Professor Adrian Streete
- Professor of Early Modern English Literature and Religion (English Literature)
- Early modern drama (esp. Marlowe, Shakespeare, Marston, Webster, Middleton, Massinger, Shirley, Lee, and Dryden).
- Early modern poetry (esp. Sidney, Donne, Herbert, the 'English Spenserians', Crashaw, Greville, Milton, Traherne).
- Early modern prose (esp. More, Marprelate, Milton, Overton, Coppe, Women prophets, Bunyan, Defoe).
- Protestantism and Arminianism.
- Biblical culture and interpretation, esp. apocalypse.
- Radical religion, dissent, and polemic.
- Religious rhetoric and affect.
- Literary engagements with natural law, epistemology, scepticism, and speculative philosophy.
- Laughter and satire in religious culture.
- Operatic adaptations of Shakespeare.
Adrian Streete (BA, PhD, PGCHT, FRHistS) is Head of English Literature & Creative Writing, Deputy Head of the School of Critical Studies, and Professor of Early Modern English Literature and Religion at the University of Glasgow. He works on the relationship between literature and religious, political, and philosophical thought in the period 1500 to 1700. Adrian is the author of two monographs, Apocalypse and Anti-Catholicism in Seventeenth-Century English Drama (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and Protestantism and Drama in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, 2009; paperback ed. 2011). He is the editor of Early Modern Drama and the Bible: Contexts and Readings, 1570-1625 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), and his co-edited volumes include Filming and Performing Renaissance History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), and The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts (Edinburgh University Press, 2011). For reviews, see below under 'Additional Information'.
Adrian has held two Leverhulme Research Fellowships, one in 2010-2012 which funded a book on apocalypse, anti-Catholicism, and early modern drama, and another in 2019-2021 for his current book on radical religion and laughter in early modern literary culture. He has held network grants from the AHRC and RSE, as well as smaller grants from the AHRC. In addition to the book on radical religion and laughter, Adrian is working on a co-edited book for CUP with his colleague Richard Stacey called Shakespeare and the Shape of Words, and a book on Shakespeare and religion.
He is an experienced PhD supervisor (and examiner) and has successfully supervised ten students to completion. A number of his former students hold academic posts in the UK, Ireland, and Holland, and have published books with presses such as Oxford University Press, Palgrave, Manchester University Press, and Bloomsbury (see below). He is always happy to discuss projects with potential PhD students.
The first person in his family to go to University, Adrian is a graduate of the University of Stirling and Queen's University, Belfast. He completed his PhD in 2001 at Stirling under the supervision of Professor John Drakakis. From 2003 to 2014, he was Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Queen's University, Belfast. He joined English Literature at Glasgow in 2014 and was appointed to a personal chair in 2019. He has given plenary lectures, papers, and public talks at numerous conferences in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Romania, Italy, Holland, America, and Canada, as well as at the Globe in London and on BBC radio. In November 2017 he curated an exhibition to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation called ‘Seeing the Reformation: Religion and the Printed Image in Early Modern Europe’, a collaboration with Archives and Special Collections at the University of Glasgow.
He regularly reviews for presses such as Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Palgrave Macmillan, and for journals such as Shakespeare Quarterly, Studies in English Literature, Renaissance Drama, Shakespeare, and English. He has also acted as an external grant reviewer for the Leverhulme Trust, the European Commission (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowships/Horizon 2020), the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and an invited member of the JISC Historic Books Advisory Board.
2019-2021: PI, Royal Society of Edinburgh Networks Grant, 'New Approaches to Catholicism and Literature in 21st Century Scotland'. https://catholicismliteraturescotland.home.blog/
2019-2021: PI, Leverhulme Research Fellowship, 'Polemical Laughter in English Literary Culture, c. 1500-1700'.
2010-2012: PI, Leverhulme Research Fellowship, 'Apocalypse and Drama, c.1400-1642'.
2010: AHRC Collaborative Research Training Grant.
2007: AHRC Collaborative Research Training Grant.
2007: Co-I, AHRC Research Networks Grant. 'Filming and Performing Renaissance History'.
I am always happy to hear from prospective PhD students about projects - please email me at email@example.com
-2022-Present: Esther Bancroft (Second Supervisor): Infinite Worlds: The Language of Space in Seventeenth-Century Literature.
