespeare Lectures, 2012, on ‘Circumstantial Shakespeare’, the editing of Ben Jonson’s Discoveries (1641) for the Cambridge Complete Works of Ben Jonson (2012) and The Invention of Suspicion: Law and Mimesis in Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama (Oxford University Press, 2007; pbk 2011), which won the Roland Bainton Prize for Literature in 2008.

School of English
Castle House
University of St Andrews
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

David IbbetsonDavid Ibbetson is President of Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge.

His notable publications include but are not limited to: The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History (Oxford University Press, 2009); ‘Sixteenth Century Contract Law: Slade’s Case in Context,’ in OJLS 3:4 (1984), pp. 295-317; and ‘Assumpsit and Debt in the Early Sixteenth Century,’ in CLJ 41:1 (1982), pp. 142-161.

Faculty of Law
10 West Road

Constance JordanConstance Jordan is Professor Emeritus of English at Claremont Graduate University.

She most recently edited and published Reason and Imagination: Selected Correspondence of Learned Hand, 1872-1961 (Oxford University Press, 2013).  Before this she wrote the monographs Shakespeare’s Monarchies: Ruler and Subject in Shakespeare’s Romances (Cornell University Press, 1997; rpt. 1999) and Renaissance Feminism: Literary Texts and Political Models (Cornell University Press, 1990; rpt. 1992).

Her work in progress is a book project entitled The Law of the Land: the Culture of Georgic in Early Modern England.

2259 Holliston Ave.
Altadena, CA 91001

Norma LandauNorma Landau is Professor of History at the University of California, Davis.

Her publications include: The Justices of the Peace 1679-1760 (Berkeley, 1984); N. Landau (ed.), Law, Crime, and English Society, 1660-1815 (Cambridge University Press, 2002); and ‘Indictment for fun and profit: a prosecutor’s reward at eighteenth-century Quarter Sessions,’ in Law and History Review (1999). 

History Department
University of California at Davis
Davis, CA 95616

Sandra MacphersonSandra Macpherson is Associate Professor of English at Ohio State University.

She is the author of essays in English Literary History and Representations, and of a book, Harm’s Way: Tragic Responsibility and the Novel Form (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010).

English Department
Ohio State University
164 W. 17th Avenue
Columbus OH 43210

James McBainJames McBain is a SNF Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and Research Associate at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford.

His primary research interests focus on the relationship of literary and legal cultures in the sixteenth century, the work of early Tudor poet and playwright John Heywood, and institutional/academic drama – and he is currently completing work in all three areas.

Along with Professor Elisabeth Dutton (University of Fribourg), he co-founded EDOX (Early Drama at Oxford), an interdisciplinary research project that seeks to study, stage and film plays/entertainments that were performed at the University during the early modern period – please see for more information.

Magdalen College

Margaret McGlynnMargaret McGlynn is Associate Professor of History at the University of Western Ontario.

She is engaged in three substantial but related research projects, all supported by SSHRCC research grants.

The first is an edition of readings, or lectures on statutes, given by common lawyers at the Inns of Court between the mid-fifteenth and mid-sixteenth centuries, which focus on the relationship between the church and the common law, based on Magna Carta c. 1 and Westminster I cc. 1-3. This will be published as the Selden Society volume for 2012.

The second project, a monograph which grew out of the edition, is a study of sanctuary and benefit of clergy in England between about 1400 and 1540.

The third project, also a monograph which grew out of the edition, is a study of the fates of the ex-religious after the dissolution of the monasteries.

She is also the Canadian Secretary for the Selden Society.

Department of History
University of Western Ontario
London, ON
N6A 5B8

Bernie Meyler

Bernadette Meyler, JD ’03, is a scholar of British and American constitutional law and of law and the humanities.  She returned in 2013 to Stanford Law School, where she had previously served as Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights.

Her research and teaching bring together the sometimes surprisingly divided fields of legal history and law and literature.  They also examine the long history of constitutionalism, reaching back into the English common law ancestry of the U.S. Constitution.

