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University of Oxford Faculty of English

Maguire, Laurie

Position: Professor of English Language and Literature; Tutorial Fellow, Magdalen College
College: Magdalen
Period/Subject: Early Modern

Email address:

Research Interests:

I am currently working on an interdisciplinary collaborative project with two Oxford colleagues: Felix Budelmann in Classics, and Robin Dunbar in Evolutionary Psychology. We are using Greek tragedy and Shakespearean drama to test a range of theories about audience response, from how audiences fill in gaps in order to create ‘character’ to how dramatists’ understanding of audiences’ mind-reading capacities influence how they structure plot or create ambiguity.
I have recently coupled a long-standing interest in the theatricality of early modern medicine with an equally long-standing interest in Shakespearean selfhood to look at two kinds of interiority: one which yields its secrets to surgeons’ anatomical dissection and one which does not.

Teaching Areas:

To undergraduates at Magdalen I teach: Shakespeare and the Renaissance, and individual authors and topics from 1550 onwards. To English and Classics students I teach Shakespeare, Renaissance, Tragedy; Comedy; Satire.  I lecture on Shakespeare and his contemporaries in the English Faculty and teach graduate courses to Masters of Studies students.

Recent Publications


Othello (Arden/Bloomsbury books, forthcoming 2014)

Thirty Great Myths About Shakespeare (with Emma Smith) (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013)

Helen of Troy: From Homer to Hollywood (Oxford: Blackwell, 2009)

Shakespeare’s Names (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)

How to Do Things with Shakespeare (editor) (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007)

Where There’s a Will There’s a Way (New York: Penguin, 2006; London: Nicholas Brealey, 2007; Dutch edition 2008)

Studying Shakespeare: A Guide to the Plays (Oxford: Blackwell,  September 2003; reprinted January 2004, March 2004) [242pp]

Textual Formations and Reformations, co-edited with Thomas L. Berger (Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 1998) [301pp]

Shakespearean Suspect Texts: the "Bad Quartos" and their Contexts  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996) [427pp +xvii]; paperback, 2006


Selected articles and book chapters (last four years only)


 ‘Textual Embodiment: The Case of Etcetera’, in The Oxford Handbook of Embodiment ed. Valerie Traub (Oxford: OUP, forthcoming, 2014).

 ‘Marlowe and Character’ (with Aleksandra Thostrup) in Christopher Marlowe in Context, ed. Emily Bartels and Emma Smith  (Cambridge: CUP, 2013), 39-48.

‘Audiences, Greek Tragedy and Shakespeare’ (with Felix Budelmann and Ben Teasdale), TLS 19 July 2013.

 ‘Shakespeare and Co’ (with Emma Smith), TLS 20 April 2012

‘Audience-Actor Boundaries and Othello’, Proceedings of the British Academy  181 (2012): 123-42. (Centenary British Academy Shakespeare lecture)

 ‘“Time’s comic sparks”: the dramaturgy of A Mad World My Masters and Timon of Athens’ (with Emma Smith). The Oxford Handbook to Thomas Middleton, eds. Patricia Henley and Gary Taylor (OUP, 2010), 181-95.

 ‘Pericles and the Language of National Origins’ (with Thomas Roebuck). In Shakespeare and England, eds. Willy Maley and Margaret Tudeau-Clayton (Ashgate, 2010): 23-48.

 ‘Afterword’. Reviewing Shakespeare, eds. Paul Edmondson, Paul Prescott, Peter J. Smith (journal special issue, Routledge, 2010).

'W. W. Greg as Literary Critic', Textual Cultures: Texts, Context, Interpretation 4.2 (2009)

Other Information:

In Oxford I co-convene a fortnightly interdisciplinary seminar on ’Literature and Medicine’ at Green Templeton College. I am a Trustee of Shakespeare’s Globe and a member of the Selection Panel for Medical Humanities  at the Wellcome Trust.

Personal website

College Website

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