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Dr Daniel Starza Smith

Dr Daniel Starza Smith

  • Academics

Lecturer in Early Modern English Literature (1500-1700)

Contact details

Biography

After several years working as a travel journalist for Time Out, I realised that my true calling lay in the manuscripts room of the British Library, where I became obsessed first with an anonymous Stuart play fragment, then the sprawling, messy Conway Papers archive, which contained poetry by John Donne. My interest in Donne’s manuscripts continues: most recently I have published on a text of his Catalogus librorum discovered at Westminster Abbey in 2016.Before coming to King’s I taught at the University of Reading and UCL, before taking up a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Lincoln College, Oxford, focusing on Donne’s women patrons. I have worked on the landmark Donne Variorum (http://digitaldonne.tamu.edu/), am a member of the ‘Signed, Sealed, & Undelivered’ project (http://brienne.org/), and, with Jana Dambrogio of MIT Libraries, am developing ‘letterlocking’, the study of epistolary security before the invention of the envelope (http://letterlocking.org/).

Research Interests and PhD Supervision

  • John Donne’s life and works, particularly his patrons and friends, and the circulation of his writing in manuscript,
  • The literary and material features of early modern letters
  • The history of manuscripts, printed books, libraries, and archives in early modern England and Europe
  • Women’s writing and patronage activities
  • Editorial theory and practice

For more details, please see my full research profile.

Teaching

I contribute to the teaching of early modern literature across all undergraduate years, as well as on Master’s courses, where I also teach graduate research methods.

Expertise and Public Engagement

With Jana Dambrogio, I have led more than a dozen letterlocking workshops in archives and libraries, reaching conservation staff, scholars, and the general public; I have also consulted for The National Archives. My reviews of academic books and theatre performances have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, Review of English Studies, John Donne Journal, Library and Information History, English Studies, and Shakespeare