Dr Brett Greatley-Hirsch

Dr Brett Greatley-Hirsch


I joined Leeds in 2016 as University Academic Fellow in Textual Studies and Digital Editing. I was promoted to Associate Professor in 2021. 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.


  • Deputy Director of Research and Innovation
  • Convenor, Textual Editing FYP

Research interests

Textual studies 

I am interested in the historical and material conditions of literary production, mediation, and reception; the theory and practice of textual editing in print and digital formats; enumerative bibliography and publishing histories; and the cultural and institutional processes of canon formation.

I am the founder and coordinating editor (with Janelle Jenstad, James Mardock, and Sarah Neville) of Digital Renaissance Editions, which publishes open-access critical editions of Renaissance drama and literature using LEMDO, a platform for developing Endings-compliant, TEI-XML editions.

I contributed to Joost Daalder’s editions of The Honest Whore, Part One and Part Two for Digital Renaissance Editions, for which I am currently editing Fair Em. I am also editing Hyde Park (with Mark Houlahan) for the Oxford Complete Works of James Shirley.

I am also general editor of the Bibliography of Editions of Early English Drama (BEEED), which seeks to catalogue every edition of a Renaissance play published since 1711; case studies based on statistical analysis of trends and patterns in this bibliographical data form the basis of my second monograph project, Reproducing Renaissance Drama. 

I also serve on the editorial or advisory boards for several editorial projects, including Internet Shakespeare Editions, the Folger Shakespeare Library's Digital Anthology of Early Modern English Drama, and The Map of Early Modern London.

Computational studies and authorship attribution

I’m interested in digital methods for literary and textual studies, especially authorship attribution and computational stylistics. My first book, Style, Computers, and Early Modern Drama: Beyond Authorship (Cambridge University Press, 2017), co-authored with Hugh Craig, applies methods of computational stylistics to identify latent trends in genre, period, repertory, and authorial style across a large corpus of early modern plays. It is the first monograph of its kind in the field of Shakespeare and early modern studies, and has been lauded by reviewers as ‘a body blow to partial, idiosyncratic and subjective literary criticism and to innumerate or illogical scholars’ (TLS), ‘uncommonly good at provoking fresh ways of looking at the field’ (Studies in English Literature), and a study that has ‘redefined the scope of computational analyses of early modern drama’ (Review of English Studies).

I’ve written several articles and chapters on the ‘digital turn’ in Shakespeare studies, from using databases to trace Shakespeare’s sources to the impact of new media on how we read, study, and perform the plays and poems. 

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, and am involved in similar authorship attribution study for the Oxford Complete Works of John Marston, having previously contributed to the New Oxford Shakespeare.

With Rory Loughnane, I am a general editor of CADRE: Co-Authored Drama in Renaissance England, a wiki-style forum for scholars to share evidence and information about the co-authorship of plays (including practices of collaboration, revision, and adaptation) written between 1570 and 1642. 

Early modern literature and culture

In addition to studying the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries (especially the drama and non-dramatic prose), I am also interested in literary, intellectual, and cultural history more broadly – in particular, the transmission and adaptation of texts and images. I have published widely on the representation of marginal and imaginary figures (such as Jews, Catholics, witches, werewolves, and so on) in late medieval and early modern England, and other – often surprisingly related – oddities, such as spitting, bagpipes, bearded women, and dancing. In recognition of these contributions to historical scholarship, I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2021 and as Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2024.

<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>


  • BA (Hons)
  • PhD
  • FRHistS
  • FHEA
  • FSA

Professional memberships

  • British Shakespeare Association
  • Shakespeare Association of America
  • Australia and New Zealand Shakespeare Association
  • Malone Society
  • Royal Historical Society
  • Higher Education Academy
  • Society of Antiquaries of London
  • Marlowe Society of America

Student education

  • I am Deputy Director of Research and Innovcation and convene the Textual Editing option for the Final Year Project.
  • I oversee production of Tenter Hook, an annual of new writing from students on the BA English Literature with Creative Writing programme.
  • I have previously served as Joint Honours Programme Leader, Assessment Lead, Academic Integrity Officer, and Digital Education Academic Lead for the School of English.

I have supervised the following PhD students through to graduation:

I currently supervise the following PhD students:

  • Dikko Yusuf, ‘Listening for Race: Audiobooks and the African Literary Reader’ (co-supervised with Dr Brendon Nicholls)
  • Maram Al-Rabie, ‘The Stability of Collocation as a Style Marker Across Genres’ (co-supervised with Dr Alison May)

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>