Professor Meyler’s two current book projects stem from these respective areas of her scholarship.  Theaters of Pardoning from Shakespeare to Kant tracks changing conceptions of sovereignty within the plays and politics of seventeenth-century England.  In doing so, the book considers how the shared audiences of dramatic and historical tragicomedy—whether Kings, students at the Inns of Court, or potential jurors—brought concepts from the literary into the legal arena and back again.

Common Law Originalism shifts to the American context, looking at the multiple eighteenth-century common law meanings—both colonial and English—of various constitutional terms and phrases.  Based on this variety, as well as on the practices of common law interpretation with which members of the Founding generation were familiar, the book argues that we should, in large part, reject the pursuit of a singular and determinate original meaning; instead, it contends, we must embrace a more vigorous debate in the present over contested constitutional meanings.

After receiving her BA in Literature with a focus on Classics at Harvard University, Professor Meyler obtained her JD from Stanford Law School and completed a PhD in English at UC, Irvine as a Mellon Fellow in Humanistic Studies and a Chancellor’s Fellow.  Following law school, Professor Meyler clerked for the Hon. Robert A. Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Professor of Law and English
Faculty Director of Research
Cornell Law School
212 Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853

Subha MukherjiSubha Mukherji is a fellow at Downing College, Cambridge.  She was educated in Calcutta, Oxford and Cambridge and has taught at Leeds and at Cambridge.

Her research interests centre upon Renaissance literature, particularly on Shakespeare and law and literature.  She is the author of Law and Representation in Early Modern Drama (Cambridge University Press, 2006; pbk reprint 2009).

Her more recent work focuses on the poetics of space, literary form and epistemology.  Mukherji’s current book-project focuses on the uses of doubt, and ways of knowing, in early modern literature.

Faculty of English
University of Cambridge
9 West Road

Mary NyquistMary Nyquist is Professor of English at the University of Toronto.

Her publications include several influential essays on John Milton, George Buchanan, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke.

Her recent book, Arbitrary Rule: Slavery, Tyranny and the Power of Life and Death (Chicago University Press, 2013) explores the complex links between the figurative ‘political slavery’ of early modern anti- tyranny discourse (in Buchanan, Milton, Hobbes, Locke), and the rise of transatlantic slavery. She demonstrates how principles relating to political slavery are bound up with a Roman jurisprudential doctrine that sanctions the power of life and death held by the slaveholder over slaves and by the state over citizens.

Department of English
Jackman Humanities Building
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
170 St. George St.
Toronto, ON
M5R 2M8

Joshua PhillipsJoshua Phillips is Associate Professor of English at the University of Memphis.

He focuses primarily, in his teaching and research, on the literature of the early modern period (1380-1660) in England and Europe. His areas of specialty include Shakespeare, Spenser, sixteenth-century prose fiction, law and literature, and religion and literature.

He is author of English Fictions of Communal Identity, 1485-1603 (Ashgate, 2010).

He is currently at work on a project concerning literature and monasticism in post-Reformation England.

Department of English
461 Patterson Hall
University of Memphis
Memphis, TN 38152

Paul RaffieldPaul Raffield is Professor of Law at the University of Warwick.

His research interests include the influence of the early modern legal profession over the development and formulation of the English constitution, and the historical and semiotic status of the legal community as a representation of constitutionalism.

Specific research projects include historical analyses of theatre and law, and the embodiment in drama of juristic constructs, such as divine law, natural law, and the artificial reason of common law. To a considerable degree, Paul’s research interests derive from his extensive career as an actor and director, prior to his appointment to Warwick.

He was the co-organiser of a major international conference on Shakespeare and the Law, hosted by The University of Warwick in 2007: see P. Raffield and G. Watt (eds.), Shakespeare and the Law (Hart Publishing, 2008).

