Clare McManus

Clare McManus

Professor, Director of the Centre for LIterature & Inclusion

Accepting PhD Students


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Personal profile


MA (Hons), University of Edinburgh.
MA, University of Warwick.
Ph.D., University of Warwick

Research interests

I work on English and European Renaissance drama, with an interest in gender and the diversity of the Shakespearean period. One strand of my research challenges the exclusion of women and diverse performers from the histories of early modern theatre. My books include Early Modern Women’s Performance and the Dramatic Canon (in progress) and Women on the Renaissance Stage: Anna of Denmark and Female Masquing in the Stuart Court, 1590-1619 (Manchester University Press, 2002); and I have written articles on the topic for Shakespeare BulletinLiterature Compass and Modern Philology. 

Textual editing allows me to bring my interest in performance, textual history and gender together. I'm especially interested in creating editions which both expand the canon and are fit for purpose for 21st-century classroom or seminar. Editions include James Shirley’s Bird in a Cage for The Routledge Anthology of Early Modern Drama (2020); John Marston’s The Fawn, with José Perez Diez, for The Complete Works of John Marston (OUP, forthcoming); William Shakespeare’s Othello for The Norton Shakespeare 3rd Edition (2015) and my first editing project, John Fletcher’s Island Princess (Arden Early Modern Drama, 2013). 

I have recently held a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2017-18) and fellowships at the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Huntington Library, San Marino, California. 


Engendering the Stage: The Records of Early Modern Performance (Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant)

With Prof. Lucy Munro (King's College London), I have been awarded a Leverhulme Research Project Grant for three years from January 2020 to reassess the archival evidence for early moden theatre and performance, to interrogate the concept of the 'all-male stage'. This project is part of the larger research collaboration, Engendering the Stage in the Age of Shakespeare and Beyond with colleagues from McMaster University, Canada (see below). 

The UK Engendering the Stage team consists of myself and Lucy Munro, Dr. Erin Julian (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow) and Mel Harrison and Oliver Lewis (PhD students).

Research projects

I am a member of two international projects. 

Engendering the Stage

With Prof. Peter Cockett (McMaster University, Canada), Prof. Melinda Gough (McMaster University, Canada) and Prof. Lucy Munro (King’s College London), I am part of Engendering the Stage ( Using performance-based, archival and theoretical models of research, we seek to reconfigure the history of gender and early modern performance, uncovering the diversity of early modern performance cultures and relating this directly to the politics of access and representation in today’s Shakespeare theatre industry. To date, we have collaborated with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Ontario, details of which are on our website, and with Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre for a Research in Action event. 

Theater Without Borders International Working Group

I am also a longstanding member of the Theater Without Borders International Working Group, based in NYU and led by Prof. Susanne Wofford ( Our research investigates the transnational networks of exchange, transmission and dissemination of early modern theatre, actively working to bring scholars who work on English, French, German, Italian and Spanish theatre into dialogue across national and disciplinary boundaries. 



I am always happy to hear from prospective doctoral students. Roehampton is part of the TECHNE AHRC consortium and studentships are advertised towards the mid/end of the autumn semester each year ( Please feel free to get in touch if you wish to discuss a proposal ahead of time. 

Current supervisions include projects on trans and disabled bodies in 21st-century Shakespeare performance; materiality and the evidence of early modern performance; porous masculinity; disabled femininities in early modern performance; the textile cultures of early modern queenship; sugar and early modern femininity; and a creative-critical project working with records of women's early modern performance with Shakespeare's Globe.

Successful past supervisions include Ph.Ds on Brutan histories in early modern drama, Shakespeare on film, the children's playing companies of early modern London, early modern women's writing in Ireland, the dance history of the Stuart masque. I have supervised an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award with the Royal Museums Greenwich, on the courts of the Stuart consorts at the Queen's House, Greenwich. 

As this suggests, English and Creative Writing at Roehampton hosts a broad range of Ph.D. topics. I’d be particularly interested in hearing from prospective students looking to work on early modern theatre, with interests in gender, text and / or performance broadly defined. 

Professional affiliations

AHRC Peer Review College (2010-2022)

Shakespeare Association of America

Engendering the Stage

Theater Without Borders International Working Group


Before coming to Roehampton, I taught at the University of Warwick, the University of Birmingham, the University of Wales Bangor and Queen's University Belfast. I was also visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas at El Paso.

At Roehampton, I introduce students to the diverse range of Shakespearean writing and representation. The Literary Renaissance showcases women's writing and the representation of race, gender, faith and trans and gender nonconforming identities. Early Modern Gender looks more deeply into the representation of diverse genders on the Shakespearean stage in writing and performance by early modern women and men. I also design and teach a performance-based module for international students called Shakespeare in London; and a survey module on Literature, Gender and Sexuality. See for more details. 

External positions

Peer Review College, AHRC

2010 → …

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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