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Dr Laurence J W PublicoverBA(Bristol), MA(Oxon.), PHD(Bristol)

Senior Lecturer in English

Laurence Publicover

Dr Laurence J W PublicoverBA(Bristol), MA(Oxon.), PHD(Bristol)

Senior Lecturer in English

Member of

Research interests

My research falls into two main categories. First, I work on Shakespeare and other Renaissance dramatists, with a particular focus on dramatic geography, representations of cultural encounter (in particular Christian/Islamic encounter), and playwrights' engagements with medieval literature. These matters are explored in a monograph, Dramatic Geography, published by Oxford University Press in September 2017. I have also co-edited (with Chloe Preedy) a collection of essays entitled 'Space on the Early Modern Stage', published as a special edition of the journal Cahiers Élisabéthains (No. 88, Autumn 2015); this collection includes my own article on the effect clowning has on the geography of early modern drama. 

My second research area, which often overlaps with the first, is the cultural history of the sea. An article on Shakespeare's seas appeared in the journal Essays in Criticism in 2014, and I am currently working on a study of piracy and the oceans that brings literary texts into conversation with scholarship on maritime law, human and political geography, and political history. I was also co-coordinator, with Dr Tamsin Badcoe, of Bristol's multi-disciplinary 'Perspective from the Sea' research cluster from 2013-18, and I teach an undergraduate special subject that explores writing about the sea from many different periods. Other current projects include an examination of figures of the deep sea in early modern tragedies by Shakespeare and others (the first result of this research, an article entitled 'King Lear and the Art of Fathoming', has been published in the journal Renaissance Drama), and a project concerned with reading, writing and performing at sea (a short article on this topic, co-written with Dr Susann Liebich of the University of Heidelberg, can be found here). In addition, I have recently co-organised, with Margherita Pieraccini (Law), a Brigstow Institute-funded project entitled 'The Invisibility of the Sea'. This project brought together academics from arts and sciences with Bristol-based artist Rodney Harris to produce a series of maps and other artworks that explore the political, social, cultural and environmental implications of our relationship with the sea; the project resulted in an exhibition held on the MV Balmoral over the summer of 2017, later transferred to the Earth Gallery, Wills Memorial Building. Another result of this project was a short article on the cultural history and the future of the deep sea co-written with the oceanographer Kate Hendry and published in The Conversation

I would welcome applications from anyone looking to conduct postgraduate research in Renaissance drama, oceanic studies, literary/dramatic geography, or any combination of the three.



Teaching Information:


I currently teach the following modules:



Shakespearean Tragedy (Year 3 special subject)

Literature and the Sea (Year 2 special subject)

Shakespeare (Year 2 Mid-scale unit, convener)

Literature 1550-1740 (Year 1 core module, convener)

I also lecture on the first year module 'Approaches to Poetry'.




Renaissance Literature: Texts and Contexts

Hamlet: Text and Interpretation


I was Director of Exams for English for the academic years 2014-15 and 2015-16.


Employment History:

I studied at Bristol and Oxford, and was awarded my PhD from Bristol in 2010. I then worked for two years as Teaching Fellow in Renaissance Literature at the University of Leeds before returning to Bristol in 2012.



In 2014 I was awarded a British Council Researcher Links Grant, and spent a month teaching and researching at Sogang University (Seoul). I would be very happy to offer advice to any Korean students interested in studying at Bristol.

In 2013 I appeared on the BBC World Service programme The Why Factor, speaking about the lure of the sea in Western literature and culture.

I became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2015. 

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Migration Mobilities Bristol
  • Centre for Environmental Humanities

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Postal address:
3-5 Woodland Road
United Kingdom