Paul is the author of Images and Cultures of Law in Early Modern England: Justice and Political Power, 1558-1660 (Cambridge University Press, 2004). His latest sole-authored monograph, entitled Shakespeare’s Imaginary Constitution: Late-Elizabethan Politics and the Theatre of Law, is published by Hart Publishing (2010).

Co-editor, ‘Law and Humanities’
School of Law
University of Warwick

Joad RaymondJoad Raymond is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary University of London.

He is the author of various books on early-modern newspaper history and print culture, including The Invention of the Newspaper: English Newsbooks, 1641-1649 (Oxford, 1996; 2005), Pamphlets and Pamphleteering in Early Modern Britain (Cambridge, 2003); Milton’s Angels: the Early-Modern Imagination (Oxford, 2010); and the editor of various books including The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture, vol. 1: Cheap Print in Britain and Ireland to 1660 (Oxford, 2011).

A collection entitled News Networks in Early-Modern Europe, based on the eponymous Leverhulme Trust funded research network, will be published by Brill in 2015. He is presently editing Milton’s Defences for The Oxford Complete Works of John Milton, and preparing write a book on news in early modern Europe for Penguin.

The School of History
Queen Mary, University of London
Mile End Road
E1 4NS

Jason RosenblattJason Rosenblatt is Professor of English at  Georgetown University.

He grew up in Annapolis, where his father served as rabbi for almost forty years. Jason holds a B.A. from Yeshiva University, where he also attended the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, and gained advanced degrees from Brown University. Before coming to Georgetown in 1974, he taught at Brown, the University of Pennsylvania, and Swarthmore College.

His publications include a Norton Critical Edition of Milton’s Selected Poetry and Prose (W.W. Norton, 2010), Renaissance England’s Chief Rabbi: John Selden (Oxford University Press, 2006), Torah and Law in ‘Paradise Lost’ (Princeton University Press, 1994), a co-edited book on biblical narrative, ‘Not in Heaven’ (Indiana University Press, 1991), and more than two dozen essays on seventeenth-century English literature. His main long-term project is an annotated edition of John Selden’s Table Talk.

His awards include Fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Jason is a past president of the Milton Society of America (1999) and recipient of its Hanford and Shawcross Awards. (1989, 2007).

Department of English
New North 306
37th and O Streets, N. W.
Washington D.C. 20057

Carolyn SaleCarolyn Sale is Associate Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta.

Her research interests focus on Shakespeare and early modern writing by women. Her primary work is on early modern literature and the law, but extends to early modern performance theory and dramatic theory more generally; early modern conceptions of literary history, and the place of women writers within it; early modern conceptions of the ‘common’ and the popular, especially as these relate to early modern drama in general and Shakespeare’s materialist aesthetic in particular.

She has published articles in The Law in Shakespeare (Palgrave, 2007) and Shakespeare and the Law (Hart Publishing, 2008), and ELH (The ‘Roman Hand’: Women, Writing and the Law in the Att.-Gen. v. Chatterton and the Letters of the Lady Arbella Stuart, ELH 70.4 (2003): 929–961). She has also published on women writers and the courts in The History of British Women’s Writing, Vol. 2: 1500 – 1610 (Palgrave, 2010).

Her work in progress is a book manuscript, “The Literary Commons: The Law and the Writer, 1528 to 1628.”

Department of English and Film Studies
University of Alberta
3-5 Humanities Centre
Edmonton, Alberta
T6G 2E5

Ethan ShaganEthan Shagan is Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley.

He is an historian of early modern Britain in particular and early modern Europe more generally.  His work most often focuses on the interpenetration of religion and politics, and more broadly the contested place of religion in the early modern world.

His most recent book, The Rule of Moderation (Cambridge University Press, 2011), explores how and why the ubiquitous discourse of moderation, the golden mean, and the religious via media in early modern England functioned as an ideology of control and a tool of social, religious, and political power.

