Centre for Early Modern and Medieval Studies

Postgraduate projects

A selection of projects run by postgraduate students in CEMMS.

England's Islamic Identity: Writing from the Islamic Periphery, 1500-1700

Sussex PhD students, Thomas Collins and Tomasz Kowalczyk organised a CHASE funded, one day symposium, which examined the rich history of Anglo-Islamic cultural exchange in the Anglophone literature of the early modern period. As increased commerce and exploration widened the scope of English interactions abroad, the body of writing concerned with an increasingly familiar portion of the world grew rapidly. English writers now sought to understand and portray Islamic places and people, from Mughal India to North Africa, in relation to themselves. These writer, often merchants and adventurers in their own right, found themselves at the centre of supremely rich and expansive foreign power structures, prompting the calibration of an English national identity still only in its infancy. This event explored how the increasingly formalised Anglo-Islamic interaction spurred a change in English thinking about national identity in an ever-expanding world, from the period before the conception of the British Empire, to an environment of burgeoning imperialism.

More information of the event can be found on our Events archive page, and on the Conference website.

Brief Encounters

Sussex PhD student Nicole Mennell is the Co-Founder and Senior Editor of Brief Encounters, an open-access peer-reviewed postgraduate journal which showcases the interdisciplinary research of CHASE funded and affiliated scholars, staff, and non-HEI partners. As an open access journal, Brief Encounters supports the dissemination of knowledge to a global readership, with the intent that the research it publishes encourages the exchange of ideas outside of traditional academic circles. All articles published by Brief Encounters are free to read and accessible to all with no registration required. Taking inspiration from CHASE’s biannual conference ‘Encounters’, and the 1945 film, Brief Encounter, the journal hopes to inspire intellectual relationships between individuals separated by geographical distances. In these brief, but still meaningful, academic encounters, the journal aims to start conversations which will lead to unexpected journeys.

Umbrian Art

Umbrian Art is a blog by current PhD student Lydia Goodson which details her research into patrons of art in fifteenth century Umbria.


Shakesposium is an informal pub symposium for all early modern drama researchers, co-founded by Lana Harper, a PhD student in the Centre. They meet regularly in London to discuss their research, theory, history and weird stage directions they find in obscure plays. You can keep up with what they're doing by following the Shakesposium Twitter account.


University of Sussex Centre for Early Modern and Medieval Studies: https://t.co/kTwaaXwBUF

RT @EHopeDoherty: Fascinating, beautiful lecture 'Shakespeare's Textile Imagination' by @starcrossed2018 @SussexCEMMS elucidating sym… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

RT @avoiding_bears: Had to check that my mic was off because I just yelled HESTER YOU ARE BRILLIANT at my laptop @starcrossed2018 @SussexCEMMS

Thanks to the wonderful folks at The Spenser Review for posting our cfp 'Spenser & Animal Life' (looks much more be… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

RT @meganlcook: If you* were going to teach a first year writing course on the history of artificial intelligence in literature, wh… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

RT @ezkolkovich: Early modernists: can you think of 16th-17th c. literary examples of “untimely” (premature) births, besides Shakesp… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

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