Dr Kate Rumbold MA, MA, DPhil

Photograph of Dr Kate Rumbold

Department of English Literature
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I’m a Senior 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 'Shakespeare's Afterlives', and contribute to the first-year undergraduate 'Poetry' module, the third-year undergraduate 'Shakespeare's Tragedies' module, and the 'Writing Revolutions' module on the English Literature MA.

Postgraduate supervision

I’ve supported several doctoral researchers in the successful completion of theses on the reception of Shakespeare from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, including an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award with Winchester College Fellows’ Library. I would be delighted to supervise 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 have recently completed a monograph 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.

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 values that are ascribed to Shakespeare; I was awarded a 2011 fellowship to the  Folger Shakespeare Libraryin Washington D.C. to develop this research.

In 2013 I led, 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'.

In 2013-14 I was Principal Investigator on the interdisciplinary AHRC-funded project ‘The Uses of Poetry’ (part of the AHRC’s wider Cultural Value Project).  The project brought together a team of researchers from English, Psychology, Education, Drama, Philosophy and Creative Writing (and from Birmingham, Reading, Brunel, Oxford, Oxford Brookes and Guildford School of Acting) to investigate and better articulate the benefits of engaging with poetry at all stages of lifelong learning.  My co-investigators were Prof. Patricia Riddell (Reading) and Prof. Viv Ellis (Brunel), and the project research fellow was Dr Karen Simecek (Warwick). 

Other activities

I have previously served as Head of Postgraduate Studies (Research) for the School of EDACS (2015-16), and as Admissions Tutor for English (2012-14)


Recent publications


Rumbold, K & Maxwell, J (eds) 2018, Shakespeare and Quotation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Rumbold, K 2016, Shakespeare and the Eighteenth-Century Novel: cultures of quotation from Samuel Richardson to Jane Austen. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781316450949

McLuskie, K & Rumbold, K 2014, Cultural value in twenty-first-century England: The case of Shakespeare. Manchester University Press, Manchester.


Rumbold, K & Simecek, K 2016, 'Affective and Cognitive Responses to Poetry in the University Classroom', Changing English, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 335-350. https://doi.org/10.1080/1358684X.2016.1230468

Rumbold, K 2016, 'Shakespeare's poems in pieces: Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece un-anthologised', Shakespeare Survey, vol. 69.

Rumbold, K 2011, 'Brand Shakespeare?', Shakespeare Survey, vol. 64, pp. 25-37. <http://www.cambridge.org/gb/knowledge/isbn/item6456735/?site_locale=en_GB>

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Rumbold, K 2013, "No words!": Love's Labour's Lost in British Sign Language. in S Bennett & C Carson (eds), Shakespeare beyond English: a global experiment. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 227-236. <https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/1DF73A7881403B275A4ADFC82E0FA252/9781139629119c30_p227-236_CBO.pdf/no_words.pdf>


Rumbold, K 2016, Quoting and Misquoting Shakespeare. in BR Smith (ed.), The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare: Cambridge Shakespeare Encyclopedia volume 2: The World's Shakespeare, 1660–Present . vol. 2, Cambridge University Press, pp. 1290-1297. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316137062.172

Rumbold, K 2016, Shakespeare Anthologies. in BR Smith (ed.), Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 1688-1694. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316137062.233

Rumbold, K 2013, "Shakespeare: Staging the World" at the British Museum. in A Year of Shakespeare: Re-living the World Shakespeare Festival. The Arden Shakespeare, London, pp. 255. <http://yearofshakespeare.com/>

Rumbold, K 2013, 'Much Ado About Nothing'. in P Edmondson, P Prescott & E Sullivan (eds), A Year of Shakespeare: Re-living the World Shakespeare Festival. The Arden Shakespeare, London, pp. 149. <http://yearofshakespeare.com/>

Rumbold, K 2013, Shakespeare's "Propriety" and the Mid-Eighteenth-Century Novel: Sarah Fielding's The History of the Countess of Dellwyn. in S Regan (ed.), Reading 1759: Literary Culture in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Britain and France., Ch 10, Transits: Literature, Thought & Culture, 1650-1850), Bucknell University Press, Lewisburg, pp. 187-205.

Rumbold, K 2012, Shakespeare and the Stratford Jubilee. in F Ritchie & P Sabor (eds), Shakespeare in the Eighteenth Century. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 254.

Book/Film/Article review

Rumbold, K 2011, 'Review of Shakespeare's King Lear (directed by David Farr for the Royal Shakespeare Company) at the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 18 February-26 August 2010', Shakespeare, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 217. https://doi.org/10.1080/17450918.2011.573091


Rumbold, K & Simecek, K 2016, 'The Uses of Poetry', Changing English, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 309-313. https://doi.org/10.1080/1358684X.2016.1230300

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