He is now beginning two simultaneous book projects.  First, in a co-authored book tentitively entitled The Problem of Belief in Early Modern Europe, he is exploring with his colleague Jonathan Sheehan the ways in which the Reformations of the sixteenth century threw the category of “belief” into crisis, changing its meanings and forcing it to bear extraordinary new weight under which it eventually collapsed.  This attention to belief as a problem, rather than the stable backdrop against which other problems occurred, both challenges the framework with which scholars have considered the emergence of “unbelief,” and also renders problematic any attempt to imagine “belief” in the past as an irreducible constant or a motor of historical change.

Second, in a book tentatively entitled Impiety and the Decline of Religion, he suggests that impiety is not merely the negative space of piety but rather has its own history, and that challenges to the practical and quotidian life of Christianity were far more important than challenges to the doctrines of Christianity in the long secularization of English society.

Department of History
3229 Dwinelle Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-2550

awaiting-photoBarbara Shapiro is Professor Emeritus of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley.

She is mainly interested in political and legal thought 1500-1700; Intellectual and cultural history, 1500-1700, Early modern legal and political discourse, Science and society, 1500-1700, Tudor and Stuart England.

She is author of A Culture of Fact: England 1550-1700 (Cornell University Press, 2000), and `Beyond Reasonable Doubt’ and `Probable Cause’: Historical Perspectives on the Anglo American Law of Evidence (University of California Press, 1991).

7408 Dwinelle Hall #2670
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-2670

James SharpeJames Sharpe is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of York.

His initial research was on the history of crime in seventeenth – century England, which resulted in the completion of a DPhil thesis which was subsequently published as Crime in seventeenth-century England: a County Study.

He went on to broaden his researches into this field, completing a number of essays and articles, a general book on crime in early modern England, and a short survey of punishment in England from c.1550 to the 1980s. He is a member of the Committee of the International Association for the History of Crime and Criminal Justice, a research network based in Paris which helps keep scholars working in this field in contact with research on an international level.

This interest in crime and law enforcement led James Sharpe to work on a wide variety of court records, and this led to the realisation that since these records were frequently the only source for examining the attitudes of the middling and lower sorts in the early modern periods they could be utilised to explore a range of social attitudes, notably those relating to personal reputation.

1996 saw the publication of James Sharpe’s Instruments of Darkness, a major work on the history of witchcraft in England over the period c.1550 – 1750. At the moment, witchcraft continues to be a subject of considerable interest to him, and he will be researching and publishing further into this field.

Department of History
University of York
YO10 5DD

awaiting-photoErica Sheen is Senior Lecturer in Film and Literature at the University of York.  

Her book Shakespeare and the Institution of Theatre was published in 2009; recent publications include ‘“Imaginary Puissance”: Shakespearean Theatre and the Law of Agency inHenry V, Twelfth Night and Measure for Measure’ in Shakespeare Survey 66 (2013), and Anti-anti-fidelity: Truffaut, Roché and Shakespeare’ in Adaptation 6.3 (2013).  

Her forthcoming study, Cold War Shakespeare has been supported by research grants from the Harry Ransom Centre, Austin, NYU Tamiment Library, The Harry S Truman Presidential Library, The Getty Research Institute, and a Leverhulme Research Fellowship.  

She is currently a Visiting Fellow at CAS, LMU Munich, and co-convener of the ‘Cold War Cultures’ and ‘Shakespeare in the Making of Europe’ networks.

Department of English and Related Literature
University of York
YO10 5DD

Quentin SkinnerQuentin Skinner is Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities at Queen Mary University of London, and was previously the Regius Professor of History at the University of Cambridge.

