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Prof Brian Cummings

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':

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