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). As well as producing a monograph in progress, tentatively entitled The Text Life of Anne Clifford: Fragments of A Renaissance Reader, this work has led me to co-edit, with Micheline White (Carleton University) and Elizabeth Sauer (Brock), a collection of related scholarly essays entitled Women’s Bookscapes in Early Modern Britain: Reading, Ownership, Circulation (University of Michigan Press, 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 editing with Dr. Wendy Wall (Northwestern University) in a venture we are co-directing: The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making. The web site associated with this project, launched in 2018, encompasses a still-proliferating array of alternate representations of Pulter’s lyrics and emblems: photographic facsimiles and transcriptions of the manuscript pages, multiple kinds of editions — our “Elemental Editions,” designed as basic modernizations, and a diversity of “Amplified Editions” produced by global collaborators — as well as exhibits of contextualizing verbal and visual materials (“Curations” and “Explorations”).

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.

The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making, co-directed and -edited with Wendy Wall, (2018).

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

“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, 2018), pp. 253-73.

“The Bookscape,” authored with Micheline White, for Women’s Bookscapes in Early Modern Britain: Ownership, Circulation, Reading, pp. 1-20.

“Horticultural Networking and Sociable Citation,” in Worlds of Natural History, ed. Helen Anne Curry, Nicholas Jardine, James Andrew Secord, and Emma C. Spary (Cambridge University Press, 2018), pp. 61-77.

“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.

“Elephants in a Room of Our Own: Scientists, Humanists; Collaboration, Communication; Rhetorics, Realities,” co-authored with Alison Mark, 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.

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

“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, pp. 79-94.

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