He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a foreign member of several other national academies, including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

His scholarship, which is available in twenty languages, has won him many awards, including the Wolfson History Prize and a Balzan Prize. Skinner has been the recipient of honorary degrees from many leading universities, including Chicago, Harvard and Oxford. His two-volume study, The Foundations of Modern Political Thought (1978), was listed by the Times Literary Supplement in 1996 as one of the hundred most influential books published since World War II. Skinner’s other books include Reason and Rhetoric in the Philosophy of Hobbes (1996), Liberty Before Liberalism (1998), Machiavelli (2000), Hobbes and Republican Liberty (2008), Forensic Shakespeare (2014), and a three-volume collection of essays, Visions of Politics (2002). A further collection of essays, From Humanism to Hobbes, is due to appear next year. Skinner is a frequent visitor to the United States, and was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton between 1974 and 1979.

The School of History
Queen Mary, University of London
Mile End Road
E1 4NS

Nigel SmithNigel Smith is William and Annie S. Paton Foundation Professor of Ancient and Modern Literature at Princeton University.

He is currently Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Books and Media at Princeton. He has published mostly on early modern literature, especially the seventeenth century; his work is interdisciplinary by inclination and training. His interests have included poetry; poetic theory; the social role of literature; literature, politics and religion; literature and visual art; heresy and heterodoxy; radical literature; early prose fiction; women’s writing; journalism; censorship; the early modern public sphere; travel; the history of linguistic ideas.

The authors he has covered include Shakespeare, Jonson, Donne, Herbert, Milton, Marvell, Hobbes, Margaret Cavendish, Katherine Philips.  His major works are Andrew Marvell: The Chameleon (Yale University Press, 2010; pbk 2012), a TLS ‘Book of the Year’ for 2010, Is Milton better than Shakespeare? (Harvard University Press, 2008), the Longman Annotated English Poets edition of Andrew Marvell’s Poems (2003, pbk 2007), a TLS ‘Book of the Year’ for 2003, Literature and Revolution in England, 1640-1660 (Yale University Press, 1994) and Perfection Proclaimed: Language and Literature in English Radical Religion 1640-1660 (Oxford University Press, 1989). He has also edited the Journal of George Fox (1998), and the Ranter pamphlets (1983; revised edn. 2013), and co-edited with Nicholas McDowell the Oxford Handbook to Milton (Oxford University Press, 2009; pbk 2011).

New work, The State and Literary Production in Early Modern Europe, involves the comparison of English with literatures in other European (especially Dutch, German, French and Spanish) and some oriental vernaculars in the context of political and scientific transformation between 1500 and 1800. With Sara Poor he is editing Mysticism and Reform (Notre Dame University Press), a collection of essays mapping the passage of mysticism from the medieval to the early modern worlds.

Department of English, McCosh 22
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1016

Virginia Lee StrainVirginia Lee Strain is Assistant Professor of English at Loyola University, Chicago.

She received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 2011, winning The Shakespeare Association of America’s J. Leeds Barroll Dissertation Prize (2011) for the same. Subsequently, she held a Mellon Visiting Assistant Professorship at Vanderbilt University (2011-12) before heading to Chicago. Her research has been supported by fellowships at the University of Manitoba Institute for the Humanities and the Huntington Library.

Her publications include “The Winter’s Tale and The Oracle of the Law” (ELH 78.3 [2011]: 557-584), “Shakespeare’s Living Law: Theatrical, Lyrical, and Legal Practice” (Literature Compass, forthcoming), “The Ensnared Subject and the General Pardon Statute in Late Elizabethan Literature” inTaking Exception to the Law: Materializing Injustice in Early Modern English Literature.Ed. Don Beecher et al. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015). Another article, on “Preventive Measures: Local Justice and Judgment in Measure for Measure,” is scheduled to appear in a volume on Shakespeare and Judgment. Her monograph, Perfecting the Law: Literature and Legal Reform in the 1590s and 1600s, is currently under submission.

Department of English

Crown Center for the Humanities
Loyola University Chicago
1032 W. Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60660

Stretton-263x336Tim Stretton is Professor of History at Saint Mary’s University.

He studied History and Law at the University of Adelaide and completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Keith Wrightson. Before joining Saint Mary’s in 2000 he taught at the Universities of Durham and Cambridge in the UK, at the University of Waikato in New Zealand and at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he specializes in the social history of law and litigation in Britain, with a focus on the legal rights and experiences of women, and in intersections between law and literature in early modern England.

