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Professor Sonia Massai

Dr Sonia MassaiProfessor of Shakespeare Studies

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 2558
Email sonia.massai@kcl.ac.uk

Address Department of English
King's College London
Room 6.19 Virginia Woolf Building
22 Kingsway
London WC2B 6LE

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Biography

Professor Sonia Massai started teaching in the English Department at King’s College London in 2003.  She has since then taught undergraduate and postgraduate students, acted as Deputy Head of the School of Arts and Humanities, Education (2008-11) and developed and convened a new MA in Early Modern English Literature: Text and Transmission, taught in partnership with the British Library.  This MA has been running for four years and has trained graduate students who now work in publishing, teaching, or as curators and research fellows in major libraries and art galleries, or are studying on prestigious PhD programmes at King’s and at other top Universities in the UK and overseas.

In September 2009, Professor Massai acted as lead organiser of ‘Local / Global Shakespeares’, a large international conference co-hosted by King’s and Globe Education, under the auspices of the British Shakespeare Association. This conference attracted over 300 delegates from 33 countries worldwide and included the premiere of a production of The Merchant of Venice by a leading Taiwanese company in the style of bangzi, a regional genre of Chinese opera.

Professor Massai was a Leverhulme Research Fellow in 2006/7 and was short-listed for the ‘Young Researcher of the Year’ Award for the Times Higher Education Supplement Awards in 2007.  In 2010, she was selected for the King’s College London Student Union President’s Wreaths Award, which is given to members of staff in recognition of ‘truly extraordinary serviced to the KCLSU/college community and commitment to improving the student experience’.

Professor Massai is a founding member of the London Shakespeare Centre at King’s College London and a member of the London Shakespeare Seminar organising committee.  She has been a member of the Malone Society Council since 2001-2002.

Research Interests and PhD supervision
  • the transmission of Shakespeare and other major dramatists from manuscript to print in the early modern period
  • the editorial tradition through which Shakespeare and his contemporaries have been re-presented to subsequent generations of readers
  • appropriations of Shakespeare across different media, languages and cultures

Professor Massai has published widely in the three areas of research interest listed above.  Her main publications include a new Arden Early Modern Drama edition of John Ford’s ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore (2011).  Her introduction and commentary provide new insights into the play’s setting, the role of its (in)famous heroine Annabella, and early modern attitudes to incest.  Her book on Shakespeare and the Rise of the Editor (Cambridge University Press, 2007) gives the first account of a pre-history of the editorial tradition in the late 16th and 17th centuries, identifying early correctors as a previously overlooked category of textual agents who silently ‘perfected’ Shakespeare’s texts before Nicholas Rowe, the first named editor of the complete works, published his landmark edition in 1709.  Also central to research interests is a collection of essays on World-wide Shakespeares, which Professor Massai edited for Routledge in 2005.  In the essay and the introduction she discussed ways in which we can begin to survey and analyse the wealth of Shakespearean appropriations produced in increasingly multicultural circumstances and contexts. Professor Massai's current and future research projects include a new edition of The Paratext in English Printed Drama to 1642 (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming in 2013) and a new collection on Shakespeare and Textual Studies (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming in 2015).

Professor Massai welcomes enquries from prospective doctoral students who wish to work on the following topics:

  • the editing of Shakespeare and his contemporaries
  • the textual transmission of Shakespeare from the early modern period to the present
  • the appropriation of Shakespeare in national, international and intercultural contexts
  • textual and theatrical cultures in early modern London
For more detail, please see her full research profile.
Selected Publications
  • Sonia Massai (ed.), John Ford, ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore, The Arden Early Modern Drama series (London: A & C Black, 2011), pp. xvii, 267 Sonia Massai, Shakespeare and the Rise of the Editor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. xii, 254
  • Sonia Massai, World-Wide Shakespeares: Local Appropriations in Film and Performance, edited with introduction by Sonia Massai (London: Routledge, 2005), pp. xii, 199
  • Sonia Massai, 'Editorial Pledges in Early Modern Paratexts', in Renaissance Paratexts, ed. by Helen Smith and Louise Wilson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming in 2011), pp. 141-61
  • Sonia Massai, 'Shakespeare's Early Readers', in The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare, ed. by Arthur Kinney (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 143-164
For a complete list of publications, please see Sonia's full research profile.
Teaching

Professor Massai teaches on the following courses:

Undergraduate modules

  • Early Modern Sexualities
  • Elizabethan Shakespeare
  • Jacobean Shakespeare
  • Early Modern Literary Culture

Postgraduate modules

  • 7AAEM620 Local / Global Shakespeares
  • 7AAEM636 Professing Writing
  • 7AAEM641 Working with Early Modern Literary Texts 
PhD Supervision

Professor Massai welcomes enquries from prospective doctoral students who wish to work on the following topics:

  • the editing of Shakespeare and his contemporaries
  • the textual transmission of Shakespeare from the early modern period to the present
  • the appropriation of Shakespeare in national, international and intercultural contexts
  • textual and theatrical cultures in early modern London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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