Professor Sarah Knight
B.A. (Oxford), M.A. (Warburg Institute), Ph.D. (Yale)
Professor of Renaissance Literature
T: +44 (0)116 252 2631
Sarah Knight's academic background is in Classics and English. Her main interests are in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English and Latin literature, particularly works written at or about early modern institutions of learning (schools, universities, Inns of Court). Questions of why and how classical texts and ideas informed, animated and complicated Renaissance literature are central to her research and teaching.
Professor Knight is the editor and translator of several Latin works, including Leon Battista Alberti's prose satire Momus (1440s) for the I Tatti Renaissance Library and the accounts of Elizabeth I's visits to the University of Oxford (1566 and 1592) for the new critical edition of John Nichols's Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth I (Oxford University Press). She is currently working on an edition and translation of John Milton's Prolusions, and two editions of English drama: Fulke Greville's plays Alaham and Mustapha; and the student play The New Moone, performed at the Venerable English College, Rome. The Oxford Handbook of Neo-Latin, which she has co-edited with Prof. Dr. Stefan Tilg (Freiburg), has recently been published.
With Dr. Hugh Adlington (Birmingham), she co-convenes the British Milton Seminar, which meets twice yearly. She is a former President of the Society for Neo-Latin Studies, and continues to oversee the online publication of a teaching anthology of neo-Latin texts. She is a member of the International Association of Neo-Latin Studies, a founder member of the East Midlands Early Modern Colloquium, and co-founder of the 'Studies in Youth' network with Dr. Sarah Graham (Leicester). She sits on the Board of Advisors for the journal Renaissance Studies and is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College. Professor Knight was awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship in 2014 to work on the Fulke Greville edition.
With Dr Mary Ann Lund, Professor Knight has worked for several years on the University's 'Search for Richard' project. This collaboration has resulted in a jointly authored article, 'Richard Crookback', for the Times Literary Supplement, and in several conference presentations, public talks, and schools visits. Since 2011, they have organised a rhetoric and performance workshop on Shakespeare's Richard III, held at Bosworth Heritage Site as part of the first-year Renaissance Drama module, in collaboration with two local theatre companies (1623 and Lostboys Productions).
Applications and enquiries are welcomed from prospective postgraduate students interested in Renaissance and early modern literature and culture, especially:
- Drama and poetry
- Comparative literature (English, French, Greek, Italian, Latin)
- Educational institutions: schools, universities, Inns of Court
- Translation and adaptation
- The reception of classical texts and ideas
Teaching and Administration
- EN1010 Reading English
- EN1050 Renaissance Drama: Shakespeare and his Contemporaries
- EN2020 Renaissance Literature
- EN3148 Classical and post-classical Latin
- EN3151 Classical Worlds: Translation and Reception
- EN3194 Tragedy
MA: Professor Knight teaches on the MA in the Country House (sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English poetry) and on the MA in English Studies (editing early modern drama; literary adolescence).
Administration: Her main administrative responsibilities have included: Director of Admissions (2007-8); Director of Syllabus Review (2009-12); Chair of the Learning and Teaching Committee (2009-12); School representative, College Academic Committee (2009-2012); Director of Teaching (2012-14); member of the School Management Group (2012-14); and Convenor of the Student-Staff Consultative Committee (2015-).
'Texts Presented to Elizabeth I on the University Progresses', in A Concise Companion to the Study of Manuscripts, Printed Books, and the Production of Early Modern Texts: A Festschrift for Gordon Campbell, ed. by Edward Jones (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015), pp. 21-40. ISBN 9781118635292.
The Oxford Handbook of Neo-Latin, ed. by Sarah Knight and Stefan Tilg (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015). ISBN 9780199948178.
Read more about Latin as a world language here
'University', in The Oxford Handbook of Neo-Latin, pp. 233-248.
'Exact Latinity and Excellent English: Milton’s Early Poetry', in A New Companion to Milton, ed. by Thomas Corns (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming 2016).
'How the Young Man Should Study Latin Poetry', in Neo-Latin Literature, ed. by Victoria Moul (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).
John Nichols's The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth I: A New Edition of the Early Modern Sources. General Editors: Elizabeth Clarke, Elizabeth Goldring, Faith Eales, Jayne Elisabeth Archer; Associate General Editors: Gabriel Heaton, Sarah Knight (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). 5 volumes. ISBN 9780199205066. Awarded the 2015 MLA Prize for a Scholarly Edition and the 2015 Roland H. Bainton Book Prize for Reference by the Sixteenth Century Society.
(Co-written with Mary Ann Lund), 'Richard Crookback', Times Literary Supplement (February 8, 2013), pp. 14-15.
'"Et spes et ratio studiorum in Caesare tantum": Robert Burton and Patronage', in The Early Modern Cultures of Neo-Latin Drama, ed. by Philip Ford and Andrew Taylor, Supplementa Humanistica Lovaniensia XXXII (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2013), pp. 175-188. ISBN 9789058679260.
'Milton and the Idea of the University', in Young Milton: The Emerging Author, 1620-1642, ed. by Edward Jones (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 135-156. ISBN 9780199698707. Collection awarded the Irene Samuel Memorial Award from the Milton Society for 2013.
'Juvenes Ornatissimi: The Student Writing of George Herbert and John Milton', in Neo-Latin Poetry in the British Isles, ed. by Luke Houghton and Gesine Manuwald (London: Bloomsbury Academic/Bristol Classical Press, 2012), pp. 51-68. ISBN 9781780930145.
'The Niniversity at the Bankside: Robert Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay', in The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Drama, ed. by Thomas Betteridge and Greg Walker (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 355-370. ISBN 9780199566471.
'Milton's Forced Themes', Milton Quarterly 45 (3) (October 2011), pp. 145-160.
'Flat dichotomists and learned men: Ramism in Elizabethan drama and satire', in Ramus, Pedagogy and the Liberal Arts, ed. by Steven J. Reid and Emma Annette Wilson (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011), pp. 47-68. ISBN 9780754667940.
The Intellectual and Cultural World of the Early Modern Inns of Court, ed. by Jayne Elisabeth Archer, Elizabeth Golding and Sarah Knight (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011; paperback 2013). ISBN 9780719082368.
'Royal Milton', Times Literary Supplement (February 5, 2010), p. 15.
The Progresses, Pageants, and Entertainments of Queen Elizabeth I, ed. by Jayne Elisabeth Archer, Elizabeth Goldring, Sarah Knight (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007; paperback 2014). ISBN 9780199291571. Long-listed for the William MB Berger Prize for British Art History.
Leon Battista Alberti, Momus, trans. and co-ed. with Virginia Brown (I Tatti Renaissance Library No. 8) (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003). ISBN 0674007549.