-2022-Present: Heather Caldwell (First Supervisor): Diabolic Language in Early Modern Literature.
-2021-Present: Vivienne Belton (First Supervisor): Representing Catholicism in Early Modern Drama.
-2021-Present: Elizabeth Leemann (First Supervisor): Spiritual Motherhood in Early Modern Literature.
-2019-Present: Kirsty Pattison (Second Supervisor): Alchemy, Magic, and Theology in Scotland, c.1450-1700.
- Bancroft, Esther
Infinite and Invisible Words: The Language of Space in 17thc
- Leemann, Elizabeth
Dreams, the Afterlife and Witchcraft in Early Modern Literature
Completed PhDs and MRes
-2023-2019: Andrew Mullan (Second Supervisor): The Sermons of Archbishop James Ussher.
-2021-2016: Ahlam Alruwaili (Second Supervisor): Eastern Characters in Elizabethan Drama: Uses and Abuses.
-2019-2014: Hiroshi Yadomi (Second Supervisor): The Language of Religious Sermons in Seventeenth-Century England.
-2014-2012: Sonja Kleij (First Supervisor): Anglo-Dutch-Spanish Politics in English Drama, 1558-1688 – DEL Funded.
-2015-2010: Jonathan Malone (First Supervisor): The Passions and Early Modern Poetry – DEL Funded.
-2012-2009: Laura Gallagher (Second Supervisor): The Virgin Mary in Early Modern Literature – AHRC funded.
-2011-2008: Victoria Brownlee (First Supervisor): Biblical Typology in Early Modern Drama – AHRC funded.
For Dr Brownlee’s book based on her thesis, see here: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/biblical-readings-and-literary-writings-in-early-modern-england-1558-1625-9780198812487?q=victoria%20brownlee&lang=en&cc=gb
-2010-2007: Gail McConnell (Second Supervisor): Modern Irish Poetry and Religion: Heaney, Mahon and Longley – DEL funded.
For Dr McConnell’s book based on her thesis, see here: https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9781137343833#aboutBook
-2009-2006: Patricia Canning (First Supervisor): Image and Word: Language and Subjectivity in Early Modern Thought and Literature – DEL funded.
For Dr Canning’s book based on her thesis, see here: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/style-in-the-renaissance-9781472530059/
-2008-2005: Mary-Ellen Lynn (First Supervisor): Body and Soul: Reflections on Early Modern Subjectivity – AHRC funded.
-2017-2016: Julie Charnley (First Supervisor): Politics in the Theatre of Jacobean England, 1618-1625: Satire and Commentary in a Climate of Censorship.
-2017-2016: Marte Wulff (Second Supervisor): Emotional Expression in Medieval Society: Tears and Weeping in Chaucer's 'Prioress' Tale' and Troilus and Criseyde.
Convenor, MLitt in Medieval and Early Modern English Literature and Culture (2014-2019).
Convenor of Senior Honours/MLitt Course, ‘Religion, Politics, and Philosophy in Early Modern English Literature’, 2015-present.
Convenor and Deputy Convenor of 1A, ‘Poetry and Poetics’ (2014-2019).
Postgraduate Convenor, English Literature (2014-2018).
