Prof Elspeth Graham

Humanities and Social Science

Elspeth Graham teaches early-modern and contemporary literature and cultural history. Her main research interests are: seventeenth century nonconformity; early-modern women's writing; autobiography; the critical medical humanities; early-modern human/non-human animal relationships; and early-modern cultures of playing. Her concerns in all of these areas are often informed by phenomenology and affect theory; cultural and art history; the medical and theoretical sciences; or philosophy (especially ethics) and are focussed through questions about: the meaning of the human; the dissociation and re-association of sensibility between the arts, humanities and sciences; and connectivity or the inbetween.


1986, University of Manchester, United Kingdom, PhD, English Literature
1976, University of Manchester, United Kingdom, MA (by thesis), English Literature
1975, University of Manchester, United Kingdom, BA (Hons), English Language and Literature


Graham E. 2021. The Elizabethan Playhouse in Prescot Manchester University Press. Manchester, UK

Graham E, Loyd S, Bowsher J, Shannon W, Lamb E, MacLean S-B, Bailey R. 2020. The Earls of Derby and the Early-Modern Performance Culture of North-West England Graham E. 38 Johns Hopkins University Press Public Url

Edwards P, Enenkel KAE, Graham E. 2011. The Horse as Cultural Icon. The Real and the Symbolic Horse in the Early Modern World Brill. Leiden and Boston 9789004212060

Wilcox H, Hobby E, Hind H, Graham E. 2003. Her Own Life Autobiographical Writings by Seventeenth-Century Englishwomen Routledge 9781134979264

Journal article

Graham E. 2019. 'Licencious gaddyng abroade': a conflicted imaginary of mobility in early modern English Protestant writings Page A, Barros P, Sterritt L. Etudes Epistémè, 35 DOI Publisher Url Public Url

Graham E, Chedgzoy K, Hodgkin K, Wray R. 2018. Researching Memory in Early Modern Studies Graham E, Chedgzoy K, Hodgkin K, Wray R. Memory Studies, 11 :5-20 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Graham E. 2017. 'Geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue)': trauma, ethics, and medical communications Journal of Medical Humanities, 38 :151-172 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Graham E. 1992. "Vain desire", "perverseness" and "love's proper hue": gender, sexuality and feminist interest in Paradise Lost Critical Survey, 4 :130-139

Graham E, Lloyd S, Bowsher J, Lamb E, Shannon W, Bailey R, MacLean S-B. Shakespeare Bulletin 38.3 Special Issue on The Earls of Derby and the Early Modern Performance Culture of North West England Graham E. Shakespeare Bulletin, 38

Editorial/letter to the editor

Chedgzoy K, Graham E, Hodgkin K, Wray R. 2018. Special Issue: Memory and the early modern Preface MEMORY STUDIES, 11 :3-4 DOI Author Url


Graham E. 2017. 'An after-game of reputation': Systems of representation, william cavendish and the battle of marston moor Rulers and Elites 9 :83-110 9789004326200 DOI

Graham E. 2016. '"An after-game of reputation": systems of representation, the marquis of Newcastle and the battle of Marston Moor' in Edwards and Graham, eds., Authority, Authorship and Aristocratic Identity, Brill, 2016, pp. 83-110. Edwards P, Graham E. Authority, Authorship and Aristocratic Identity in Seventeenth-Century England. William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle, and his Political, Social and cultural Connections 9 :83-110 Brill. Leiden and Boston 978-90-04-326200 Author Url Publisher Url

Graham E. 2014. Ways of Being, Ways of Knowing: Fish, Fishing, and Forms of Identity in Seventeenth-Century English Culture Cuneo PPF. Animals and Early Modern Identity :351-373 Taylor and Francis 9781409457435 Publisher Url

Graham E, Tyler R. 2011. '"So unbridled & badde an handfull of England": the social and cultural ecology of the Elizabethan Playhouse in Prescot' Merseyside 9781443829649

Graham E. 2011. Being Human; Being Animal Mousley A. Towards a new literary humanism Palgrave MacMillan 9780230238152

Graham E. 2011. The Duke of Newcastle's "Love...for Good Horses": an exploration of meanings Graham E, Edwards P. The Horse as Cultural Icon: the Real and the Symbolic Horse in the Early-Modern World 978-9004212060 DOI

