Hugh Adlington


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am interested in supervising MA, MRes and PhD candidates in the following areas and will be pleased to respond to enquiries:

John Donne and his contemporaries
Seventeenth-century religious poetry and prose
John Milton and his contemporaries
Early modern print and manuscript culture
Applications of computational linguistics to early modern literature

Research projects currently or recently supervised or co-supervised include:

PhD, ‘Soteriology in the Writing of Edmund Spenser’
PhD, ‘Prose Style in Quaker Writings, 1645-70: A Corpus Linguistics Approach’
PhD, ‘Transforming Paradise Lost: Translation and Reception of John Milton's Writing in the Arab-Muslim World’
PhD, ‘Representations of Persia and Persians on the English Stage, 1580-1660’
PhD, ‘The Early Modern English Literary Canon’
PhD, ‘Joyce and Milton: A Reception Study’
PhD, ‘Conceptualising Paradise: Seventeenth Century Ecology and the Adaptation of Genre in the Works of John Milton’
PhD, ‘The Textual Self: Authorship and Agency in John Donne’s Commemorative Writing’
PhD, ‘Donne and Music’
PhD, ‘Architects of Fortune: Autobiographical Writing and the Royal Society, 16601706’
PhD, ‘‘Visual Elements of English Printed Sermons, c. 1540–1660: Reading, Religious Politics and Iconography’
PhD, ‘Religious Lyrics and Aristotelian Thought: George Herbert and Thomas Traherne’
PhD, ‘Milton and the Modern Muslimah: Paradise Lost and British-Asian Muslim Women’
‘The Influence of Cupio Dissolvi on Shakespeare and the Work of his Contemporaries’


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Before coming to Birmingham in 2007, I taught at King's College London and at the University of Keele. I also held a visiting fellowship at the University of Cambridge in 2006. While at Birmingham I have held senior administrative positions in the School of English, Drama and American and Canadian Studies, as Head of Education (2011-14) and Head of Research (2016-18).

Research interests

My research interests are primarily in the area of early modern English literature (1500-1800), particularly religious poetry and prose; the works of John Donne and John Milton; textual editing; and the history of the book (including the history of reading, book collecting, and textual transmission). I am also interested in applications of computational linguistics to literary criticism (especially of early modern English prose), and in genetic criticism (tracing the stages of composition). Selected works and works-in-progress that incorporate a number of these interests include: two monographs, John Donne's Books: Reading, Writing, and the Uses of Knowledge (forthcoming) and Penelope Fitzgerald (2018); co-editorship of The Oxford Handbook of the Early Modern Sermon (Oxford, 2011); and volume editor (Vol. 2) of The Oxford Edition of the Sermons of John Donne.

Research groups

Since 2008 I have been co-convenor, first with Professor Tom Corns and latterly with Professor Sarah Knight, of the British Milton Seminar, held twice yearly in Birmingham. I am also a member of the Standing Committee of the International Milton Symposium. Between 2007 and 2012, I was the co-founder and organiser (with Dr Mary Morrissey) of the Sermons Studies Network (with over 150 scholars as members). The network held its inaugural colloquium in November 2007 on the topic of 'Uses of Secular Language in Early Modern Preaching', and two further one-day conferences at the Universities of Birmingham and Reading, on the subjects of 'Regional and Parochial Preaching' (2009), and 'King David' (2010).



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