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Sarah joined the English Department as a Lecturer in Early Modern Literature in September 2013. Prior to that she was an AHRC post-doctoral researcher at King’s College London, working on the Shakespeare400 quatercentenary project. Since being awarded her doctoral thesis in 2012, she has been a Teaching Fellow in Early Modern Literature at University College Dublin, and she has also taught as a visiting lecturer at Shakespeare's Globe, Roehampton University and at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

She completed her BA in English Literature and Language at the University of Leeds and her MA in Early Modern Literature at King’s College London, before receiving an AHRC grant to complete her PhD, also at King’s College London. Before becoming an academic, Sarah worked as a copywriter for a radio station.

She is currently a co-director of the research network, Grasping Kairos

Research Interests

  • Early modern drama (particularly Jacobean drama)
  • Time and temporality in early modern literature and culture
  • Early modern gender politics
  • Family politics in early modern literature and culture
  • Spatial and Temporal liminality on the early modern stage

Dr Lewis’ first book, Time and Gender in Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama, which she is currently preparing for Cambridge University Press, is part of a new focus on temporality which has emerged in literary studies in recent years. This work challenges the concept of a universal temporal consciousness by exploring time as a culturally specific construct, and by presenting it as a category of selfhood which both shapes and is shaped by other strata of subjectivity, notably gender, class, race and sexuality. Her research contributes to this emerging field through its specific consideration of the ways in which discourses of temporality constructed gender in Renaissance literature.

As well as preparing this monograph for publication, Dr Lewis is currently working on several collaborative publication projects which develop other research interests. With Dr Hannah Crawforth (Department of English, King's College London), she is planning a symposium which will take place at King’s in autumn 2013, and which will explore issues of Family Politics in Early Modern Literature and Culture. Following this symposium, she will be co-editing a collection of essays focused on issues of family politics, identity and intergenerational conflict in the literature of early modern England.

In 2012, Dr Lewis designed an international two-day conference entitled ‘Transforming Early Modern Identities’, which was co-hosted by King's and City University New York. She is currently working with her conference co-organiser in New York to produce a collection of the conference proceedings, which will be focused on issues of self-fashioning and transformation in the early modern period.

Following a London Renaissance Seminar entitled Exiturus: In between times and spaces on the early modern stage, which she ran with Dr Sarah Dustagheer in June 2013, Dr Lewis is pursuing her research interests in temporal and spatial liminality in performance, on both the contemporary and early modern stage. She has also begun work on her second monograph which will develop various strands of her research interests – time, gender, identity, and the family – through the analysis of the figure of the prodigal in early modern drama.

Dr Lewis is happy to discuss PhD proposals relating to any aspect of early modern drama, particularly projects which engage with gender and family politics, or with temporality and time as it is negotiated on the early modern stage.

For more details, please see her full research profile.


Dr Lewis teaches a range of modules focused on the literature of the early modern period (including drama, poetry and prose works) across all undergraduate and post-graduate levels in the Department.

  • 4AAEA003 Reading Poetry
  • 4AAEA005 Early Modern Literary Culture
  • 5AAEB045 Renaissance Wordplay
  • 6AAEC052 Shakespeare's London
  • 7AAEM641 Working with Early Modern Literary Texts
  • 7AAEM664 Family Politics in Early Modern England

Expertise and Public Engagement

In her role as Academic Project Manager of the Shakespeare400 project at King's, Dr Lewis regularly represents the university and the London Shakespeare Centre in meetings with the wide range of London’s cultural organisations who are part of the consortium of Shakespeare400 partners, including the Barbican, National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Royal Opera House, the British Library and the London Symphony Orchestra, amongst others. She has been working with them to devise ways in which to harness the university’s research outputs in order to engage with the public through a series of exciting collaborative events which will form part of a season celebrating Shakespeare’s quatercentenary in 2016

Further information on the project can be found on the Shakespeare400website.