Our research expertise is wide-ranging. We have published or are completing research in areas as diverse as manuscript and textual studies, the history of women’s access to literary culture, Renaissance garden design, governmental arts, gender and sexuality, museum studies and the history of science, and humanist pedagogy. (Here is a selection of our current projects.)

We explore how literature interfaces with the histories of reading and rhetoric, of print and manuscript culture, of religious writing and practices, of performance, of modernization and adaptation, and of economics and property relations.

Our scholarly editions–of texts from medieval poetry to seventeenth-century biographies–take both traditional (print) and hypertextual forms.

We have received SSHRC funding to research subjects from vernacular books and women readers in late medieval England (Jacqueline Jenkins); seventeenth-century manuscripts and English drama (Mary Polito); early modern English and the digital humanities (Michael Ullyot); and an edition of the only known manuscript of four Middle English poems (Murray McGillivray).


We forge many of our research connections and collaborations through regular meetings of the Medieval and Renaissance Cultural Studies (MARCS) research group.

The Osborne Project

A team of researchers led by Mary Polito, with co-investigators Susan Bennett and Jacqueline Jenkins, and a number of graduate students are studying a newly discovered anonymous, seventeenth-century play manuscript held by the University of Calgary Special Collections, in the Osborne collection of rare books and manuscripts. The theatrical and social context of this comic play (“The Humorous Magistrate”) and its relation to an earlier version of the same play held at Arbury Hall, Warwickshire are the subject of a broad interdisciplinary investigation. Drs. Polito and Jenkins are preparing an edition of the Osborne manuscript for the Malone Society, and with the support of a record-sized SSHRC grant are researching the manuscript. For more information see The Osborne Project web site.