Sonia Massai

Sonia Massai

Professor, PhD, OMRI Order of Merit Officer of the Italian Republic, FEA Honorary Fellow of the English Association

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Personal profile

Research interests (short)

  • Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama
  • Editing and Book History, with a focus on the transmission of Shakespeare and other major dramatists from manuscript into print in the early modern periodand on the editorial tradition through which Shakespeare and his contemporaries have been re-presented to subsequent generations of readers.
  • Performance and Theatre History, with a focus on the reception of Shakespeare on the English stage and on appropriations of Shakespeare across different media, languages and cultures.

Research interests

My main areas of research interests are Shakespeare and its Afterlife, in Text and Performance.

Shakespeare and Text As an editor and a textual scholar, I focus primarily on English printed drama to the Restoration (including Shakespeare). I have prepared editions of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, including John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore for the Arden Early Modern Drama series (2011), and an edition of The Paratexts in English Printed Drama to 1642, with Thomas L. Berger (Cambridge University Press, 2014). My book on Shakespeare and the Rise of the Editor (Cambridge University Press, 2007) provides the first sustained history of the evolution of Shakespeare's texts in print prior to the rise of the official editorial tradition, marked by the publication of Nicholas Rowe's edition of Shakespeare's Complete Works in 1709. My most recent contributions to the field include a large collection of essays on Shakespeare and Textual Studies, which I co-edited with Margaret Jane Kidnie for Cambridge University Press (2015) and essays in refereed journals and collections (e.g. 'Editing Shakespeare in Parts', in Shakespeare Quarterly 68 [2018]). I welcome applications from prospective students who wish to prepare critical editions of early modern literary works or to explore the interrelation between theatrical and print cultures in early modern London.

Shakespeare and Performance I am interested in the history of Shakespeare in performance, in Shakespeare in contemporary performance and in adaptations of Shakespeare's works for different media and in different languages. My publications in these fields include two collections of essays, Ivo van Hove: from Shakespeare to David Bowie (Bloomsbury Methuen, 2018), which I co-edited with Susan Bennett, and World-Wide Shakespeares: Local Appropriations in Film and Performance (Routledge, 2005), and essays in refereed journals and collections (e.g. 'Shakespeare With and Without Its Language', in James Bulman (ed), The Oxford Handbook to Shakespeare and Performance (2017). I am currently completing a new book on Shakespeare's Accents: Voicing Identity in Performance (forthcoming in 2020). I would be happy to consider applications from students who wish to carry out postgraduate work at M.Phil or PhD level on any aspect of the afterlife of Shakespeare in different periods (from the Restoration to the present), in different media (theatre, cinema, prose fiction, etc.), and in different languages (provided that the prospective applicant is fluent in at least another relevant language besides English).


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