Reviews of Apocalypse and Anti-Catholicism in Seventeenth-Century English Drama (Cambridge University Press, 2017):
‘Its comprehensiveness is staggering: en route to close reading particular plays, Streete provides numerous examples and quotations from a variety of contemporaneous plays, poems, speeches, and sermons, making it the most crossgeneric monograph this reader has seen and enjoyed. Streete’s sensitivity and command of early modern culture is unparalleled … [his] ability to trace ripples of fear through his encyclopaedic grasp of the period’s publishing history makes his argument virtually airtight.’ The Review of English Studies
‘meticulously researched...A finely detailed and instructive study of how political and religious discourses are reconfigured in the language, plot and personation of drama … an excellent resource that will propel further scholarly interest.’ The Seventeenth Century
'this is a major work of early modern scholarship and it will prove to be invaluable to anyone working in the fields of religious controversy, religio-political drama, the wider religious and political culture of seventeenth-century Britain, or Protestant Britain's relationship with its Roman Catholic neighbours, and with the cross-denominational application of apocalyptic thought.' British Catholic History
'Streete makes a telling case for using seventeenth-century drama as an important source - a very special one at that - for the study of seventeenth-century politics and religion and their frequent interactions as well as for the development of 'Englishness'. His many perceptive interpretative suggestions and alternative readings of the selected plays also demonstrate the value, indeed the necessity, of a firmly grounded interdisciplinary approach to the subject matter under discussion both at the macro- and micro levels. Apocalypse and Anti-Catholicism makes a good companion piece to the same author's earlier study of Protestantism and Drama in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 2009). Streete has carved out a special niche for himself in this field.' Literature and History
'It is always a pleasure to read a book which makes your brain race with ideas and causes you to re-evaluate your own approach to the subject. [...] a provocative account of the various roles which anti-Catholic imagery played in the public sphere in early modern England which wears its learning lightly. [...] This study has the potential to make a much larger contribution to our understanding of the roles of anti-Catholicism in English culture between the reigns of Henry VIII and William III. [...] Catholics may have moved from monopoly to minority over the course of the sixteenth century, but that they were not a spent political, religious, or cultural force is surely part of the reason that anti-Catholicism had the potency to articulate multiple views in the public sphere which Streete's superb study shows it to have done.' Anti-Popery in British History AHRC Network Blog, https://antipopery.com/blog/
'[A] fascinating study [...] This meticulously researched book not only demonstrates the prevalence of apocalyptic and anti-catholic rhetoric in early modern drama but also persuasively argues for a more nuanced reading of rhetoric that has often been dismissed by scholars as hysterical and bigoted.' The Year's Work in English Studies
'reorient[s] our understanding of early modern England's religious and political culture. [...] the analysis at the center of the book is provocative and informative, and will help readers see strands of thought that would have signalled certain perspectives to early modern readers that we might not otherwise observe.' Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England
Reviews of Early Modern Drama and the Bible: Contexts and Readings, 1570-1625 (Palgrave, 2012):
‘At a time when it is fashionable to write and read religion out of, or at least minimize its impact on, the culture of earlier epochs, this study stands as a useful corrective, reminding us of the Bible’s elevated position in early modern literature and drama, and its capacity to navigate between the two.’ Modern Language Review
‘Adrian Streete has done an excellent job as editor... He begins the collection with a well-argued introduction that leaves little doubt that one cannot study the early modern stage without acknowledging the influence that the Bible had over both the society in which the plays were written, performed, and printed and the playwrights who were composing the works.’ English
‘an excellent body of work that provides a valuable service. In making available to scholars of drama in the early modern period the latest research in this area the book suggests new directions and covers plays that do not always receive the attention that they deserve or require.’ Renaissance Studies
Reviews of Protestantism and Drama in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, 2009):
‘One of the most thought-provoking and innovative books of the year’. Studies in English Literature
‘Streete’s methodology … is remarkably fruitful and compelling. … Protestantism and Drama offers a more complete and nuanced picture of the early modern subject than has been offered before.’ Renaissance Quarterly
‘He has an uncommon gift for taking theology on its own terms, no matter how arcane or fanciful… should help invigorate future scholarship concerned with the complex relations between theater and theology.’ Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England
‘rewarding and timely insights into how the early modern English faced the rise of Calvinism. The author has entered into his subject with zeal, and he illuminates the tortured nuances of Calvinist experience, in particular the abyss of self-doubt, while building a finely textured historical perspective.’ Religion and the Arts
‘Streete’s account is extremely nuanced, given that theology is not his field. (How many literary critics of the era could offer an extended discussion of the extra Calvinisticum?) Most significantly, Streete recognizes and emphasizes the intensely christological focus of Reformation theology…In addition to its important implications for those working at the crossroads of theology and theater, this book provides a degree of historical corroboration to the thesis advanced over the past decade by the emerging school of Radical Orthodoxy.’ International Journal of Systematic Theology
‘a deeply-researched, enlightening study, one that calls to mind vital ideas of the time. Indeed, the book would be well worth reading, by students of the period and by seasoned scholars, who might like to refresh or extend their knowledge of the Reformation’s complex ideologies.’ Shakespeare Newsletter
‘provides an innovative, articulate account of the metamorphosis of the figure of Christ… Recommended.’ Choice Reviews Online