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Dr Laurence J W PublicoverBA(Bristol), MA(Oxon), PHD(Bristol)


Laurence Publicover

Dr Laurence J W PublicoverBA(Bristol), MA(Oxon), PHD(Bristol)


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Research interests

My research falls into two main categories. First, I work on Shakespeare and other Renaissance dramatists, with a particular focus on dramatic geography, representations of cultural encounter (in particular Christian/Islamic encounter), and playwrights' engagements with medieval literature. These matters are explored in a monograph, Dramatic Geography, published by Oxford University Press in September 2017. I have also co-edited (with Chloe Preedy) a collection of essays entitled 'Space on the Early Modern Stage', published as a special edition of the journal Cahiers Élisabéthains (No. 88, Autumn 2015); this collection includes my own article on the effect clowning has on the geography of early modern drama. 

My second research area, which often overlaps with the first, is sea-literature from the classical period to the present. An article on Shakespeare's seas appeared in the journal Essays in Criticism in 2014; a companion piece on representations of piracy and the sea in Renaissance drama is forthcoming. I am also co-coordinator, with Dr Tamsin Badcoe, of Bristol's 'Perspective from the Sea' research cluster, which promotes inter-disciplinary research on the sea within the university and collaborates with Bristol institutions including the ss Great Britain. I teach an undergraduate special subject that explores writing about the sea from many different periods, and take a particular interest in the cultural history of the deep sea. Current projects, both in their infancy, are an examination of figures of the deep sea and of fathoming (measuring the depth of water) in early modern tragedies by Shakespeare and others, and a project ('Writing on Water') which seeks out and analyses documents written at sea on British ships. In addition, I am currently co-organising with Margherita Pierccini (Law) a Brigstow Institute-funded project entitled 'The Invisibility of the Sea'. This project brings together academics from arts and sciences with Bristol-based artist Rodney Harris to produce a series of maps that explore the political, social, cultural and environmental implications of our relationship with the sea; the project resulted in an exhibition held on the MV Balmoral over the summer of 2017, and to be moved to the Earth Gallery (Wills Memorial Building) for six months from October 2017. 

I currently supervise five postgraduate research students, and would welcome applications from anyone looking to work on Renaissance drama, sea-literature, literary/dramatic geography, or any combination of the three.



Teaching Information:


I currently teach the following modules:



Shakespearean Tragedy (Year 3 special subject)

Literature and the Sea (Year 2 special subject)

Shakespeare (Year 2 Mid-scale unit, convener)

Literature 1550-1740 (Year 1 core module, convener)

I also lecture on the first year module 'Approaches to Poetry'.




Renaissance Literature: Texts and Contexts (convener)

Hamlet: Text and Interpretation


I was Director of Exams for English for the academic years 2014-15 and 2015-16.


Employment History:

I studied at Bristol and Oxford, and was awarded my PhD from Bristol in 2010. I then worked for two years as Teaching Fellow in Renaissance Literature at the University of Leeds before returning to Bristol in 2012.



In 2014 I was awarded a British Council Researcher Links Grant, and spent a month teaching and researching at Sogang University (Seoul). I would be very happy to offer advice to any Korean students interested in studying at Bristol.

In 2013 I appeared on the BBC World Service programme The Why Factor, speaking about the lure of the sea in Western literature and culture.

I became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2015. 

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Postal address:
3-5 Woodland Road
United Kingdom