Dr Gillian Wright BA MA MPhil PhD

Dr Gillian Wright

Department of English Literature
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a senior lecturer in English Literature, teaching both core courses and specialist modules. I have held a number of major administrative roles at departmental level, and am currently Programme Lead for the BA English degree.

My research explores the writings of early modern English and Irish women (c. 1550-1730), the social and cultural relationships which constrained them, and the often complex relationship between manuscript and print-publication in that transitional period. I have given presentations on my work at Birmingham, other UK universities, and the Bodleian Library, and at international conferences such as the Renaissance Society of America. My monograph Producing Women's Poetry, 1600-1730: Text and Paratext, Manuscript and Print was published by Cambridge University Press in April 2013.


  • BA, MA (Oxon)
  • MPhil, PhD (Glasgow)
  • PG Cert. in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Birmingham)


I joined Birmingham as a lecturer in 2005, and was appointed senior lecturer in 2010. Previously, I held full-time research contracts at Nottingham Trent University (working on women’s manuscript compilations, 1500-1700) and St John’s College, Oxford (working on the historical sources for Samuel Daniel’s The Civil Wars). I have also held visiting fellowships at the Institute of English Studies, London, and the Newberry Library, Chicago.


My undergraduate teaching extends across all three years of the English degree at Birmingham. My core-course teaching includes tutoring and lecturing on two first-year introductory modules, as well as the final-year Shakespeare module. I also convene research-led final-year modules on early modern women writers and on Spenser.

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome applications from students interested in pursuing research on early modern literature, and am especially interested in supervising Masters and doctoral projects on women’s writing, the literary reception of historical texts, and readership in the early modern period.


My principal research interest is in women’s writing in the early modern period. I have published articles on women’s letters and devotional manuscripts, on women as readers, and on editing early modern women’s writing. My co-edited anthology Early Modern Women's Manuscript Poetry (Manchester, 2005), won theJosephine Roberts Memorial Prize in 2006. I have also published on the poet-historian Samuel Daniel, on readership, and on the history of translation.

Other activities


I have recently presented papers on Aphra Behn (Loughborough University, April 2012), Mary Monck (Aberystwyth University, 2012) and Katherine Philips (Early Modern conference, University of Reading, 2012).


  • Producing Women's Poetry, 1600-1730:Text and Paratext, Manuscript and Print (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
  • 'The Birds and the Poet: Fable, Self-Representation and the Early Editing of Anne Finch's Poetry'. The Review of English Studies 64 (264) (2013): 246-266.
  • ‘Textuality, Privacy and Politics: Katherine Philips's Poems Revisited’, in Material Readings of Early Modern Culture, 1580-1700, edited by James Daybell and Peter Hinds (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010), pp. 163-182.
  • ‘Translating at Leisure’ and ‘Mary Sidney’, in the Oxford History of Literary Translation in English, vol. 2 (1550-1660), edited by Gordon Braden, Robert Cummings and Stuart Gillespie (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 58-67, 78-82.
  • ‘Editing Perdita: Texts, Theories, Readers’, co-authored with Jonathan Gibson, in Women Editing Women, edited by Ann Hurley and Chanita Goodblatt (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009), pp. 155-73.
  • ‘The Politics of Revision in Samuel Daniel’s The Civil Wars’, English Literary Renaissance 38.3 (2008): 461-482. 
  • ‘Women Reading Epictetus.’  Women’s Writing 14.2 (2007): 321-337.
  • Early Modern Women’s Manuscript Poetry, co-edited by Gillian Wright and Jill Seal Millman (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005).  Winner of theJosephine Roberts Memorial Prize offered by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women, 2006.
  • ‘Piety and Sociability in Early Modern Women’s Devotional Letters’, Women’s Writing, 12.1 (2006):  44-59. Co-authored with Mary Morrissey.
  • ‘Epictetus in Eighteenth-Century Wales: Timothy Thomas’ Manuscript Translation of the Enchiridion’, Translation and Literature 14.1 (2005): 45-63.
  • ‘What Daniel Really Did With The Pharsalia: The Civil Wars, Lucan and King James’, The Review of English Studies 55, no. 219 (2004): 210-232.
  • ‘Samuel Daniel’s Use of Sources in The Civil Wars’, Studies in Philology 101.1 (2004): 59-87.
  • ‘Whose Pastorals? William Browne of Tavistock and the Singing of Britannia’, in Archipelagic Identities: Literature and Identity in the Atlantic Archipelago, 1550-1800, ed. Simon Mealor and Philip Schwyzer (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 43-52.
  • ‘Mary Evelyn and Devotional Practice’ in John Evelyn and His Milieu, ed. Frances Harris and Michael Hunter (London: The British Library, 2003), pp. 221-232.
  • ‘The Molesworths and Arcadia: Italian Literature and Whig Constructions of Liberty, 1702-1728’, Forum of Modern Language Studies 39.2, special issue: Anglo-American and Irish Expatriate Communities in Italy,ed. Alison Chapman and Jane Stabler (2003): 122-135.