Major Leverhulme Research Fellowship for CAMC

Prof. Patricia Phillippy has been awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship. This three-year fellowship will support Pat’s research and publication of a monograph, A Floating World: Memory, Climate and Race in the British Atlantic.

The project investigates premodern climate change and its entanglement with memory and race in works by Alicia Dudley (d. 1669), Elizabeth Cary (d. 1639) and Anne Bradstreet (d. 1672), and in archival histories of Black women in slavery or service in this period.

This research explores how the changed global ecology emerging from European colonial expansion is registered in memorial creations and parochial settings in seventeenth-century England and colonial New England. This transdisciplinary project develops a view of premodern climate change as anthropogenic and racialized, and reveals how local phenomena register global conditions.

Pat’s Fellowship breaks new ground in being the first Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship ever won at Coventry.


CAMC Research Fellow Elected as Council Member

CAMC Research Fellow Victoria Leonard has been elected to serve on the Council for the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies for a three-year term. The Roman Society was founded in 1910 to advance the understanding of ancient Rome and the Roman Empire. Today the Roman Society has almost 2,000 members worldwide and is the leading organisation for those interested in Roman history, archaeology, literature and art. The Society offers a wide range of grants to support research and publications, provides training opportunities for young researchers, and promotes the teaching of Latin in schools.


Alice Leonard Elected as Research Fellow at the Institute of English Studies, University of London

Alice Leonard has been awarded a non-stipendiary Research Fellowship at the Institute of English Studies for three years. The Institute will provide the use of shared office space, access to Senate House Library, an email account, free attendance at Institute events such as conferences, seminars and workshops, reduced fees on the Institute’s summer schools, and access to a competitive fund for research expenses.


New CAMC Funded Partnership

CAMC has formed a new partnership with the Coventry-based community interest company, the House of Emanuel I&I C.I.C, to work on the project: ‘Unveiling the Reform Movement: Coventry’s Journey towards Social Justice at St. Mary’s Guildhall’. This has just received funding from the St Mary’s Guildhall Community Grant for a year-long project. In 1847 the former slave and leading anti-slavery campaigner, Frederick Douglass visited Coventry and delivered a lecture at St Mary’s Guildhall. This project will explore this fascinating story of black history and social justice with local Coventry roots, working with young adults to research this history and produce an immersive live performance with an audio-visual product in the very place where Douglass spoke. Dr Ben Dew, Dr Alice Leonard and Dr Darren Reid are leading the project for Coventry.

The project aims to intertwine the history of the reformist movement with the pursuit of social justice in Coventry. It will illuminate the significant influence of the reformist movement during the 1800s, especially their steadfast commitment to the abolition of slavery, for example, with the Quakers. This movement laid the groundwork for the historic Frederick Douglass Lecture in Coventry, a little known history that has marked resonance for the our own cultural moment. This builds upon from Dr Darren Reid’s project The Frederick Douglass in Coventry Project and the creation of a short documentary, available here, and the Digital Douglass Project run by the House of Emanuel, that received Lottery Funding.


CAMC Fellow Joins Brepols Editorial Board

CAMC Research Fellow Victoria Leonard has joined the Editorial Board for the newly established book series Gendered Violence. A Cultural History of the Gendering of Violence from Late Antiquity through the Late Nineteenth Century, published by Brepols and edited by Prof. Martha Rampton. The book series maintains a wide geographical, chronological, and methodological approach and welcomes submissions for monographs and edited volumes on topics from Late Antiquity to 1900 in Eastern and Western Europe, including works on European colonization.   


CAMC Premoderns at Classical Association Conference 2024

Staff and postgraduate members of CAMC showcased their research at the Classical Association Conference 2024, the largest annual event for Classics in the UK, with a a double panel of papers, ‘Classics in Coventry’. Contributions came from Christopher Lillington-Martin, Georgina Homer, Judith Mossman, Kirsty Harrod, Daniel Anderson, Victoria Leonard (pictured, left to right), Helen Lord, and Adeola Eze.   

Exhibition Coming at The Herbert

Plans are underway for Coventry’s Early Modern Grammar School Exhibition. Doctoral student Madeleine Bracey and Dr. Alice Leonard have formed a partnership with the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum to curate an exhibition of Coventry’s Early Modern Grammar School. This is the topic of Madeleine’s PhD research. The School, founded in 1545, was home to an extensive scholastic library. The exhibition will showcase the many, but as yet unexplored, sources which survive from the school, including for the first time a rare medieval manuscript edition of The Book of Mandeville.


