Page tree

Get started by adding some pages to this space. Create page.

Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Name: Charles Green

PhD: English Literature

Thesis Title: John Donne's Commemorations: Authorship and Afterlife in Early Modern England

Current Role: Senior Research Officer, University of Chichester


Viva completed January 2020 (minor corrections)


Thesis Description:

This thesis examines commemorative writing by and about John Donne. Taking a case study-based approach focused predominantly on a series of deaths from 1594/9 to 1631, it aims to resituate Donne’s literary responses to these events within their fullest possible literary, historical and bibliographical contexts, reading them alongside the commemorative works of his contemporaries and in the light of topical issues of the day. In doing so, it explores how, in hitherto little acknowledged ways, Donne and his contemporaries used such occasions to negotiate and fashion socially, professionally and politically useful identities, both for their subjects and for themselves.

I focus on previously neglected sources, including poems, sermons, wills, diaries, letters and monuments, in order to establish the key points of contention around which commemorative epideictic typically coalesced in these years, and to nuance received views about Donne’s attitudes towards commemorative genre and literary publication. Couching this analysis within a broader focus on literary reception, I demonstrate, moreover, how contemporaries read such works and conceptualised their authors in markedly different ways to modern critics, who have tended to dismiss much commemorative writing as unimportant and unedifying.


Supervisors and Institution(s): 

Professor Hugh Adlington, University of Birmingham

Dr Mary Ann Lund, University of Leicester

Professor Michael Dobson, University of Birmingham


Academic Publications:

Green, C., ‘“Now the Lord hath made me a spectacle”: Deathbed Narratives and Devotional Identities in the Early Seventeenth Century’, Devotional Identities in Seventeenth-Century England, ed. by Elizabeth Clarke and Robert W. Daniel (Manchester University Press, forthcoming in 2020)
Green, C., ‘“A tomb your Must to his Fame supply”: Elegising Donne in Manuscript and Print’, John Donne Journal, 35 (2019)
Green, C., Book Review: ‘Colin Burrow, Imitating Authors: Plato to Futurity’, Spenser Review (forthcoming in Autumn 2020 edition)
Green, C., Book Review: ‘Lara Crowley, Manuscript Matters: Reading John Donne’s Poetry and Prose in Early Modern England’, Spenser Review (Spring 2020 edition)
Green, C., The National Archives Blog: ‘Walter Raleigh’s execution and its afterlife through archives’, (2018)
Green, C., Book Review: ‘Erin Sullivan, Beyond Melancholy: Sadness and Selfhood in Renaissance England’, The Birmingham Journal of Literature and Language, 7 (2017)


Academic and Public Engagement Events Organised/Co-organised:

Textual Intimacy
CLEMT Summer Symposium, University of Birmingham (11 May, 2018)
Teaching the Archive
Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham (12 October, 2017)
‘Rave on words on printed page’: John Donne and the Invention of the English Poet
Workshop on English and Higher Education delivered to sixth form English students, Abingdon School (26 September, 2017)
Bodies, Afterlives, and the Transmission of Knowledge in Church and Academy after 1660
Free public symposium exploring the educational legacies of the Church of England and academia since the English Restoration, Chichester Cathedral (6 July, 2017)
Powerful Objects
EMREM Annual Symposium, University of Birmingham (18–19 May, 2017)
Chaos and Catastrophe; Restoration and Renewal
EMREM Annual Symposium, University of Birmingham (5–6 May, 2016)

Academic Positions (non-teaching): 

Feb 2019–May 2019: Fellow, Huntington Library

Sep 2018–Nov 2018: Intern, The National Archives (AHRC Placement)

October 2017–July 2018: Research Centre Assistant (CLEMT), University of Birmingham

Teaching Experience:

Feb 2018: Visiting Lecturer, King’s College London

Oct 2016–Dec 2016: Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, University of Birmingham

Jan 2016–July 2018: Tutor/Workshop Leader, The Academic Writing Advisory Service, University of Birmingham

Other Research Interests:

  • The commemoration and reception of early modern writers in later periods (particularly the nineteenth century)
  • The history of English as an academic subject
  • Representations of the deathbed in early modern drama, poetry and ars moriendi literature
  • Book history




Twitter: @charlesgreen60


  • No labels