He is currently researching the history of coverture (the legal condition of married women) from the 16th century through to the early 20th century. He has also recently completed articles on the sixteenth century author George Puttenham and on oral and written promises in The Merchant of Venice.  He is also author of Women Waging Law in Elizabethan England  (Cambridge University Press, 1998; pbk edn 2005).

History Department
Saint Mary’s University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 3C3

Henry TurnerHenry S. Turner is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University.

His primary research and teaching areas are in Renaissance Drama, especially comedy; critical theory; and relations between the fields of literature and science. Other areas of research and teaching include early modern intellectual history, especially literary theory and early scientific thought; economic and industrial history; urban history; the history of the theater; print culture; and related areas in medieval literary, social, and intellectual life.

He is currently writing The Corporate Commonwealth, a book-length study of the history and theory of the corporation, including early modern philosophies of industry, technology, and economy and their relationship to notions of political community and political subjectivity.

Department of English
Rutgers University
College Avenue Campus
Murray Hall
510 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ

Elliot Visconsi

Elliot Visconsi is Associate Professor of English and concurrent Associate Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame. He is also the university’s Chief Academic Digital Officer in the Provost’s Office, where he leads the University’s efforts to implement digital and online learning strategically.

Visconsi works on literature, law, and political thought in the early modern period, ranging from 1550-1800 in England and the Americas. Among the topics of his research and teaching are Shakespeare, Milton, the literature of the Restoration period, and early American literature and culture. He is also actively working on contemporary First Amendment doctrine and writes on the future of free expression in the digital age. Among his recent publications in the early modern field are the following:

  • Lines of Equity: Literature and the Origins of Law in Later Stuart England  (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, April 2008). This book describes the later seventeenth-century literary transformation of equity from a principle of legal interpretation into an ethos of deliberative citizenship. Treating authors such as Thomas Hobbes, John Milton, John Dryden, Henry Neville, Aphra Behn, and Daniel Defoe, this book demonstrates how the newly public enterprise of serious literature helps to create the conditions in which political liberalism can thrive.
  • “King Philip’s War and the Edges of Civil Religion in 1670s London,” in Religion, Culture, and the National Community in the 1670s, eds. Tom Corns and Tony Claydon (Univ. of Wales Press, 2009)
  • “The Invention of Criminal Blasphemy: Rex v. Taylor (1676),” Representations103 (Summer 2008).
  • “Vinculum Fidei: The Tempest & the Law of Allegiance” Law & Literature20:1 (Spring 2008).
  • “The First Amendment and the Poetics of Church and State,” Raritan26:3 (Fall 2006)

In the digital domain, Visconsi is the creator of The Tempest for iPad (with Katherine Rowe) and the founder of Luminary Digital Media, a software company that makes mobile apps for teaching and learning humanities content build around accessible expert commentaries from leading scholars worldwide, designed to enhance student learning by fostering engaged co-creative reading, and grounded in research in the sciences of learning. Now partnered with the Folger Shakespeare Library and Simon & Schuster, Luminary has published seven enhanced Shakespeare editions (Hamlet, Richard III, Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet, Julius Caesar, and Macbeth) which are in use on over 33 countries worldwide by more than 10,000 users. This digital platform has been described in the Times Literary Supplement as introducing “a new form of Shakespearean commentary” and has been featured additionally in venues such as The AtlanticUS News & World Report, and Fast Company.

Visconsi is currently at work on his next project, a tradition book entitled “The Struggle for Civil Religion: The Culture of Church and State in Post-Revolutionary England and America”. This book describes the sweeping cultural history of the principle of separation of church and state in the 17th century Anglo-American world, suggesting that literary culture plays a deeply influential role in the development of a constitutional sensibility in which the robust separation of church and state is understood to be best for government and for religion. Moreover, the project argues that it is in the domains of the literary that the concept of “civil religion” emerges. He is also writing two law articles– one on the evolving status of “literariness” in contemporary US First Amendment doctrine and one on the history of hate speech regulation.