New Partnership: Coventry and Oxford Universities

Dr. Alice Leonard has formed a partnership with the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford for a funded PhD studentship to work on the project, ‘Atlantic Stories, Colonial Legacies and the Bodleian Library, 1650-1800’. This project examines the legacies of English transatlantic colonialism as preserved in the collections of the Bodleian Libraries. The selected doctoral researcher will be investigating the history of the Bodleian collections and the Library’s own institutional history, bringing to light the forms in which the Library has preserved an archive of imperial power.

Publication: Ben Dew, Polish Culture in Britain

Ben Dew has recently published Polish Culture in Britain: Literature and History, 1772 to the present with Palgrave, a collection of essays exploring the historical, cultural and literary legacies of Polish Britain. Ben’s contribution includes a co-written introduction and a chapter looking at the work of émigré Polish historical writers and campaigners in the nineteenth century.  


Tweet Your Thesis Premoderns Winner

Madeleine Bracey, CAMC postgraduate and doctoral researcher specialising in Coventry early modern Grammar Schooly, has been awarded the first prize in the Doctoral College’s Tweet Your Thesis competition. The objective of the competition was to describe your thesis in three tweets and three photos to engage a non-specialist audience. You can read Madeleine’s winning tweets here. Fantastic work Madeleine!

Royal Historical Society Postgraduate Member Success

Madeleine Bracey, CAMC postgraduate and doctoral researcher specialising in Coventry early modern Grammar Schooly, has been elected as a Postgraduate Member of the Royal Historical Society. Madeleine is the first Postgraduate Member from Coventry University to be elected to the Society. Many congratulations Madeleine!

Workshops on Error

Research Fellow Dr Alice Leonard has lead two international workshops on ‘Error and the History of Imperfect Reading’.

The first, on 21st September, was held at St Peter’s College, Oxford University. The second was online on 26th September to enable a strong international participation, including Prof Ros Smith (Australia National University), Dr Claire Bourne (Pennsylvania State University, US) and Dr Michael Edson (Wyoming, US) amongst others.

These workshops were supported with a grant of £1200 from the Royal Historical Society. Alice is part of an editorial team putting together a special issue on ‘Error’ to be published in the journal, Huntington Library Quarterly.


#WCCWiki Wins Award

The #WCCWiki initiative, which aims to improve the representation of classicists (broadly conceived) who identify as women and non-binary on Wikipedia has received Wikimedia UK’s Partnership of the Year 2022 Award. #WCCWiki is a Women’s Classical Committee UK initiative organised by CAMC Research Fellow Victoria Leonard. For more about #WCCWiki, see here


Postgraduate Publication in Leading Journal

CAMC PhD student Kirsty Harrod has published a review of Allison Glazebrook’s Sexual Labor in the Athenian Courts in the Journal of Hellenic Studies. You can read the review here


Showcasing Premoderns Postgraduate Research

CAMC Premoderns postgrads shared their innovative research at the Creative Cultures PGR Conference: (Re)Imagine Creative Cultures, 1st-2nd June 2023 at the Institute of Creative Cultures.

Madeleine Bracey presented the beginnings of her doctoral work with the paper ‘Local Views of Coventry’s Early Modern Grammar School’, and Sarah Capel presented the paper, ‘The imaginative affordances of the early modern pattern book’.

For more information about the event, please see here


Alice Leonard Awarded British Library Fellowship

CAMC Research Fellow Dr Alice Leonard has been awarded a British Library Fellowship for her new project, ‘The Wrong Way: Faulty Colonialism and Unreliable Maps’. She will be taking up the Fellowship at the Eccles Centre, dedicated to the study of the Americas, in the new year.


Victoria Leonard Awarded Oxford University Fellowship

Bodleian Library, Oxford University

Victoria Leonard (CAMC Research Fellow) has been awarded a David Walker Memorial Fellowship at the Bodleian Library, Oxford University. The purpose of the David Walker Memorial Fellowship in Early Modern History is to support research in the Special Collections of the Bodleian Libraries. Victoria will be a Visiting Fellow in 2023 with her project “Orosius and The Rise of Printing in Early Modern Europe”.


