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

Find out more - our PhD English Literature  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


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)


  • Shakespeare and the Eighteenth-Century Novel: Cultures of Quotation from Samuel Richardson to Jane Austen (Cambridge University Press, January 2016)
  • Cultural Value in Twenty-First-Century England: The Case of Shakespeare (with Kate McLuskie) (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014).
  • '"No words!": Love's Labour's Lost in British Sign Language' in Shakespeare Beyond English, ed. by Susan Bennett and Christie Carson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
  • '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.



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