Patricia Phillippy

Professor, Professor of Material and Cultural Memories, , PhD

    Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    Projects in: early modern literature and material culture; gender, sexuality and women's writing; manuscript and archival research; creative writing (poetry), practice-based research.

    Willing to speak to media

    Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
    1986 …2022

    Research activity per year

    Personal profile


    I received my PhD from Yale University in Renaissance Studies, and taught at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas for several years before moving to the United Kingdom. I joined Coventry in 2020 as a Professor of Material and Cultural Memories and Director of the Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities. I stepped down from the Director's role to take up a 3-year Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2023-2026). My academic activities span both research and practice: I hold a BA and MA from The Writing Seminars at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and I continue to write and publish poetry and have taught and supervised MA dissertations and PhD theses in creative writing (poetry) throughout my career.

    My professional activities cross an international field. I am Senior Editor of Sixteenth Century Journal, the flagship publication of the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, and I am currently a member of the Peer Review College of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. My research has been awarded funding from the Leverhulme Trust, the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Renaissance Society of America, among others. I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

    My specialisms include early modern women’s writing,  premodern climate change, manuscript studies, material artefacts, critical medical humanities and theories of embodiment. I am interested in supervising PhD projects in early modern English literature and material culture, and I also invite practice-based, transdisciplinary projects in creative writing and visual and material arts.  Projects that explore new materialist, ecological, or posthumanist  approaches to creativity and subjectivity are especially welcome. 


    Research Interests

    My expertise is in early modern English literature and culture, which I approach from comparative and transdisciplinary perspectives. Situated between the archival and the artefactual, my research studies manuscript and early printed sources alongside objects, artworks and the built and natural environments of the early modern world. Thematically, I am concerned with pre-Cartesian ecologies of embodiment and environment and the centrality of memory to formulations of gender and identity. Theoretically, I embrace feminist materialist and posthumanist approaches which trace the critical and creative entanglements of social and somatic conditions informing early modern ideas of gender, climate, race, disease and mortality.

    My most recent monograph, Shaping Remembrance from Shakespeare to Milton (Cambridge, 2018), examines textual, visual and material forms of commemoration in the century stretching from the Elizabethan Settlement to the English Civil War. Funeral monuments were ubiquitous in post-Reformation England, whether situated in churches—where they are material emblems of the union of art, memory and community—or circulating in more flexible, mobile works, such as manuscript and printed memorials, portraits, jewellery, textiles or ‘rarities’. Removing these artefacts from parochial and antiquarian fields of enquiry, I reimagine monuments as pervasively involved with other commemorative arts, not least literary works by our most canonical writers. While consistently engaged with  questions of gender and women’s authorship, my work sets these concerns in relation to canonical works and relevant aspects of political, religious, and cultural discourses of the early modern period. This principle guided my editorship of A History of Early Modern Women’s Writing (Cambridge, 2018), a collection of twenty-two chapters by leading international scholars in the field. 

    Vision Statement

    My scholarly publications collectively demonstrate the value of pursuing creative, associative bonds across national and disciplinary borders and between visual, material, and literary forms. My current research exemplifies my commitment to establishing the relevance of early modern studies to twenty first century concerns. 'A Floating World: Memory, Climate, and Race in the British Atlantic World' investigates pre-industrial climate change, understood as anthropogenic and racialized, and intertwined with race, illness, mortality and gendered rituals of death and mourning. In three case studies centred on three women and their families (Alicia Dudley, Elizabeth Cary and Anne Bradstreet), I employ a critical medical humanities method to explore the interconnection between memory, climate and mortality in the period of climate extremes precipitated (in part) by European colonial expansion. These women's memorial works employ conventional gestures which newly respond to, and destabilize, social and somatic conditions within which they no longer comfortably reside. The shifting narrative and visual patterns at play in these women's works serve as a template through which to read the changing social and biological ecologies of gender and race emerging from England's transatlantic colonial enterprises. 

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 13 - Climate Action

    Education/Academic qualification

    Renaissance Studies, Doctorate, Love's Remedies: Palinodic Discourse in Early Modern Poetry, Yale University

    1 Sept 198331 May 1989

    Award Date: 31 May 1989

    The Writing Seminars, MA, Poetry Manuscript, Johns Hopkins University

    1 Sept 198231 May 1983

    Award Date: 31 May 1983

    External positions

    Peer Review College , Arts and Humanities Research Council

    31 Jan 2022 → …

    Fellow , Royal Historical Society

    1 Jul 2020 → …

    SSSEMWG/MLA Liaison, Modern Language Association; Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender

    1 Mar 20171 Jul 2021

    Senior Editor, Sixteenth Century Journal; Sixteenth Century Society and Conference

    1 May 2016 → …


    • PR English literature
    • Early Modern Studies
    • Material Cultures
    • Manuscript Studies
    • Gender and Women's Writing
    • Memory Studies
    • Shakespeare
    • Creative Writing (Poetry)
    • Embodiment
    • Critical Medical Humanities


    Dive into the research topics where Patricia Phillippy is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
    • 1 Similar Profiles