Olivia Garro at Renaissance Society of America and World of Printed Prayer Conferences

Banner for RSA Virtual Conference 2022

For the 2022 Renaissance Society of America’s Virtual Conference on in December 2022, Olivia Garro (CAMC PGR) was invited to chair two panels. Garro recently presented a paper on ‘The Compendium Maleficarum’s “divine remedies” against Witchcraft: Prayers, Prints, a Problem of Audiences and Disappearing Chapters’, at the World of Printed Prayers Conference (January 2023). 


Juliet Simpson Gives Keynote at Bern University

Rogier van der Weyden - Portrait of a Lady
Rogier van der Weyden – Portrait of a Lady

Juliet Simpson will present the Spring keynote at the University of Bern in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities this March. Featured in the Bern series of research colloquia for PhD students and international scholars, Juliet’s paper is entitled ‘Emotional Pasts – Uncanny Burgundy as Power and Pathos in Visual and Cultural Modernity, 1890s-1920s’.


Christopher Lillington-Martin Wins Fondation Hardt Research Scholarship

Fondation Hardt banner

Christopher Lillington-Martin (CAMC PhD student) has been awarded a Classical Association bursary to stay at the Fondation Hardt. The library of The Hardt Foundation is a highly specialised research library. It provides its guests with the texts and working tools necessary for their research. He will stay for two weeks of uninterrupted research and writing to advance his PhD. His aim is to complete a significant chapter for his thesis, by accessing the excellent library and facilities, and by networking with other scholars.


Dr Alice Leonard elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

Dr Alice Leonard (FRHistS) has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in recognition of her contribution to historical scholarship. Founded in 1868, the Royal Historical Society (RHS) is a learned society, membership organisation and charity with a 150 year history. Today, the RHS is the UK’s foremost society working for historians and history. In 2022 over 4500 historians belong and contribute to the Society — as fellows and members active in the UK and worldwide. This makes the RHS the UK’s largest membership organisation for historians of all kinds, and from all walks of life — held in high regard by historians internationally, and a partner to many similar organisations overseas.


#WCCWiki wins Wikimedia UK’s Partnership of the Year Award!

The Women’s Classicsal Committee initiative, #WCCWiki, which aims to improve the online representation of classicists (broadly conceived) who identify as women and non-binary, has been awarded the 2022 Wikimedia UK Partnership of the Year Prize. The initiative is co-organised by Dr Victoria Leonard.

“For six years, the Women’s Classical Committee have been working to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of women in the classics. They created the #WCCwiki initiative, with classicists meeting regularly to close Wikipedia’s gender gap in their field. The group have organised training events, have widely shared their work to encourage other to participate, and shared their experience with their peers. Collectively, they have transformed Wikipedia’s coverage of classicists and are an outstanding example of how sustained work with a community can create change on Wikipedia.”

For more information, see here


Imogen Peck Wins Trailblazers Award for ‘Family, Memory, and the British Civil Wars’

Dr Imogen Peck has been awarded a Trailblazers: The Early-Career Researcher and Doctoral Studentship Partnering Scheme for the project ‘Family, Memory, and the British Civil Wars’.

The Trailblazers scheme supports early career researchers to undertake trailblazing, transformative research with exceptional doctoral candidates that will shape the fields in which they work.

The ‘Family, Memory, and the British Civil Wars’ project looks at the British Civil Wars of the mid-seventeenth century, which were the most destructive conflicts in the nation’s history.

Drawing on concepts developed in the field of memory studies, including postmemory, intergenerational memory, and generation theory, this project will explore the crucial role that families played in the formation, contestation, and reformulation of early modern memories of war. 

Error in Shakespeare: Shakespeare in Error Reviewed

Dr Alice Leonard’s most recent book, Error in Shakespeare: Shakespeare in Error, has recently been reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement, Shakespeare Quarterly, and Shakespeare, by Dr Miranda Fay Thomas, Katie Mennis, and Prof. Seth Lerer.

Dr Miranda Fay Thomas, Shakespeare Quarterly:

‘Leonard’s conception of error is not figured as something incorrect and in need of deletion or revision; rather, to commit error can be read as taking a different path and ending up somewhere new. It is this fundamental opening up of possibilities, rather than shutting them down, which makes Leonard’s work provocative, liberating, and even radical.’

