|Post:||Professor of English (Centre for Literature and Philosophy)|
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Brian Cummings is Professor of English and was a founding Director of the Centre for Early Modern Studies from 2004 to 2008. He received his BA and PhD at Cambridge University, and before moving to Sussex was Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He is the author of The Literary Culture of the Reformation: Grammar and Grace (Oxford University Press, 2002), a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year for 2003. A paperback edition of this book appeared in July 2007. He has also published widely in journals such as English Literary Renaissance and Studies in Church History, and is a contributor to The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature (1999) and The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004). He gave the Ninth Tyndale Society Annual Lecture at Oxford in 2003, the Jon Lopategui Memorial Lecture at Hampton Court in 2004, and Public Lectures at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Western Australia, and at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2008. In 2010 he gave the inaugural lecture at the Centre for Early Modern Exchanges, UCL, London, and in 2011 he has appeared at a number of public events to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. During 2003-4 he held a Leverhulme Research Fellowship, and in 2007 he was a British Academy Exchange Fellow at the Huntington Library, San Marino, California, working on the early editions of the Book of Common Prayer. He has given invited lectures at Yale University, Columbia University, the University of Oslo, Freie Universität in Berlin, the European University Institute in Florence and the Huizinga Institute for Cultural History in Amsterdam. In July 2007 he co-directed the 32nd International Summer School for Doctoral Students at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel. In September 2008 he was the co-organiser with James Simpson of 'Cultural Reformations from Lollardy to the English Civil War', a Bloomfield Conference at Harvard University, dedicated to examining the periodic division between the Medieval and the Early Modern. In 2008-9 he was a participant at the Netherlands Organisation for Research (NWO) project 'The Pastness of the Religious Past' at the Royal Dutch Academy of Science, and at the 500th Anniversary Conference, 'John Calvin and his Influence' in Geneva. He was also co-organiser of the arts-science conference sponsored by the Royal Society and the Society for Renaissance Studies, 'Newton/ Milton: Two Cultures?' at Sussex in July 2009.
From October 2009 to October 2012, Brian is a research professor as the recipient of a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship. A summary of his project, 'The Confessions of Shakespeare', can be found on the Leverhulme Trust website, as part of its News bulletin, 'Awards in Focus': http://www.leverhulme.ac.uk/news/archive/AIF/MRF/Cummings.
In 2010-11, he is a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies, Ludwig-Maximilans-Universität, Munich, where he is also a resident associate of the national research group on Pluralization and Authority in Early Modern Europe. For his work in Germany, see http://www.cas.uni-muenchen.de/fellowship_programm/aktuelle_vf_sose/cummings_brian/index.html
Brian Cummings specializes in many aspects of early modern English literature, especially More, Wyatt, Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton; he also works on the history of the Reformation; on the history of theology and of heresy; on the English Bible and the Book of Common Prayer; on medieval and Renaissance philosophy; on humanism, especially Erasmus; on the European Renaissance and the reception of the classics; on grammar, logic and rhetoric; and on literary theory and the philosophy of language.
He has supervised recent Sussex DPhils on early modern topics including Renaissance dictionaries; Milton and civil war writing; Shakespeare and Elizabethan humanism; the Geneva Bible; marriage and widows; the concept of the ruin; and the poetry and religion of Michelangelo. He has also supervised dissertations on modern poetry and on relations between philosophy and literature. He would welcome applications from prospective graduate students in these and related areas.
While working full-time on his research grant, Brian is teaching only doctoral students. In recent years his teaching has been on the full range of the Sussex programme: What is Literature? and History of Reading in the West in the first year BA; Tragedy and Staging the Renaissance: Shakespeare in the second year; and Senses of the Self, the Special Author course Milton, and the period courses on English Literature 1580-1640 and 1600-1742, in the final year BA. For several years he was also convenor of the MA in Early Modern Literature and Culture. He helped to design the options Idea of the Renaissance (on humanism and the history of the book, taught in the Special Collections department at the Library), and Public Shakespeare (covering textual bibliography and the history of the theatre, also taught in Special Collections); both of these courses are still available.
Cummings, Brian, ed. (2011) The Book of Common Prayer: the texts of 1549, 1559, and 1662. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 9780199207176
Cummings, Brian (2010) Protestant allegory. In: The Cambridge companion to allegory. Cambridge Companions to Literature . Cambridge University Press, pp. 177-190. ISBN 9780521680820
Cummings, Brian and Simpson, James, eds. (2010) Cultural reformations: medieval and Renaissance in literary history. Oxford Twenty-First Century Approaches to Literature . Oxford University Press, p. 1. ISBN 9780199212484
Cummings, Brian (2010) The book as symbol. In: The Oxford companion to the book. Oxford University Press, pp. 63-65. ISBN 9780198606536
Cummings, Brian (2009) Conscience and the law in Thomas More. Renaissance Studies, 23 (4). pp. 463-485. ISSN 0269-1213
Cummings, Brian (2009) Erasmus and the end of grammar: Humanism, Scholasticism, and literary language. New Medieval Literatures, 11. pp. 249-270. ISSN 1465-3737
Cummings, Brian (2008) 'The oral versus the written': the debates over scripture in More and Tyndale. Moreana, 45 (175). pp. 14-50. ISSN 0047-8105
Cummings, Brian (2007) Images in books: Foxe Eikonoklastes. In: Art re-formed: re-assessing the impact of the reformation on the visual arts. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, UK, pp. 183-200. ISBN 9781847183118
Cummings, Brian (2007) Metalepsis: the boundaries of metaphor. In: Renaissance figures of speech. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 217-236. ISBN 9780521866408
Cummings, Brian (2007) The Protestant and Catholic reformations. In: The Oxford handbook of English literature and theology. Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York, pp. 79-96. ISBN 9780199271979
Cummings, Brian (2007) The literary culture of the Reformation: grammar and grace. Oxford University Press, Oxford ; New York. ISBN 9780199226337
Cummings, Brian (2006) Martin Marprelate and the popular voice. Studies in Church History, 42. pp. 225-239. ISSN 0424-2084
Cummings, Brian (2006) Thomas Wyatt. In: Oxford encyclopedia of British literature. Oxford University Press, Oxford ; New York. ISBN 9780195169218
Cummings, Brian (2004) Richard Robinson. In: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: from the Earliest Times to the Year 2000. Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York. ISBN 9780198614111
Cummings, Brian (2004) William Samuel. In: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: from the Earliest Times to the Year 2000. Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York. ISBN 9780198614111
Cummings, Brian (2004) Pliny's literate elephant and the idea of animal language in Rennaissance thought. In: Renaissance beasts: of animals, humans and other wonderful creatures. University of Illinois Press, Urbana, pp. 164-185. ISBN 9780252028809
Cummings, Brian (2002) Reformed literature and literature reformed. In: The Cambridge history of medieval English literature. The New Cambridge History of English Literature . Cambridge University Press, 821 - 851. ISBN 9780521890465
Cummings, Brian (2002) Iconoclasm and bibliophobia in the English reformations 1521 - 1558. In: Images, idolatry and iconoclasm in late medieval England. Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York, pp. 185-206. ISBN 9780198187592
Cummings, Brian (1998) Literally speaking, or, the literal sense from Augustine to Lacan. Paragraph, 21. pp. 200-226. ISSN 0264-8334
Cummings, Brian (1997) Swearing in public: More and Shakespeare. English Literary Renaissance, 27 (2). 197 - 232. ISSN 0013-8312