Leah Knight

Associate Professor

PhD, Queen’s University

Office: GLA 137
905 688 5550  x5379
lknight@brocku.ca

I study early modern English poetry, prose, and the culture they emerge from, with special interests in the literary and cultural history of books, writing, and reading in Renaissance England.

I am the author of two monographs, Of Books and Botany in Early Modern England: Sixteenth-Century Plants and Print Culture (Ashgate, 2009) and Reading Green in Early Modern England (Ashgate, 2014), each of which explores different aspects of the historically-specific intersections between the green world and textual culture in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Both were awarded the annual book prize of the British Society for Literature and Science.

More recently, my Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC)-funded research has begun to contribute to the history of reading and early modern women’s cultural studies through my investigation of the evidence that remains of the reading materials, habits, and experiences associated with Anne Clifford (1590-1676). This work has led me to co-edit, with my Brock colleague Dr. Elizabeth Sauer and Dr. Micheline White (Carleton University), a collection of related scholarly essays entitled Women’s Bookscapes in Early Modern Britain: Reading, Ownership, Circulation (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming Fall 2018).

My interest in women’s textual interventions in early modern England has most recently led me to the long-neglected manuscript verse of Hester Pulter (1605-1678), whose poems I am currently co-editing with Dr. Wendy Wall (Northwestern University) in a venture we are co-directing: The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making. This long-term international collaboration will yield a web site (forthcoming Fall 2018) which will encompass a proliferating array of alternate representations of Pulter’s lyrics and emblems: photographic facsimiles of the manuscript pages, transcriptions of them, multiple editions from contrasting perspectives, and exhibits of contextualizing verbal and visual materials.

I would be pleased to discuss supervision of undergraduate and graduate students with interests in related aspects of early modern English literature and textual culture.

Women’s Bookscapes in Early Modern Britain: Ownership, Circulation, Reading, ed. Leah Knight, Elizabeth Sauer, and Micheline White (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming Fall 2018).

Reading Green in Early Modern England. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2014.

Of Books and Botany in Early Modern England: Sixteenth-Century Plants and Print CultureAldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2009.

“Reading Proof: Or, Problems and Possibilities in the Text Life of Anne Clifford,” in Women’s Bookscapes in Early Modern Britain: Reading, Ownership, Circulation, ed. Leah Knight, Elizabeth Sauer, and Micheline White (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming Fall 2018).

“Horticultural Networking and Sociable Citation,” in Cultures of Natural History II, ed. Emma Spary et al. (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

“Anne Clifford.” Private Libraries in Renaissance England: A Collection and Catalogue of Tudor and Early Stuart Book-Lists, gen. ed. R. J. Fehrenbach, vol. ed. Joseph L. Black (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2017), pp. 347-63.

“Margaret Clifford.” Private Libraries in Renaissance England: A Collection and Catalogue of Tudor and Early Stuart Book-Lists, gen. ed. R. J. Fehrenbach, vol. ed. Joseph L. Black. (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2017), pp. 157-61.

(co-authored with Alison Mark) “Elephants in a Room of Our Own: Scientists, Humanists; Collaboration, Communication; Rhetorics, Realities,” Journal for Literature and Science, special issue on “Defining the ScienceHumanities,” vol. 10, no. 2 (2017): pp. 88-105.

“Botany,” in The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare, volume 1: Shakespeare’s World, 1500-1660, ed. Bruce R. Smith (Cambridge University Press, 2016), pp. 276-83.

“Reading Across Borders:
The Case of Anne Clifford’s ‘Popish’ Books,” Journal of the Canadian Historical Associationvol. 25, no. 2 (2015): pp. 27-56.

“Historicising Early Modern Literature and Science: Recent Topics, Trends, and Problems,” Journal of Literature and Science, vol. 5, no. 2 (2012): pp. 56-60.

“Writing on Early Modern Trees,” English Literary Renaissance, vol. 41, no. 3 (2011): pp. 462-84.

“Orpheus and the Automation of the Natural World,” The Automaton in English Renaissance Literature, ed. Wendy Hyman. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2011. 79-94.