Graham E. 2011. Being human and being animal in twentieth-century horse-whispering writings: ‘Word-bound creatures’ and ‘the breath of horses’ Towards a New Literary Humanism :59-76 9780230238152 DOI

Graham E. 2007. Intersubjectivity, Intertextuality and Form in the Self-Writings of Margaret Cavendish' Dowd M, Eckerle J. Genre and Women's Life Writing in Early Modern England :97-114 Ashgate 978-0754654261

Graham E. 2003. Reading, Writing and Riding Horses in Early Modern England: James Shirley's Hyde Park (1632) and Gervase Markham's Cavelarice (1607) Renaissance Beasts: of animals, humans, and other wonderful creatures :116-137 University of Illinois Press 978-0252028809

Graham E. 2000. Authority, Resistance and Loss: Gendered Difference in the Writings of John Bunyan and Hannah Allen Lawrence A, Owens WR, Sim S. John Bunyan and his England 1628-88 :130-139 Hambledon Press 978-1852850272

Graham E. 2000. "Oppression makes a wise man mad": the suffering of the self in autobiographical tradition Wilcox H, Dragsta H, Otway S. Betraying Our Selves: literary representations of the self in early-modern autobiography :197-214 Palgrave Macmillan 978-0312231491

Graham E. 1996. '"Lewd, Profane Swaggerers" and Charismatic Preachers: John Bunyan and George Fox' Wilcox H, Todd R, MacDonald A. Sacred and Profane: Secular and Devotional Interplay in Early Modern British Literature :307-318 VU University press

Graham E. 1996. Women's Writing and the Self Wilcox H. Women and Literature in Britain, 1500-1700 :209-233 Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, UK 978-0521467773

Graham E. 1989. Feminist teaching and masculine modes: Paradise Regained as an instance Thompson A, Wilcox H. Teaching Women Feminism and English Studies :132-144 Manchester University Press. Manchester, UK 9780719026034

Graham E. 'An after-game of reputation': systems of representation, the marquis of Newcastle and the battle of Marston Moor

Graham E. Places of Play: Elizabethan theatre, the earls of Derby, Lathom, Knowsley and Prescot Art, Animals and Politics: Knowsley and the Earls of Derby Unicorn Press

Graham E. Secrecy, Disclosure and Control in Alice Thornton's A Book of Remembrance Anderson L, Broughton T. Women's Lives/Women's Times: New Essays on Auto/Biography :51-57 SUNY Press 978-0791433980

Graham E. Being Human; Being Animal Mousley A. The New Literary Humanism :59-76 Palgrave 978-0754654261

Graham E. The Training Relationship: horses, falcons, dogs, bears – and humans Duggan H, Raber K. Shakespeare and Animals

Conference presentation:

'Introducing Shakespeare North', The Cockpit-Phoenix Theatre, London Metropolitan Archives, Oral presentation. 2017

'Renaissance Studies and Outreach: Shakespeare North as a Case Study' (for Society of Renaissance Studies), English: Shared Futures, national subject conference, hosted by University English and the English Association, Newcastle and Northumbria Universities, Oral presentation. 2017

'''Licencious gaddyng abroade": imaginatively conflicted issues of mobility and preaching, fixity and print publication in seventeenth-century English sectarian practices and writings', Voicing Dissent in the Long Seventeenth Century (International Bunyan Society), University of Aix-en-Provence, Oral presentation. 2016

Agues, rheums and fluxes: medicine, medical education and the history of illness', History of Medicine in Practice, University of Uppsala, Oral presentation. 2014

'Margaret Cavendish: Her Own and Other Lives', Early Modern Women, Religion, and the Body, Loughborough University, Plenary paper. 2014

'Now and then: some deaths and some reflections', Cultures and Spaces of Dying (British Academy 'Being Human' event), Keele University, Oral presentation. 2014

' "Geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue)": trauma, ethics, narrative and the medical encounter', A Narrative Future for Health Care conference, co-hosted and sponsored by the Centre for the Humanities and Health at King’s College, London and The Program in Narrative Medicine, Columbia University, NY, King’s College, London, Oral presentation. 2013

