Dr Brett Greatley-Hirsch

Dr Brett Greatley-Hirsch


I joined the University of Leeds as University Academic Fellow in Textual Studies and Digital Editing in 2016. Previously, I was an ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow and Assistant Professor of English at the University of Western Australia (2013–16). I have held research fellowships in Australia, Canada, Ireland, the UK and USA.

For the most up-to-date information on my research and teaching activities, see http://www.notwithoutmustard.net/


  • Assessment Lead
  • Digital Education Academic Lead
  • Joint Honours Programme Leader

Research interests

My work focuses on early modern English literature, and in particular on the drama of Shakespeare and his predecessors and contemporaries. I am co-editor of the journal Shakespeare and a Trustee of the British Shakespeare Association.

My research agenda is split between three complementary elements: textual studies, computational stylistics, and literary and cultural history.

Textual studies

My research in textual studies explores the historical and material conditions of dramatic production, mediation, and reception; the theory and practice of textual editing in print and digital formats; and the cultural and institutional processes of canon formation. My foundation of two ongoing, large-scale projects, both of which have received substantial funding from external granting agencies, forms the backbone of this research.

The first of these is Digital Renaissance Editions, which publishes open-access electronic critical editions of non-Shakespearean early modern drama. In addition to serving as one of the project’s coordinating editors, I am preparing a multimedia critical-performance edition of the anonymous Fair Em with Kevin Quarmby. I have also published widely on the politics and pragmatics of digital editions. The second is Reproducing Renaissance Drama, a study of the editing and publishing of early modern English plays since the eighteenth century and their relationship to canon formation over time. The monograph coming out of this project (contracted to the Arden Shakespeare Studies in Language and Digital Methodologies series) combines quantitative methods of statistical and network analysis with qualitative and archival research. The project also involves development of a custom-built open-access bibliographical database with detailed records for every Renaissance play republished since 1711, the Bibliography of Editions of Early English Drama.

I am also involved with several other editorial projects: as co-editor (with Mark Houlahan) of Hyde Park for the ten-volume Oxford Complete Works of James Shirley; as General Editor (with James Loxley and Helen Ostovich) of a proposed digital edition of The Works of John Day; and as an editorial or advisory board member for Internet Shakespeare Editions, the Folger Shakespeare Library's Digital Anthology of Early Modern English Drama, and The Map of Early Modern London.

Computational stylistics

My research in computational stylistics applies quantitative methods to the study of literary style and authorship attribution. In 2018, I joined the Thomas Nashe Project as a Co-Investigator, tasked with overseeing stylometric work on Nashe’s dubia and stylistic analysis of his canonical works. Other recent projects include an authorship attribution study of Arden of Faversham for the New Oxford Shakespeare (2016), and an article theorising and demonstrating digital methods for Shakespeare source study (2018).

With Hugh Craig, I completed a monograph, Style, Computers, and Early Modern Drama: Beyond Authorship published by Cambridge University Press (2017). Funded by an ARC Discovery Project grant, the book identifies latent trends in genre, period, repertory, and authorial style across a large corpus of early modern plays, through the application of quantitative methods associated with computational stylistics and authorship attribution. It is the first monograph of its kind in the field of Shakespeare and early modern studies, and it provides a model and rationale for future scholarship.

Literary and cultural history

My ‘non-digital’ critical work on literary and cultural history focuses on the transmission and adaptation of texts, narratives, and images. This research includes articles on Jews and Judaism (2015, 2016), and an article on Catholicism, witchcraft, and Elizabethan court drama (2014).

<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>


  • PhD, University of Western Australia
  • BA (Hons), University of Western Australia

Professional memberships

  • British Shakespeare Association
  • Shakespeare Association of America
  • Australia and New Zealand Shakespeare Association
  • The Malone Society

Student education

I am the Assessment Lead, Digital Education Academic Lead, and Joint Honours Programme Leader for the School. I also convene the Textual Editing pathway for the Final Year Project.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for the Comparative History of Print
  • Textual Histories Research Group
  • Centre for Jewish Studies

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>