Patricia Phillippy

Professor, Professor of Material and Cultural Memories, Executive Director

Accepting PhD Students

Willing to speak to media

  • 17 Citations
  • 2 h-Index
1992 …2019
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Personal profile

Research Interests

My expertise is in early modern English literature and culture, which I approach from comparative and interdisciplinary 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 the centrality of the arts of memory to early modern formulations of gender and identity. 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 inflected by 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. 


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 Executive Director of the Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities. My professional activities continue to play out on an internaitonal field. I am Senior Editor of Sixteenth Century Journal, the flagship publication of the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, and I serve as liaison between the Modern Language Association and the Society for the Studies of Early Modern Women and Gender. My research has been awarded funding from the Leverhulme Trust, the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Renaissance Society of America, among others. 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 have taught and supervised MA dissertations and PhD theses in creative writing (poetry) throughout my career. 

Vision Statement

Like the Faculty Research Centre which I direct, I am committed to research that crosses disciplines and cultures, and I believe that an understanding of materiality and craft as they inform creation is central to engaging critically and creatively with one's own work and that of others. I understand the value of the arts and humanities as instilling in individuals critical and creative thinking and reflection that inform all activities in which they engage. Significantly, however, I insist that the cultural value of the humanities lies in its potential to transform collective experience and conditions; it lies, in other words, in collaborative arrangements that move research and practice, staff and students beyond the university. As Executive Director, I strive to deepen these connections, while 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.'Family Plots: Ecological Bodies and Early Modern Women’s Writing,' aims to deepen our understandings of gendered authorship and of contemporary environmental theory by investigating women’s material creations—manuscripts, monuments, books and buildings—as related to climate and place. I introduce into early modern women’s studies a posthumanist strand of environmental theory that attends to the interfaces and exchanges joining bodies and the world in mutual, emergent relationships and ecologies. Exploring early modern women’s ecological bodies, actual and representational, I work to decenter the essentialist equation between women and nature, both in the early modern period and in the age of the Anthropcene, arguing instead that the rich intersection of women’s creativity with the materiall climates of place reveals itself as a site of revisionary writing where gender is built alongside environment.



Education/Academic qualification

Renaissance Studies, Doctorate, Yale University

1 Sep 198331 May 1989

The Writing Seminars, MA, Johns Hopkins University

1 Sep 198231 May 1983

External positions

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

1 Mar 2017 → …

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)

Fingerprint 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.

  • 2 Similar Profiles
Reformation Arts & Humanities
Poem Arts & Humanities
Manuscripts Arts & Humanities
England Arts & Humanities
Artifact Arts & Humanities
Early Modern England Arts & Humanities
William Shakespeare Arts & Humanities
Art Arts & Humanities

Research Output 1992 2019

  • 17 Citations
  • 2 h-Index
  • 8 Article
  • 6 Book
  • 2 Chapter
  • 1 Review article

'Literary legacies : children's reading and writing in the Montagu Archive'

Phillippy, P., 18 Jul 2019, Literary Cultures and Medieval and Early Modern Childhoods. Miller, N. & Purkiss, D. (eds.). London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 305-322 17 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A History of Early Modern Women's Writing

Phillippy, P. (ed.), Jan 2018, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 456 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Women's Writing
English Reformation

Shaping Remembrance from Shakespeare to Milton

Phillippy, P., 2018, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 280 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Open Access
William Shakespeare
Parish Church

Anne Bradstreet's family plots: puritanism, humanism, posthumanism

Phillippy, P., 17 Apr 2017, (Accepted/In press) In : Criticism. spring 2020, 62.2, p. (In-Press) 48 p., MS 17030.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Phillippy, P., 1 Sep 2017, A Handbook of English Renaissance Literary Studies. Lee, J. (ed.). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd, p. 353-367 14 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Open Access
Feminist Art
Art History
European Painting