'Whales and walruses: early-modern accounts of arctic environments and animals', Borders and Crossings, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, Oral presentation. 2013

Conference organisation:

Authenticity and the Architectural Reconstruction of Inigo Jones' Cockpit-in-Court Theatre, Organised this day conference/seminar, which was one of three such events discussing the Ingo Jones/Webb designs for the Cockpit in Court. The other events were held at Warwick University and Worcester College, Oxford. I participated in all three.. 2016

Shakespeare, the Earls of Derby and the North West, a re-creation event and symposium at Knowsley Hall., I was a co-organiser of this two-day event which combined an academic conference, a reconstruction event and performances, and public engagement activity.. 2016

'Connected Minds', a symposium on Dementia held at Tate Liverpool in September 2015, Co- organiser with a group of LJMU academics from Heath, the Art and Design School, the Screen School and English in Humanities and Social Science, was achieved through collaboration with the Tate. Speakers included medical specialists, people living with dementia, novelists and auto/biographers.. 2015

William Cavendish, Ist Duke of Newcastle: Courtier, Horseman, Patron / The Duke of Newcastle Rides Again. A conference and public event at Bolsover Castle sponsored and organised by Liverpool John Moores University, Roehampton University and English Heritage., Conference and event organiser. 2012

A series of symposia in London, Newcastle, Belfast and Liverpool on Early Modern Memory and Community, Co-organiser and Steering group member, 2012

Cultures and Spaces of Dying, British Academy Being Human Festival event, Keele, Co-covenor.

External collaboration:

Keele University, School of English, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Medicine. 2014

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council and associated groups, Prescot Townscape Heritage; Prescot Culture, Arts and Heritage Group; Knowsley Ambassadors; Knowsley VEN;.

Other invited event:

Early-Modern War and Peace Network Conference on 'War Reporting and Reportage', University of Wales, Bangor, 'Battles lost and won: William Cavendish, marquis of Newcastle, and the representation of war in La Méthode Nouvelle et Invention Extraordinaire de Dresser les Chevaux'. 2012

Psychoanalysis and History Seminar of the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, Invited paper, 'Horses falling; horses flying': a seventeenth-century royalist's management of defeat'. 2010

The New Literary Humanism Conference,., De Montfort University, Leicester, Invited paper: 'Being human and being animal in late-twentieth-century writing'. 2008

Other Professional Activity:

