Emma Venter

Emma Venter


Having previously studied at the University of Cambridge (MPhil) and the University of Notre Dame (BA, Hons) I joined the School of English as a doctoral researcher in 2019. My research, which is fully funded by the Patricia Jones International Scholarship, examines the construction of selfhood on the early modern stage in the context of the economic culture of credit. My dissertation is co-supervised by Dr Alison Searle and Professor Paul Hammond. 

Prior to undertaking my doctoral studies, I held professional positions in publishing and university administration. 

Research interests

My research interests in early modern drama include performances of selfhood, the physical body and vulnerability, and the manifestation of agency. 

My doctoral research is focused on the performance of selfhood as an economic product in early modern tragedies. In particular, I am interested in how selfhood as an economic product derives its significance from narrative and performance. I argue that, when read in tandem with historical documents and treatises, early modern drama can be seen to reckon with contemporary socio-economic concerns of credit and character. My research considers historical texts such as treatises and discourses in conjunction with dramatic texts from the early modern English stage in an effort to discern contemporary conceptions of credit and selfhood at the turn of the seventeenth century.


  • ‘“Thou hast discredited thy actions’ worth”: Untangling Language and Roman Virtue in Sejanus His Fall’, at the British Graduate Shakespeare Conference, June 2022.
  • ‘“At home or not at home”: Performing Domesticity in Arden of Faversham’, at On Location: Material Space and Literary Production c.1500–1651, University of Oxford, June 2022.
  • ‘Fractured Households and Domestic Economies in Arden of Faversham’, at the All the World’s a Stage Conference, University of Liverpool, April 2022.
  • ‘Public Court, Private Household: Reading The Winter's Tale as Domestic Tragedy’, at the London Shakespeare Centre and Shakespeare’s Globe Conference, March 2022. 
  • ‘There Is No “World Elsewhere”: The Economy of Language in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus’, at the London Shakespeare Centre and Shakespeare’s Globe Conference, February 2020. 
  • ‘Shakespeare’s Economy of Inwardness: Considering Coriolanus’, Postgraduate Research Seminar, University of Leeds, December 2019. 


  • Patricia Jones International Scholarship (2019–)


  • ‘Review: Globalizing Fortune on the Early Modern Stage’, The Seventeenth Century, 38 (January 2023), DOI: 10.1080/0268117X.2023.2167857
  • 'Oaths and Exuviae: Echoes of Personhood in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus’, MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities, 15 (December 2020)
  • ‘Shakespeare’s Language Economy: Considering Coriolanus and Timon of Athens’, Question: A New Journal for the Humanities, 5 (September 2020)


  • MPhil in Renaissance Literature, University of Cambridge
  • BA (Hons) in English, University of Notre Dame