Patricia Phillippy

Patricia Phillippy

Professor, Professor of Material and Cultural Memories, Professor and Director,

    Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    Projects in: early modern literature and material culture; sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature; early modern gender and women's writing; manuscript and archival research; creative writing (poetry).

    Willing to speak to media

    • Source: Scopus
    • Calculated based on no. of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
    1986 …2020

    Research activity per year

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    Personal profile

    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 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. 

    Research Interests

    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. My professional activities continue to play out on an international 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. I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

    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. 'Living Climate in the Early Modern World' investigates pre-industrial climate change, exploring the  interconnection between memory, climate and mortality in the period now known as the Little Ice Age. Responding to the recent dating of the Anthropocene to 1610, when the global influence of European colonial expansion is demonstrable in stratigraphic evidence, I investigate how anthropogenic climate change serves as a template for changing social and biological ecologies in the transatlantic early modern world. Rather than pursuing simple cause and effect readings of climate and creative productions, I suggest that narrative and visual patterns--what Elizabeth DeLoughrey calls 'allegories of the Anthropocene'--emerge in the sixteenth and seventeenth century, turning traditional memorial acts and arts toward new material conditions that reimagine their meanings and motives. In a collection of memorial texts and artifacts, i tease out these allegories and their resonance with responses of populations to extreme climatic conditions and the humoral, biological and political assumptions that contribute to environmental change on a global scale.


    Education/Academic qualification

    Renaissance Studies, Doctorate, Yale University

    1 Sep 198331 May 1989

    Award Date: 31 May 1989

    The Writing Seminars, MA, Johns Hopkins University

    1 Sep 198231 May 1983

    Award Date: 31 May 1983

    External positions

    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 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)
    • Environmental Humanities


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