Dr Kate Rumbold MA, MA, DPhil



Department of English Literature

Photograph of Dr Kate Rumbold

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


I’m a Lecturer in English Literature, and I teach across all periods of literature, especially the early modern period and eighteenth century. As a researcher, I’m interested the way Shakespeare is quoted and valued in literature and culture, from his own lifetime to the twenty-first century.  


  • BA (Oxon)
  • MA (Oxon)
  • MA (London)
  • DPhil (Oxon)


I joined the English Department as a Lecturer in 2010, after completing a four-year AHRC research fellowship at the Shakespeare Institute. Before coming to Birmingham I studied at Trinity College, University of Oxford, and at University College London.


I currently convene the core first-year module 'Critical Practice', and the third-year option module 'Shakespeare's Afterlives'.  I also lecture and tutor on the first-year module 'Literary Aesthetics before 1800', and on a range of second-year modules, as well as contributing to the 'Writing Revolutions' modules on the English Literature MA

Postgraduate supervision

I’ve supported several doctoral researchers in the successful completion of theses on Shakespeare in twentieth and twenty-first century culture. With Dr Valerie Rumbold and Dr Geoff Day (Fellows’ Librarian, Winchester College), I currently co-supervise Carly Watson in an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award project that investigates the formation and unique holdings of Winchester College Fellows’ library.  I am interested in supervising further postgraduate research in:

  • Eighteenth-century fiction
  • Shakespeare’s reception history
  • Quotation, intertextuality and adaptation
  • Cultural value and cultural policy


My research is concerned with the reception of Shakespeare, and, in particular, with the role of quotation in constructing literary authority. The eighteenth century is a major focus of my work and I am currently completing a book on Shakespeare in the eighteenth-century novel.

As Research Fellow at the Shakespeare Institute, I coordinated the AHRC-funded project ‘Interrogating Cultural Value in the Twenty-First Century: The Case of Shakespeare’ (2006-10).  Led by Kate McLuskie, and incorporating the work of PhD students Emily Linnemann and Sarah Olive, the project examined Shakespeare’s perceived value in education, publicly-funded theatre and new media, engaging with policymakers and practitioners through consultation with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Arts Council England and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.   See 'Publications' for details of the book and articles arising from the project.

My latest project investigates the role of anthologies and quotation books, from the eighteenth century to the present day, in determining the aesthetic and moral qualities that are admired in Shakespeare; I was awarded a 2011 fellowship to the  Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. to develop this research.

I am currently leading, with Prof. Roberta Pearson and Dr Peter Kirwan from the University of Nottingham, a series of research workshops entitled 'Digital Shakespeare: Reception and Cultural Status in the New Media Age'.

Other activities

Admissions Tutor for English, with Dr Andrzej Gasiorek

Chair, Birmingham Eighteenth-Century Centre

Committee member, British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

Associated member of the Shakespeare Institute


  • 'Much Ado About Nothing' and 'Shakespeare: Staging the World at the British Museum', in A Year of Shakespeare: Re-living the World Shakespeare Festival, ed. by Paul Edmondson, Paul Prescott and Erin Sullivan (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013).
  • 'Shakespeare's "propriety" and the mid-eighteenth-century novel: Sarah Fielding's The Countess of Dellwyn', in Reading 1759, ed. by Shaun Regan (Lewisberg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2013).
  • ‘The Stratford Jubilee’ in Shakespeare in the Eighteenth Century, ed. by Fiona Ritchie and Peter Sabor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 254-276.
  • ‘Shakespeare Anthologised’ in The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts, ed. by Mark Thornton Burnett, Adrian Streete and Ramona Wray (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011), pp. 88-107.
  • 'Brand Shakespeare?', Shakespeare Survey 64 (2011): 25-37.
  • From “access” to “creativity”: Shakespeare institutions, new media and the language of cultural value’, Shakespeare Quarterly 61.3 (Fall 2010): 313-336.
  • ‘Shakespeare, authenticity and intangible heritage’,in Capturing the Essence of Performance: The Challenges of Intangible Heritage, ed. by Nicole Leclercq, Laurent Rossion and Alan R. Jones (Brussels: Peter Lang, 2010), pp. 421-430.
  • ‘Literary heritage: Stratford and the Globe’ (with Farah Karim-Cooper), in Essays and Studies 2009: Authors at Work: The Creative Environment, ed. by Ceri Sullivan and Graeme Harper (Woodbridge: D.S. Brewer, 2009), pp. 147-154.
  • ‘The Arts Council “Arts Debate”’, Cultural Trends 17.3 (September 2008): 189-195.
  • ‘“So common-hackneyed in the eyes of men”: Banal Shakespeare and the Eighteenth-Century Novel’, Literature Compass Graduate Essay Prize (runner-up), Literature Compass 4.3 (May 2007): 610–621.
  • ‘Quoting Shakespeare in the eighteenth-century novel’, Borrowers and Lenders: the Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation, Vol II.2 (Fall/Winter 2006)
  • ‘Reading for Pleasure: A Research Overview’, with Christina Clark, National Literacy Trust, November 2006.

I have also reviewed books and theatre productions for Shakespeare, the Annotated Bibliography of English Studies and the Times Literary Supplement.


  • '"No words!": Love's Labour's Lost in British Sign Language' in Shakespeare Beyond English, ed. by Susan Bennett and Christie Carson (forthcoming: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
  • Shakespeare and the Value of Culture (with Kate McLuskie) (forthcoming: Manchester University Press, 2013).



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