Dr José A. Pérez Díez
- Position: Lecturer in Early Modern Drama & Leverhulme Early Career Fellow (2020-3)
- Areas of expertise: Jacobean drama, John Marston, John Fletcher, William Shakespeare, Anglo-Spanish cultural relations in the Renaissance, theatre history, performance studies, theatre practice as research.
- Email: J.A.PerezDiez@leeds.ac.uk
- Website: Twitter | ORCID
Dr José A. Pérez Díez, Licenciado (Complutensis), MA, PhD (Birmingham), PG Cert in AP (Open), FHEA.
After studying physics and English language and literature at the Complutense University of Madrid, I read for an MA in Shakespeare and Theatre at the Shakespeare Institute of the University of Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, where I stayed on to undertake my doctorate. My thesis was a modern-spelling critical edition of John Fletcher and Philip Massinger's 1615 comedy Love's Cure, or The Martial Maid, which was based on a Spanish comedia of the same period, La fuerza de la costumbre (The Force of Custom) by the Valencian dramatist Guillén de Castro.
I was appointed Research Fellow in the School of English at the University of Leeds in 2015 to work on the new critical edition of The Complete Works of John Marston, due to be published by Oxford University Press in 2024 under the general editorship of Professor Martin Butler (University of Leeds) and Professor Matthew Steggle (University of Bristol). As the Associate Editor of the edition, I have particular responsibility over the old-spelling text that will be published as part of the Oxford Scholarly Editions Online (OSEO) in collaboration with Dr Maria Shmygol, and which will appear alongside the modern-spelling edition. I am also co-editing The Fawn in modern spelling in collaboration with Clare McManus (University of Roehampton) for the print volumes.
In 2020, I took on a 3-year Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship in the School of English, which was awarded to fund my research project on the circulation of Spanish books in Jacobean England and their impact on English drama. In 2022, I was appointed Lecturer in Early Modern Drama in the School on a permanent basis.
At Leeds I convene the Playhouse Lab, which I established in 2016 as a forum to experiment with early English drama from a practical point of view, offering a series of unrehearsed script-in-hand performances of plays from the period in the Workshop Theatre on campus. Our aim is to support teaching and research in the School, scheduling plays from our undergraduate modules, as well as plays being edited by members of the School.
- Programme Leader for the MA in English Literature
As an editor and bibliographer, I have a keen commitment to editing the drama of the English Renaissance, particularly beyond the works of William Shakespeare. Apart from my work on The Complete Works of John Marston (Oxford University Press, 2024), my edition of John Fletcher and Philip Massinger’s Love’s Cure, or The Martial Maid is published in the Revels Plays series (Manchester University Press, 2022). My edition of Fletcher’s The Elder Brother is also under contract to be published in the Malone Society Reprints (Manchester University Press) in 2025 to mark the four-hundredth anniversary of Fletcher’s death.
Apart from my editorial work, my historical research focuses on the influence of Spanish imaginative literature on the work of the dramatists of the Jacobean period (1603–1625), particularly with respect to Fletcher and his circle of frequent collaborators (Francis Beaumont, William Shakespeare, Nathan Field, and Philip Massinger). My interest in Anglo-Spanish cultural relations in the period extends to the study of influential diplomatic and literary connections. I have conducted extensive archival research on the literary connections of Diego Sarmiento de Acuña, 1st Count of Gondomar (1567–1626), who was twice ambassador from the King of Spain at James I's court (1613–18 and 1620–22). My Leverhulme-funded research project (2020–23) traces the material circulation of Spanish books in Jacobean England through examining private ownership, networks of patronage and diplomacy, and intellectual communities in which these texts were being shared. My aim is to evaluate how the extraordinary influence of Spanish narrative fiction on English commercial plays was actually realised: who owned those books? How were they imported? How were they read, circulated, and interpreted?
My other main field of research is theatre history and performance studies, particularly with regards to the analysis of modern productions of Shakespeare and other Renaissance drama. I was Associate Editor for England of Reviewing Shakespeare, and I have published reviews in Shakespeare Bulletin, Cahiers Élisabéthains, and Shakespeare (British Shakespeare Association). I was Company Dramaturg of FRED Theatre, and I worked as Research Assistant to Gregory Doran, Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, while he was developing his productions of Richard II (2013), 1 and 2 Henry IV (2014), and Henry V (2015). As an actor I have taken part in staged readings and workshops focused on English Renaissance plays, and have performed in some twenty productions of Shakespeare and other Renaissance drama, both in amateur and in fringe theatre. I have also been able to incorporate my theatrical experience into my research on the stageability of Renaissance plays as part of the process of editing them for a modern readership.<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>
- Licenciado (Complutensis)
- PhD (Birmingham)
- PGCert in AP (Open)
- Membership Officer of the British Shakespeare Association
- Events Organiser and Council member of the Malone Society
- Shakespeare Association of America
- European Shakespeare Research Association
- Spanish and Portuguese Society for English Renaissance Studies (SEDERI)
- Society for Renaissance Studies
- Renaissance Society of America
I regularly teach modules such as level 1 Drama: Reading and Interpretation (including practical theatre workshops), level 2 Renaissance Literature, and level 3 Shakespeare, as well as modules in the MA in English Literature, of which I am currently Programme Leader.
Research groups and institutes
- Textual Histories Research Group