Sam Jermy

Sam Jermy


Having previousy completed my BA (Hons) in English and MA in English Literary Studies at the University of Exeter, I joined the University of Leeds as a Postgraduate Researcher in the School of English in 2018, supervised by Dr. Jane Rickard. My research primarily revolves around the representation of masculine bodies and embodiment in early modern literature focussing on the works of Thomas Middleton and his collaborators. My doctoral research is fully funded by the AHRC through the WRoCAH Consortium.

Research interests

My research interests in early modern English literature include the history and representations of the gendered body; early modern drama, especially that of the Jacobean period; civic pageantry and Lord Mayor's Shows; the history of emotions; bodily violence and vulnerability; and early modern cityscapes and ecologies.

My doctoral research is focused on the relationship between the writing of Thomas Middleton and the broader cultural concerns about masculinity and the body in the early modern period. In particular, I am interested in exploring how the style, reception and performance of Middletonian texts is distinctively collaborative and relational, in order to challenge the claims that Middleton is 'Our other Shakespeare'. In doing so, I consider Middleton's pervasive concern about the interrelations between subjects and objects, authorial and textual collaboration, and the relation of bodies to their environments.

My project draws on the variety of texts in Middleton’s wide-ranging literary output, which includes drama, poetry, civic pageantry, masques, and pamphlets. My research explores the plural, exteriorised, and fractured masculinities that interest and vex Middleton’s writing by attending to the mutually impactful bodily encounter between a subject and their physical and social environments. By considering his interest in plural and shifting masculinities, I will explore how this can further the critical perception of Middleton’s productive, diverse, and collaborative literary legacy. Furthermore, I argue that Middleton’s pervasive engagement with embodied masculine selves is symptomatic of his broader concerns with the role of human agency in an increasingly networked, commercialised and crowded environment in the city of London.

I have also completed a project with The International Anthony Burgess Foundation researching and cataloguing recordings of a series of lectures Burgess delivered on Shakespeare while working as a Visiting Professor at City College, New York. This research worked to make the collection fully accessible to researchers for the first time, as well as creating new web pages, podcasts, and other materials to bring these lecture recordings to new audiences. You can listen to a podcast where I discuss my research here. This research was supported by a WRoCAH Research Employability Project grant.

In the academic year 2020–21, I co-convened the Postgraduate Research Seminar in the School of English at Leeds.

Conference Papers

  • ‘’A sweet face, a fine beard, comely corps, and a Carowsing Codpeece’: Performing Materiality, Manhood and Age in the Children of Paul’s Repertory’ at Early Modern Men: Patriarchs, Patriots, and Pricks in Europe, 1500–1800, Online (February 2022, forthcoming)
  • ‘Scarred Spectres’: The Matter of Skin in Philip Massinger’s The Unnatural Combat’ at The British Graduate Shakespeare Conference, The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham (August 2021)
  • ‘”Then in what letter will you have your kicks?”: Masculine Violence and Corporeal Texts in Thomas Middleton’s The Nice Valour (1622)’ at The Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting. Online. (April 2021)
  • ‘”Blows should have marks, or else they are nothing worth”: Reading Bruises in Thomas Middleton’s The Nice Valour (1622)’ at The British Graduate Shakespeare Conference, The Shakespeare Institute, Online (September 2020)
  • '"No man is lifted but by other hands": Collaboration, Authority and Thomas Middleton" at Shakespeare and Co.: On the Page and On the Stage, University of York (May 2019)
  • '"The River deck't in the richest glory": The Thames and the Water Pageants in Thomas Middleton's Lord Mayor's Shows, 1613-26' at EMREM Ninth Annual Symposium: Powerful Places, University of Birmingham (May 2019)
  • 'Early Modern Embodiment, Masculinities, Thomas Middleton' at Cabinet of Curiosities Spring Colloquium, University of York (February 2019)


  • Drama: Reading and Interpretation

Blog Posts



  • MA English Literary Studies (University of Exeter)
  • BA English (University of Exeter)