Hannah Yip

Hannah Yip

Department of English Literature
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

Phd title: Visual elements of the printed sermon in early modern England
SupervisorsHugh Adlington and Tara Hamling
PhD English Literature


  • BMus (Hons), First Class (Guildhall School of Music and Drama)
  • MSt, Distinction (Exeter College, University of Oxford)


Associate Fellow of the Advance HE (awarded August 2020)

Postgraduate Teaching Associate, Poetry Module, BA English (Year One), University of Birmingham (January–March 2019)


My research centres on what is now a neglected prose genre; namely, the sermon. The Protestant sermon in early modern England was a text upon a selected passage from the Bible, most frequently delivered by an authorised minister who argued for its wider spiritual application to a congregation. Printed sermons constituted an integral part of the book trade; it is estimated that 3,000 were published in the years 1558–1640. Yet, although the sermon’s performative qualities and its central role within the religious and political culture of the English Reformation have been scrutinised extensively, its afterlife in print has not constituted a serious focus of enquiry.

My thesis represents the first full-length study of this bestselling genre of Christian literature in early modern England, with a particular focus on its design, reception, and function as an instrument of Protestant devotion and polemic. Most notably, I examine the untapped source of printed images within these texts, thereby reappraising the sermon as an important illustrated text of the early modern era. In doing so, the thesis refutes several persistent paradigms which have maintained that Protestants prohibited the use of images in worship. It supports revisionist scholarship which has argued for the prominence of a different, but no less rich, kind of visual culture in England. In addition to its function as a devotional text, I contend that the illustrated early modern sermon was a forerunner of the mass printed media of today, acting as a visual and verbal means to influence political opinion.

Other activities

Research Assistant, ‘GEMMS – Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons’, University of Regina, Canada (January 2018–present) 


  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, Henry E. Huntington Library, California (TBC 2021)
  • William Andrews Clark Memorial Library Postdoctoral Fellowship, UCLA, California (TBC 2021)
  • Michael K. O’Rourke Best Publication Award, University of Birmingham (August 2020)
  • The Horizon Award, HEFi, University of Birmingham (February 2020)
  • AHRC-Huntington Fellowship, Henry E. Huntington Library, California (September–December 2019)
  • AHRC Midlands4Cities Doctoral Studentship (October 2017–September 2020)

Selected Conference Papers  

  • ‘Creating a community of sermon scholars: GEMMS – the Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons’, Center for Sermon Studies annual conference, Naas, Ireland (September 2019) (Invited plenary speaker, with Dr Jennifer Farooq, University of Regina)
  • ‘The political sermon in print in Jacobean England: reflections and new research avenues’, Renaissance Conference of Southern California, The Henry E. Huntington Library, California (March 2019) (Invited panellist)
  • ‘From pageantry to piety: heraldic art as a preaching tool in early modern England’, Center for Sermon Studies annual conference, Montréal, Canada (October 2018) 
  • ‘Non-official printed homilies in post-Reformation England’, Reformation Studies Colloquium, University of Essex (August 2018)
  • ‘‘This Text is as pat to our purpose as a Cow’s thumb’: Satirical printed sermons in England, c. 1641 – c. 1660, Pamphleteering Culture, 1558–1702, University of Edinburgh (September 2017)
  • ‘Marginalia in the Early Modern English Printed Sermon’, Marginalia Workshop c. 1500–1700, Canterbury Christ Church University (September 2017) 

Media Engagement 

  • TV PhD Delegate (AHRC/Edinburgh Television Festival) (August 2020)
  • Historical Consultant, A House Through Time, Season 3 (BBC/Twenty Twenty Television) (July–August 2019)


  • Yip, Hannah, ‘What was a Homily in Post-Reformation England?’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022046919001763
  • Yip, Hannah, ‘‘The text and the occasion mingled together make a chequer-worke, a mixture of black and white, mourning and joy’: Visual Elements of the Printed Funeral Sermon in Early Modern England’, in What is an Image in Medieval and Early Modern England?, ed. by Antoinina Bevan Zlatar and Olga Timofeeva (Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto, 2017), pp. 157–82 

Book reviews 

  • Yip, Hannah, Review of Katherine Acheson, ed., Early Modern English Marginalia (Routledge, 2019), Renaissance Studies, https://doi.org/10.1111/rest.12601
  • Yip, Hannah, Review of Torrance Kirby, et al, eds, Sermons at Paul’s Cross, 1521–1642 (Oxford University Press, 2017), Journal of Religious History, 43.1 (2019), 139–40