Englisches Seminar

Dr. Laurie Atkinson

Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Research project: ‘Co-creative networks in early English literary print’ (start date 12/2022)

What do literature and literary authorship look like in the first decades of English print? There are myriad agents involved in the production and consumption of English literary texts before the incorporation of the Stationer’s Company in 1557: the patrons, printers, booksellers, et al. who mediated between, and collaborated with, the author and the reader. My research examines the little understood literary publications of early sixteenth-century England as evidence for the diverse, interactive, but too often ignored literary agents that made them – what I call the co-creative networks of early English print. Taking co-creativity, rather than individual authorship, as a paradigm for textual production in this period, my research offers a new perspective on the evolution of early modern English literature: the literary genres, editorial practices, and promotional strategies familiar from later publications. It establishes an approach to an often overlooked literary period by refocusing attention on the multiple agents evidenced by the layout, illustration, and compilation of its editions, and the ways in which they led readers to buy, bind, and engage with new kinds of books.

Research Focuses

  • Early modern English literature, English literary publications 1476-1557
  • History of the Book (manuscript and print) and the evolution of paratexts
  • Late medieval English and Scottish literature
  • Conceptions of authorship
  • Autobiographical writing


2022 – Teach@Tübingen Fellow, Lehrstuhl Prof. Dr. Matthias Bauer, Englisches Seminar, University of Tübingen

2021-22 – MHRA Postdoctoral Research Associate, School of English and Drama, Queen Mary University of London, working on the Cambridge University Press edition of the complete works of Geoffrey Chaucer

2017-21 – AHRC Northern Bridge PhD, Department of English Studies, Durham University. Thesis title: ‘Dreaming of authors, authoring dreams: Literary authorship in the framed first-person allegories of John Skelton, William Dunbar, Stephen Hawes, and Gavin Douglas’

2016-17 – MPhil Medieval and Renaissance Literature, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge

2013-16 – BA (Hons) English Literature, Department of English Studies Durham University

Publications and Talks

Selected Publications

‘A “troubly dreme drempt al in wakynge”: Hoccleve’s Nearly-Dream Poem, The Regiment of Princes, 1-2016’, in Thomas Hoccleve: New Approaches, ed. Jenni Nuttall and David Watt (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2022), 85-102

‘Wynkyn de Worde, Stephen Hawes, and the Improvisation of Genre in Early Sixteenth-Century English Poetry’, Renaissance Studies, 36 (2022), 252-77

Middle English Manuscripts and their Legacies: A Volume in Honour of Ian Doyle, ed. Richard Lawrie and Corinne Saunders with Laurie Atkinson (Leiden: Brill, 2022)

‘“This hinder nycht, halff sleiping as I lay…”: The Autobiographical Impulse in the Dream Poetry of William Dunbar’, Postgraduate English: A Journal and Forum for Postgraduates in English, 41 (2021), 1-11

‘“And to that ende, here is remembrance”: Registers of Petition in Thomas Hoccleve’s Devotional and Begging Poetry’, Medium Ævum, 88 (2019), 301-28

‘“Vnder Coloure I Dyuers Bokes Dyde Make”: “Obscure Allegory” in the Dream-Poems of Stephen Hawes’, Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature, 37 (2019), 105-30

‘“Why þat yee meeued been / can I nat knowe”: Autobiography, Convention, and Discerning Doublenesse in Thomas Hoccleve's The Series’, Neophilologus, 101 (2017), 1-16

Recent Talks


‘Making an Impression: Printers Talking to Authors in Early English Print’, Early Modern Book Production: Co-Creative Specialists Workshop, University of Tübingen, 8 Jul. 2022

‘‘Qu(o)d the compilar Gawin D’: Gavin Douglas's Implied Authorship’, New Chaucer Society Congress, Durham University, 11-14 Jul. 2022

‘“Boke of loue innumerable prynted be”: Making Romance Matter in William Nevill’s Castell of Pleasure (1518)’, Medieval Insular Romance Conference, Durham University, 5-7 Apr. 2022


‘Passing the Buke in Late Medieval Dream Poetry: The Case of Gavin Douglas’s Palice of Honour’, English Perceptions of the Material Text, 1300-1600, 9-11 Dec. 2021. Virtual via Zoom

 ‘Love Poetry in a Cold Climate: Seasonal Descriptions in the Poetry of William Dunbar and Gavin Douglas’, International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 5-8 Jul. 2021. Virtual via Zoom

‘Authorial Self-Construction in the Late Medieval Dream Poem: The Cases of John Skelton and Gavin Douglas’, Story-Worlds and Worldbuilding in Medieval Literature International Workshop, University of Tübingen, 19-20 Mar. 2021. Virtual via Zoom


WiSe 2022-23 (University of Tübingen)
“Introduction to Literary Studies” (Seminar)

SoSe 2022 (University of Tübingen)
“From More’s Utopia to Renaissance Sonnets: Early Tudor Literature” (Seminar)

2020-21 (Durham University)
“Classical and Biblical Backgrounds to English Literature” (tutor)

2018-19, 2019-20, 2021-22 (Durham University)
“Romance and the Literature of Chivalry” (tutor)