Department of English
University of Notre Dame
356 O’Shaughnessy Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5639

Christopher WarrenChristopher Warren is Assistant Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University.

He specialises in Renaissance literature as it relates to questions of politics, law, international political thought, and intellectual history.

His current book project investigates Renaissance literature’s complex and often-neglected contributions to the history of international law by reading Renaissance poets including Shakespeare, Donne, Grotius, and Milton in the dual contexts of literary history and the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century formation of international law.

Additional interests include rhetoric, historical poetics, and digital humanities.  Before arriving at CMU in 2010, he was a Harper-Schmidt Fellow and Collegiate Assistant Professor of Humanities at the University of Chicago.

Department of English
Carnegie Mellon University
Baker Hall 259
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890

Luke WilsonLuke Wilson is Associate Professor of English at Ohio State University.

He specializes in Renaissance literature, particularly in relation to legal history.  He came to Ohio State from the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his PhD in 1992.

His book, Theaters of Intention: Drama and the Law in Early Modern England (Stanford University Press, 2000), explores the sometimes obscure and often crazy relation between legal documents – court cases, moots, assize reports, Parliamentary debates – and the drama of the period, from canonical plays like Hamlet and Dr. Faustus to less familiar plays like the anonymous Nobody and Somebody.

Since Theaters of Intention, he has published on a variety of topics in early modern literature and law: insurance law and theatrical risk; Macbeth and anti-natalism; manslaughter, “tool abuse,” and literary premeditation; and the changing logic of monetary compensation for bodily injuries from the Anglo-Saxon period to the early eighteenth century.

English Department
Ohio State University
164 W. 17th Avenue
Columbus OH, 43210

Ian Williams

Ian Williams is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Laws at UCL.

His research interests are in legal history, particularly early-modern English legal history (c.1500-c.1640). He has particular interests in the history of common-law reasoning and its interaction with legal theory, as well as common law writing and printing. Ian has recently worked on the idea of the Chancery as a prerogative court and is researching the theory and practice of Star Chamber as a court of equity. He is investigating the utility of speeches in the Inns of Court as a source for understanding lawyers’ legal and political thought as well as co-editing a volume of Landmark Cases in Criminal Law, to which he is contributing a chapter on late-fifteenth and early-sixteenth century larceny.

UCL Faculty of Laws
Bentham House
Endsleigh Gardens


Jessica Winston is Professor of English at Idaho State University.

Her research focuses on the literary culture of the Inns of Court, especially in early Elizabethan England, and the sixteenth-century reception of Seneca’s tragedies. With James Ker, she is editor of Elizabethan Seneca: Three Tragedies (London: MHRA, 2012). She is the author of articles on Gorboduc at the Inner Temple (Early Theatre, 2005) and lyric poetry at the early Elizabethan Inns (in the edited collection The Intellectual and Cultural World of the Early Modern Inns of Court, 2010).

She is currently completing her book Lawyers at Play: Literature, Law, and Politics at the Early Modern Inns of Court

Department of English and Philosophy
Campus Box 8056
Idaho State University
Pocatello, ID 83209-8056

Andrew ZurcherAndrew Zurcher is a fellow in English at Queens’ College, Cambridge. He has research interests in early modern legal and political culture; manuscript studies and the history of the book; early modern epistolary culture; and early modern Ireland; and has published books and articles on Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, and Donne. He is currently collaborating on the new Collected Works of Edmund Spenser for Oxford University Press, and producing a selected edition of Spenser’s works for the 21st Century Oxford Authors series. He is also collaborating on an edition of the correspondence of Sir Thomas Browne, again for Oxford University Press.

He is author of Spenser’s Legal Language: Law and Poetry in the English Renaissance (Brewer, 2007).

Queens’ College
University of Cambridge


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