Erin Sullivan


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I would be happy to hear from prospective research students interested in Shakespeare and emotion, Shakespeare and the body and/or soul, Shakespeare and twenty-first-century performance, and Shakespeare and digital culture. In 2018 I was very fortunate to receive University of Birmingham's Award for Excellence in Doctoral Researcher Supervision for the College of Arts and Law.

Further information about the PhD application and funding is available on the University of Birmingham website. Strong candidates for a PhD place will typically have an MA with distinction in a relevant subject area and a well-developed sense of their proposed research project.


Research activity per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


I studied for a BA in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, after which I moved to England on a Fulbright postgraduate scholarship to study for an MA in Shakespeare Studies at the Shakespeare Institute. I completed my PhD at University College London, where I held the Roy Porter Memorial Studentship and was jointly affiliated with the English department and the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine. I took up my post at Birmingham in 2010.

Research interests

I am fascinated by the intersection of culture, community, identity, and the arts, both in Shakespeare's time and today. This wide-reaching interest has resulted in a number of different research areas, including the history of emotion, contemporary performance studies, digital culture, and the philosophy of teaching. 

My first book, Beyond Melancholy: Sadness and Selfhood in Renaissance England, explores the medical, religious, and philosophical 'scripts' that helped shape the understanding of emotion in Shakespeare's time. At the same time, it considers how literary and dramatic writing, including Shakespeare's plays, playfully reimagine those scripts in creative and improvisatory ways. I have published articles and chapters in the field of the history of emotion and am a general editor of Palgrave Studies in the History of Emotions

My second book, Shakespeare and Digital Performance in Practice, responds to the growing impact of digital technology on theatrical culture and Shakespeare's plays. It looks at the live broadcasting, the use of live film on the stage, and experiments in born-digital theatre-making. This work is part of a wider interest in Shakespeare and adaptation, which also informs my work as a general editor for Palgrave's Reproducing Shakespeare series.

Although these research interests often take me in very different directions, I am hoping to bring them together in my next major research project, the Arden Shakespeare fourth edition of All's Well That Ends WellAll's Well is a play full of difficult characters and uncomfortable feelings, and artists have found partial resolutions to some of the problems it poses through adaptation. 



PGCert in Academic Practice (Open University)

MA (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham)

BA (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)


Dive into the research topics where Erin Sullivan is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles