Emily Buffey


Doctoral researcher

Department of English Literature


Phd title: The Early Modern Dream Vision: c. 1540-1625
Supervisors: Dr Gillian Wright; Dr David Griffth
PhD English Literature


My PhD thesis, 'The Early Modern Dream Vision: 1540-1625' is fully funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and investigates the influence of the 'medieval ' dream vision in poetry of the sixteenth and early-seventeenth centuries. It is my contention that the dream vision is one of the great forgotten genres of the early modern period. Utilized by a new set of writers (the 'middle sort') interested in its cultural and commercial capital, the dream vision provided an authoritative and imaginatively flexible vehicle for delivering of a range of socio-political and personal ideas to a variety of readers. By demonstrating the role played by this genre in the poetry of the post-reformation period, my thesis hopes to engage with current debates on the politics of print, literary reception, historical periodization and the concept of a literary tradition. By focusing on the bedchamber as an important site of literary practice, my thesis will also consider the material and social conditions for textual production in this period, together with the impact of contemporary theories around the nature of reading, sleep and dreams.

Prior to my PhD, I studied at the University of Birmingham both as an undergraduate and postgraduate student in English Literature. Under the supervision of Dr Gillian Wright, my MA dissertation considered the work of three female authors from the early part of the seventeenth-century and their use of the dream vision genre. This research led me to discover and develop an entire corpus of previously unexamined primary materials published between 1540 and 1625, thus forming the basis of my doctoral research. My PhD is funded by a three-year AHRC Doctoral Award and is due for completion in 2015.

I currently teach on the 'Literary Aesthetics before 1800' and 'Critical Practice' modules at the University of Birmingham. I am also the General Co-editor for The Birmingham Journal of Literature and Language. I have previously worked as a research consultant for the adaptation of medieval texts for performance at a number of arts festivals in the UK and abroad.



  • 'The Servant and the Scottish Queen: Richard Robinson's Rewarde of Wickednesse', EMREM Annual Postgraduate Symposium 2014: '(De)Constructing Medieval and Early Modern Perceptions,' May 2014.
  • 'Barnabe Googe's Chaucer: Poetry, Prophecy and "Pope Holye"', National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth / Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru , 'From glass case to cyberspace: Chaucerian Manuscripts Across Time', April 2014.


  • 'I keepe my watche, and warde: Richard Robinson's Rewarde of Wickednesse (1574)' Journal of Early Modern Studies4 (2015, forthcoming).

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