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Dr Kim Gilchrist

Lecturer

School of English, Communication and Philosophy

Email
gilchristc@cardiff.ac.uk
Campuses
2.38, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

Overview

I am a Disglair Lecturer in English Literature at Cardiff. I write, teach and think about Shakespeare and the wider contexts of early modern drama, especially popular culture, the performance of history and the complex interconnections between drama's reception by its original spectators and readers in performance and print, particularly the ways in which factors such as literacy and 'textual community' could shape profoundly different perceptions in different individuals and groups. 

I’m particularly excited by discovering, exploring and teaching forgotten and lesser-known plays and texts from the period, especially popular depictions of world history (real and fake) and romance narratives. Looking wider enables engagement with a wide range of methodological approaches, including work on ‘lost’ plays, repertory studies and print culture.

I’m increasingly interested in the ways in which attending to evidence of drama’s materiality – prop lists, stage directions and account books – might help us push towards new understandings of the presentation of the spectacular and non-human on the early modern stage. My current work focuses on romance drama and its contexts beyond the London-based professional drama, specifically regional, amateur, and international performance. 

Biography

Having enjoyed a varied career in a number of fields since completing a BA in Drama & Theatre Arts at Goldsmiths College, I returned to academia in 2012, undertaking an MA in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. During this time, I was selected as a Globe Research Intern, assisting at events such as Read Not Dead, and undertaking dramaturgical research for the Globe's main house productions. I also worked part-time in the Theatre Department's film division.

My MA dissertation, on the anonymous play Muceorus, was graded highest-in-year and provided the basis for my first article, published in the journalShakespeare. 

My Ph.D studies were funded by the Department of English and Creative Writing at University from 2014-2017. This overlapped with a Teaching Fellowship at Roehampton, during which time I received the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence. I have taught a postgraduate module on early modern dramaturgy at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (2019) and have been a guest lecturer at Shakespeare's Globe. In 2019 I co-organsied with Dr Amy Lidster the Changing Histories conference, held at King's College London. 

Since 2019 I have been Disglair Lecturer at ENCAP, further developing my research into romance drama in the contexts of lost, regional and amateur drama. My department duties include Year One Tutor and Cross-School Year One Exam Board Chair. My monograph, Staging Britain's Past: Pre-Roman Britain in Early Modern Drama is published by Arden Shakespeare Studies in Early Modern Drama in April 2021. 

Honours and awards

  • Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence (Roehampton University, 2019)
  • Society for Renaissance Studies conference grant (2019)
  • British Shakespeare Association conference grant (2019)
  • Liz Ketterer Trust Travel Bursary (BritGrad conference, 2016)

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2018)

Academic positions

  • 2019: present: Disglair Lecturer, Cardiff University
  • 2019: visiting and guest lecturer, Central School of Dance and Drama, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Roehampton University
  • 2017 - 2018: Teaching Fellow, Roehampton University

Speaking engagements

Invited papers and readings

  • “‘The Diminution of Space’: Cymbeline and the End of Brutan Time.” Invited lecture at Cardiff University’s MEMORI seminar series, 20th February 2020
  • “‘Who of Nothing Can Something Make?’: Jacobean Drama and the Erosion of Brutan History.” Guest lecture at Southampton University Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 20th November 2018
  • Forgiving Shakespeare: Funded rehearsed reading of my comic verse play Forgiving Shakespeare, given as part of the “Cervantes at Play” component of King’s College London’s 2016 Arts & Humanities Festival. 17th October 2016

Selected conference papers

  • “‘When the History Swelled’: Historical Consciousness and Performance, 1550-1590.” Before Shakespeare Conference, University of Roehampton, 24th–27th August 2017
  • “‘Barbarous Asia’ and ancient Trojans: Britain’s Mythic Founders and the Performance of Origins.” Literary London Society Conference, 6th–8th July 2016
  • “For his Name Ludstone, he Made Men Build.” British Graduate Conference, 2nd–4th June 2016. Received Liz Ketterer Trust Travel Bursary Award.
  • “‘How Mad a Sight it was to See Dametas’: The Arcadia, Tarlton and Sidney’s Escaping Clown.” Humour in Shakespeare’s Arcadia Conference, The British Institute of Florence, 23rd April 2015

Teaching

I hold the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence from Roehampton University, and I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

At Cardiff, I have taught the following modules: 

  • Renaissance Prose, Poetry and Drama (yr2)
  • Experimental Early Modern Drama (yr2)
  • Poetic Justice? (MA)

I have also contributed lectures to 'Star Cross'd Lovers'' (yr1)

My research consistently focuses on uncovering the cultural uses and reception of early-modern drama across diverse and under-considered textual communities. My article on Mucedorus asserted the commercial relationship between this popular play and its elite source, Philip Sidney’s Arcadia, and the ways in which these texts’ cultural uses both challenged and echoed one another.

My monograph, Staging Britain’s Past: Pre-Roman Britain in Early Modern Drama (Arden Shakespeare Studies, 2021), explores the performance of ancient British history and the ways in which its reception was shaped by the differences between popular and elite understandings of the British past. In terms of reception, a text’s potential meanings are always in motion: this is especially true for drama, which was encountered as live performance, printed texts, and printed texts read aloud in company.

To accommodate this mutability my research incorporates diverse methodologies, including repertory studies, ‘lost’ drama, print history and the materiality of performance. Several of these approaches are especially pertinent to the recovery of marginalised modes of drama performance, which are underrepresented in printed playbooks. At present, I am undertaking research into the wider contexts of the era's most-published play (and subject of my first article), Mucedorus. Iam currently focusing on 1570s romance drama and a broader collation of evidence relating to amateur and regional performance, although the wider project will track these themes, via Mucedorus, up to the 1690s. My wider research interests include the performance and reception of English drama on the continent, with a current turn towards the huge popularity in Germany and the Netherlands, in performance and print, of the anonymous play No-body and Some-body.

Areas of expertise

External profiles

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