Katie Mennis, Times Literary Supplement:

This book ‘succeeds in showing that Shakespeare’s early plays thrive on error to an unusual, or even an exceptional, degree.’

Prof. Seth Lerer, Shakespeare:

Error in Shakespeare offers a provocative reading of key themes and images in the plays, offering teachers some places to wander as they encourage their students to see Shakespeare not as the master of the absolute, but as virtuoso of the variable.’

Dr Alice Leonard is a Permanent Research Fellow at the Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities


Early Modern Bookspace under contract with Cambridge University Press

Dr Alice Leonard’s forthcoming book, Early Modern Bookspace, is now under contract with Cambridge University Press. Written with Dr Ben Higgins (Oxford), it will be published in the Publishing and Book Culture series. Elements are 20,000-30,000 words in length, enabling an original, succinct, authoritative, and focused publication.

Early Modern Bookspace examines the relationship between early modern books and the spaces in which they were produced, read, and stored. Through a series of innovative and archivally-rich case studies, Early Modern Bookspace tracks book use in six unusual spaces. By attending to these different physical and conceptual spaces, Early Modern Bookspace overhauls the history of reading and of book culture, dragging it out of the library and into the streets, pockets, and coffins of early modernity.

Dr Alice Leonard is a Permanent Research Fellow at the Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities.

Chained Library, Hereford Cathedral


REF2021 Unit of Assessment 32: Our Biggest and Best Research Assessment Performance

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a periodic expert-led research assessment exercise that takes place approximately every seven years.

In the recent REF2021 results Coventry University was placed 58 out of 129 institutions in the Times Higher Education (THE) power ranking, up from 80 in 2014.

Institutions are invited to submit to 34 units of assessment (UoA). CAMC’s research was submitted under Unit of Assessment 32: Art and Design: History, Theory and Practice. 86 institutions were submitted to UoA32 and we have been ranked by THE as follows:

  • 15th for research power. 82% of our research was classed as four-star (world-leading) or three-star (internationally excellent) in its originality, significance or rigour.
  • 8th for research impact. Three of our four case studies were classed as world leading (4*), and the fourth as internationally excellent (3*) in terms of how our research has impacted society.
  • 100% of our research environment was regarded as world leading or internationally excellent in terms of vitality, sustainability, and how it enables our research.

We are delighted to have improved the quality of our research since REF 2014 whilst significantly increasing the size of our submission and the breadth and depth of our portfolio. We are extremely grateful to all of our colleagues involved in conducting or supporting research, whose hard work is reflected in our REF2021 results. A huge congratulations and thank you to everyone who has contributed!


Venice Fellows in Focus

Juliet Simpson will be presenting at the British Pavilion, Venice Biennale in June to share research and creative dialogues as part of the Venice Fellowships programme she convenes in partnership with the British Council. Prof. Simpson will be leading a Fellows event, including with CAMC Venice Fellow 2022, Hannah Honeywell, on the cultural and creative potential of the Biennale past and present, with this year’s spotlight on 2022 Gold Lion winner Sonia Boyce’s ‘Feeling her Way’ at the British Pavilion.


Book Cover

New CAMC Monograph: In Defiance of History. Orosius and the Unimproved Past

Research Fellow Victoria Leonard’s monograph, In Defiance of History. Orosius and the Unimproved Past, has been published by Routledge (2022). The volume offers a counterbalance to the dismissal of Orosius as a mediocre scholar and an essentially worthless historian. This book takes his literary endeavour seriously, recognizing the unique contribution the Histories made at a crucial moment of debate and uncertainty, where the present was shaped by restructuring the past.

The monograph features a foreward by Professor Mark Humphries, followed by five chapters. Professor Peter Van Nuffelen considers the monograph as ‘a spirited defense of Orosius’ originality and impact. Deftly combining contemporary theories with close-reading of the Latin text, the book ranges widely, covering topics such as temporality and imperialism. Demonstrating the intellectual efforts needed to come to terms with the disaster of the sack of Rome in 410, it also nicely illustrates the perennial importance of historical narratives to help us make sense of the present.’

For more information about the book, including a preview, please see here.


Anne Bradstreet’s Family Plots:  Puritanism, Humanism, Posthumanism

Read Patricia Phillippy’s recent article, ‘Anne Bradstreet’s Family Plots:  Puritanism, Humanism, Posthumanism’, in Criticism 62.1 (Winter 2020), pp. 29-68.

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