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Helen Davies

Former Research Student

Helen Davies

Thesis Title

Unravelling representations of the disabled body in early modern Literature

Research overview

My thesis investigates representations of non-normative embodiment and selfhood in the fifteenth and sixteenth century through the critical lens of disability studies. As part of the fast-growing field of early-modern disability studies, my research marks an important contribution to the understanding of cultural attitiudes towards somatic difference during the turbulent transitionary period of Tudor England.

Research Interests

My main research interests are embodiment, selfhood, identity, corporeality, body studies, disability, deformity, prosthetics, and messy transitions (from visual to scripture, Platagenet to Tudor, Catholicism to Protestantism).

External Roles

School Liaison Officer, Lancaster Season of Shakespeare 2013/14.

As part of the Lancaster Season of Shakespeare, I worked closely with Professor Alison Findlay to set up and run a course of workshops in primary, high schools and colleges that allowed students to interact with early-modern literature in new and exciting ways. My role involved signing up eleven schools, tailoring workshops to their curriculum and running a selection of the workshops myself, thus I have demonstrated teaching capabilities from KS1 to A level. I also created and ran a wordpress site with information on the Season of Shakespeare as a whole.  

Research Grants

Peel Studentship, Peel Trust 2012/13 and 2013/14

Wilcock Scholarship, Bowland College 2013/14

Outstanding Contribution Award, Department of English and Creative Writing 2013

Additional Information

I have co-founded and run the Early Modern Reading Group at Lancaster University. This group is open to Undergraduates, Postgraduates and Lecturers and has proven to be a great success. We provide an inviting forum for people with a shared interest in early modern literature to read outside of their specific research area and enjoy non-canonical texts.

Business and Enterprise

Shakespeare Charity Event 2013

In order to raise money for a local charity I co-organised a one-day Shakespeare event which brought our academic research out into the community. The day consisted of group readings of Shakespeare, a selection of papers given by University Lecturers, two drama workshops and was rounded off with a performance of Macbeth by a local theatre group, Bingo Dragon at The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster. Books were kindly donated by Manchester University Press and Cambridge University Press to sell on the day.

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