Professor Ann Thompson
Professor of English
BA, PhD (London)
Tel +44 (0)20 7848 1034
Address Department of English
King's College London
London WC2R 2LS
I am active in a number of areas of Shakespeare Studies, notably (1) editing and textual studies, (2) women readers and critics of Shakespeare, (3) Shakespeare’s language. These might seem like very different areas, but I would see them as connected by my interest in ‘what Shakespeare actually wrote’ (and the precise words in which he expressed himself) and in the ‘afterlife’ of his work: how it has been staged, filmed, adapted and read over 400 years.
Editing and Textual Studies
I am one of the General Editors of the Arden Shakespeare series and I have edited, with Neil Taylor, all three texts of Hamlet in two volumes in that series (Hamlet and Hamlet: The Texts of 1603 and 1623, both 2006). I have also co-edited, with my KCL colleague, Gordon McMullan, a collection of essays, In Arden: Editing Shakespeare (2003). Previously, I edited The Taming of the Shrew (1984, updated edition 2003), and I have recently agreed to edit Cymbeline for a forthcoming Norton Complete Works.
Women Readers and Critics
I co-edited, with Sasha Roberts, Women Reading Shakespeare, 1660-1900 (1997) and we also co-authored an essay on Mary Cowden Clarke as a Victorian Shakespeare scholar. I am currently working with Gail Marshall of the University of Leicester on a chapter on Mary Cowden Clarke for the forthcoming Great Shakespeareans series. I have recently been doing some research on women’s Shakespeare reading groups and Shakespeare clubs in the 18th and 19th centuries.
My interest in Shakespeare’s language dates back to the book I co-authored with my husband, John O Thompson, Shakespeare, Meaning and Metaphor (1987); we have also co-authored a number of essays in this field and are currently thinking about a study of Shakespeare and metonymy. I co-edited a collection of essays on Reading Shakespeare’s Dramatic Language (with Sylvia Adamson, Lynette Hunter, Lynne Magnusson and Katie Wales, 2001) and commissioned for Arden a collection on Shakespeare and the Language of Translation (ed. Ton Hoenselaars, 2004).
Ann Thompson, John O Thompson (2010) 'Making Mistakes: Shakespeare, Metonymy, and Hamlet ', in Shakespeare without Boundaries: Essays in honour of Dieter Mehl pp. ?-? [Chapter]
Ann Thompson (2010) 'Visual Meaning and its Absence in 'Hamlet'', in Speaking Pictures: The Visual/Verbal Nexus of Dramatic Performance pp. ?-? [Chapter]
Ann Thompson (2009) '"Monumental Mockery": Does a three-text edition of 'Hamlet' threaten the play's canonicity?', in Moment to Monument: The Making and Unmaking of Cultural Significance pp. 85-98 [Chapter]
Ann Thompson, Neil Turner (2006) Hamlet: The Texts of 1603 and 1623 (Arden Shakespeare; 3Rev Ed edition) [Scholarly Edition]
I currently teach third-year undergraduate courses in Elizabethan Shakespeare and Jacobean Shakespeare. I also teach two MA courses, one on ‘Hamlet and its afterlife’ and one on ‘Shakespeare and the screen’, and I contribute to MA courses on ‘Working with Early Modern texts’ and dissertation workshops.
Expertise and Public Engagement
I have supervised PhDs in a wide range of fields, from Shakespeare and the idea of the sublime to Shakespeare and late 20th century sexual politics.
Recent and current PhD students have been working on cinematic adaptations and offshoots of The Taming of the Shrew, women’s responses to Shakespeare in the long eighteenth century, intercultural Shakespeare and Shakespeare in anthologies. I welcome enquiries from prospective research students in almost any area of Shakespeare Studies.
I am director of the new London Shakespeare Centre based at King’s and co-organiser of the London Shakespeare Seminar. I am on the Advisory Boards of the journals Shakespeare Survey and Shakespeare (the relatively new journal of the British Shakespeare Association) and the Advisory Board of the International Shakespeare Association (conference committee). I frequently lecture on Shakespeare at conferences and other events in the UK and overseas including, in the last few years, the USA, Canada, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Japan and Taiwan.