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Durham University

Department of English Studies


Academic Staff

Dr Mark Chambers, BA, PhD (TCD)

Teaching Fellow in the Department of English Studies

Contact Dr Mark Chambers

Tudor Theatre: Vol. 6 (Collection THETA): Centre D'Etudes: Books

Overview and Research

I am currently a Teaching Fellow in the department, providing lecturing, seminar teaching and tutorials on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules. My primary research interest is in medieval and early Tudor drama, and especially interdisciplinary approaches to premodern performance history. I also have research interest in late medieval material culture (e.g. cloth and clothing) and late medieval language contact. 

At present, I am preparing a monograph on Performing Disability in Premodern Britain for ARC Humanities Press, to be published in 2021. This major study of performance history examines the nature and socialisation of 'disabled' performers in the medieval and early Tudor records. It takes a new approach to the study of the evidence for, and conceptualisation of 'impairment', as a performative act, in the premodern records and play texts. The study sheds new light on historic performance culture, reflecting on what that culture might tell us about the continued 'othering' of disability in society today.

I am also co-editing (with Professor John McKinnell) the Records of Early English Drama series for County Durham. The first traunch of this substantial collection of records for performance in the county are due to be published by REED, Toronto within the next year ( For more on this long-running international series, see

From, 2012-13, I was a Teaching Fellow at The University of Birmingham. I also acted as Research Consultant on the Lexis of Cloth and Clothing Project based at the University of Westminster, London, UK ( I have also served as Research Assistant on a parallel, Leverhulme-funded project: the Medieval Dress and Textile Vocabulary in Unpublished Sources Project, in collaboration with Professor Louise Sylvester and Professor Gale Owen-Crocker.

I have published widely on material culture and historical philology and continue conducting research on fashion and sumptuary legislation in the 14th through the 16th centuries, especially the lexicology of medieval fashion and dress.


I currently provide lecturing, seminar & tutorial teaching and mentoring on the undergraduate modules Intro to Drama, Medieval Literature, Renaissance Literature, Shakespeare and Old French. I also teach on the MA RMR seminar.

Previous to joining the team in Durham in 2013, I provided lecturing and further teaching, primarily on medieval and Renaissance English language and literature, at the University of Durham (2001-2), Trinity College Dublin, University of Westminster and the University of Birmingham.

Research Interests

  • Early English Drama
  • Late-Medieval Language Contact
  • Medieval Clothing and Fashion


Chapter in book

Conference Paper

  • Chambers, Mark (2019), ‘Riding the Bounds of REED: Assessing the Evidence from Pre-Reformation Durham’, Renaissance Society of America. Toronto, Canada.
  • Chambers, Mark (2018), ‘“Durhams old Cittie thus salutes our King” Civic Performance and Royal Power in Post-Reformation Durham’, 18th annual Medieval English Theatre Conference. Sheffield, UK.
  • Chambers, Mark (2018), ‘Medieval Records for Early English Drama in Durham: Entertaining Town & Gown in the Palatinate’, 53rd Intl. Congress on Medieval Studies. University of Western Michigan, Kalamazoo, MI.
  • Chambers, Mark (2012), 'Clothing by Name: Approaching the Study of Late Medieval Multilingualism through a Specific Technical Lexis', in Volodarskaya, Emma & Roberts, Jane eds, The Third International Conference 'Language, Culture, and Society in Russian/English Studies'. School of Advanced Studies, London, London, 87-97.

Edited book

Journal Article

  • Chambers, Mark (2020). '“Wyth poynt of penaunce I schal hym prene” Weaponised Conversion on the Medieval Stage'. European Medieval Drama 24.
  • Chambers, Mark & Jakovač, Gasper (2020). 'Welcoming James VI & I in the North-East: Civic Performance and Conflict in Durham and Newcastle'. Medieval English Theatre 41.
  • Chambers, Mark (2020). ‘“Players” in Context: Determining Performance in Medieval Accountancy Records’. Early Theatre 23(2).
  • Chambers, Mark C. (2004). ‘Weapons of Conversion: Mankind and Medieval Stage Properties’. Philological Quarterly 83(1 (Winter): 1, 1-11.
  • Chambers, Mark C. (2001). 'Physicality, Violence, and the Psychomachia in the Early English Morality Plays’. Tudor Theatre: Allegory in the Theatre (L’allégorie au théâtre), Collection Theta 5: 1, 1-20.

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