A great deal of my work over the past thirteen years, and particularly in 2015-17, has been centred on the Shakespeare North (SN) project. This project originates from the fact that the only known, freestanding, purpose-built Elizabethan playhouse outside of London existed – unexpectedly – in Prescot in Knowsley and that the earls of Derby based in Lathom House and Knowsley Hall, bordering Prescot, were important patrons of early-modern theatre troupes, including Strange's Men, the precursor company to Shakespeare's Globe company. SN encompasses both a capital/urban regeneration element and a research element (underpinning the whole.) These two strands of SN are both intrinsically interdisciplinary and collaborative and themselves intersect. The capital project is produced from a partnership between Shakespeare North Trust (SNT) and Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council (KMBC). A possible relationship between SNT and LJMU is currently being negotiated. The work involved includes all aspects of fundraising for, planning, designing and building a theatre complex: the SN Playhouse. This will encloses a reproduction of the seventeenth-century Inigo Jones' Cockpit-in-Court theatre in a modern wraparound building that will house community and educational activities. Work with architecture and archaeology, as well as with theatre history, has been particularly important in the development of the project. Equally, inter-organisational business activities, management, and legal aspects of the project have involved extensive forms of collaboration between SN as a charitable trust, local government and universities. My involvement in this capital strand of the project derives from: my role as one of twelve Trustees of SNT, responsible for all major decisions, signing off phases of the project, creating the different aspects of the project and developing key relationships. I am the only Trustee who has a close, day-to-day working relationship with KMBC, is an employee of LJMU, and also a founding member of SNT. This gives me a particular – and complex – role through this range of affiliations and commitments. My aim is to help manage and create relationships through this. I am also: a member of the SN Education Committee, designing the central MA in Shakespearean Performance Practice that will run from the SN Playhouse; a member of the SN Development Board; chair of the SN Communities Committee; and chair of the Archaeology Sub-Group. From my role as Chair of the Communities Committee, I also serve as a member of a number of committees and groups in Knowsley: the Heritage, Culture and Leisure Group; the Knowsley VEN; and Knowsley Ambassadors; the governing board of the heritage-Lottery funded Prescot Townscape Heritage Initiative. Through these I aim to build and nurture stakeholder relationships as well as contribute to life in the Borough. The SN project has attracted significant funding in the past eighteen months: £6.5 m (plus a building and the site for the new theatre) from KMBC; £5m from DCMS Northern Powerhouse funding, assessed by and administered through the Arts Council England. A further £6.5m SIF contribution has been agreed in principle by Merseyside Combined Authority . The project documentation has passed through the first stage assessment. The second stage documentation was submitted in April 2017. Projects I have devised as Chair of the Communities Committee (made up of colleagues from English at LJMU, a representative from KMBC's Arts and Heritage Directorate, the director of SN's community theatre group, Mate, and members of the Prescot community) include an educational evaluation project based at St Margaret Mary Junior School in Huyton. This school, inspired by the SN project, is building a miniaturised, replica Globe theatre, in its extraordinary playground that includes a number of wood-crafted features. Students from LJMU English will work with teachers at the school, LJMU colleagues from Developmental Psychology, and Neuroscience to develop new methods of evaluating the effects on children's cognitive skills, interpersonal skills and well-being of learning through performance in their theatre. Another project, entitled 'Our Place in the World', themed through Shakespeare quotations, is based on the way that children used to, and sometimes still, write their addresses as: Courtney Brown, 51 Theatre Road, Prescot, Knowsley, L36 4 ED, England, UK, The World, The Universe. The activities are visually represented as forming three concentric rings with a microcosmic human at the centre. The innermost ring focuses on 'My Home Town' and provides activities connected with the children's sense of space in their homes and the history of their town and involves local archaeologists and historians from the Heritage-Lottery-funded Prescot THI. The next ring, 'My Place in the World', deals with our place in the environment. Learning activities for this will be produced through my collaboration with Knowsley Safari Park, and in turn, their collaboration with Natural Sciences at LJMU. The outer ring, 'Our Place in the Universe' will be populated with activities devised by LJMU Astrophysics in collaboration with SN. These projects serve as examples of the work I am setting up. Other strands of SN community activity are produced through a range of similar collaborations. The research strand of SN produces further collaborations. The reproduction of a particular Jacobean theatre raises important issues about authenticity, knowledge-based questions about the original design, the provenance of the existing seventeenth-century sketches of the theatre, and fitness for purpose in the twenty-first century. To engage with these, I have been involved in networking through conferences and collaborative activities with Shakespeare's Globe, the Rose Theatre and the Museum of London. Participation in these has enabled me to enter into dialogue with many people involved in creating Shakespeare's Globe and the Sam Wanamaker Theatre, including people such as Peter McCurdy who has built all the Globes in the world, as well as the Wanamaker, and Julian Bowsher from the Museum of London, the leading archaeologist of early-modern theatres. These people have been exceptionally generous with their time, support and the thought they have contributed to the Knowsley project. In order to thoroughly investigate and discuss issues of original design, authentic and modern functionality, SN set up three workshops on these subjects in late 2016 and early 2017. All of these were collaborations, involving academics and practitioners who had been involved in Shakespeare's Globe and the Wanamaker or who are experts on early theatre. The University of Warwick hosted one of these, I hosted one at LJMU, and Worcester College, Oxford (who hold the seventeenth-century drawings) hosted the third..

Research Grants Awarded:

AHRC, Memory and Community in Early Modern Britain, Professor Kate Hodgkin, UEL; Professor Kate Chedgzoy, University of Newcastle; Dr Ramona Wray, Queen's University Belfast, Grant value (£): £31,705.32.

Media Coverage:

Consultant and interview for 'A Kingdom for a Horse', produced by Million Media for BBC4, presented by Lucy Worsley. Recorded 27th February 2015..

Hour-long interview on Vintage Radio, February 2015, about Prescot Playhouse and Shakespeare North.

Series of interviews for BBC NW 2015-16 (radio and TV) on Shakespeare north..