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Shakespeare and the King’s Men: Theatre History as Endgame
A staff and postgraduate research seminar.
Dr Lucy Munro took her BA in English Language and Literature at Manchester University, moving to King’s College London for her MA and PhD.She worked at the University of Reading and Keele University, where she taught for the English, Film and Media degree programmes, before returning to King’s in September 2013.
She is Secretary of the Marlowe Society of America, Publicity Officer for the Malone Society, and a member of the Architecture Research Group at Shakespeare’s Globe and the steering group of the London Renaissance Seminar.
The thread that runs through Dr Munro’s research is an interest in the dynamic relationship between old and new in literary cultures and their afterlives. As a scholar and teacher of early modern literature, she is often concerned with presenting old texts to new audiences. Moreover, her research has dealt explicitly with questions such as: the place of youth in early modern theatre; the function of outmoded style in early modern literary culture; the revival and reshaping of old plays in performance; and the role of ageing and memory in the theatre.
She has published two books to date. The first, Children of the Queen’s Revels: A Jacobean Theatre Repertory (Cambridge University Press, 2005), focused on the most prominent of the children’s playing companies of early modern London - the ‘little eyases’ of Shakespeare’s Hamlet - examining the company’s history and their involvement in crucial developments in dramatic genre in the early 17th century. The second, Archaic Style in Early Modern Literature, 1590-1674 (Cambridge University Press, 2013), is a study of the ways in which early modern writers use linguistic, poetic or dramatic styles that would have seemed old-fashioned to their first audiences or readers. Looking at the works of canonical figures such as Shakespeare, Milton, Spenser and Jonson alongside those of Robert Southwell, Anna Trapnel, William Cartwright and others, it argues that the attempts of writers to reconstruct outmoded styles within their own works reveal a largely untold story about the workings of literary influence and tradition, the interactions between past and present, and the uncertain contours of English nationhood.
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