Dr Sarah Knight

Sarah KnightB.A. (Oxford), M.A. (Warburg Institute), Ph.D. (Yale)

Senior Lecturer in Renaissance Literature

Contact Details:

Research Interests

Sarah Knight's academic background is in Classics and English. Her main research and teaching 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). Other current research focuses on Renaissance students and representations of adolescence, poetic and rhetorical pedagogies, and academic drama and disputation in England, France and Italy. Questions of why and how classical texts and ideas informed, animated and complicated Renaissance literature are central to her research.

Dr 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 working on an edition and translation from Latin (John Milton's Prolusions), two editions of English drama (Fulke Greville's plays and the student play The New Moone, performed at the Venerable English College, Rome), and The Oxford Handbook of Neo-Latin (with Stefan Tilg).


With Dr Hugh Adlington (Birmingham), Dr Knight co-convenes the British Milton Seminar. She is a former President of the Society for Neo-Latin Studies (2009-2014), co-organised the conference 'Theatrum Mundi: Latin Drama in Renaissance Europe' (12-14 September 2013, Magdalen College, Oxford), and continues to oversee the online publication of a teaching anthology of neo-Latin texts. As a collaboration between the Classics Faculty at the University of Oxford and the School of English, she has co-organised 'Classical Drama Day', a series of events for teachers and students, to be held in Oxford (February 18 2015). She is a member of the International Association of Neo-Latin Studies, a founder member and Steering Committee member of the East Midlands Early Modern Colloquium, and co-founded the 'Studies in Youth' network with Dr Sarah Graham (Leicester). She sits on the Board of Advisors for the journal Renaissance Studies and the OCR English Consultative Forum, and is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College.

Dr Knight has been awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship for 2014 to work on the Fulke Greville edition. She is a previous recipient of AHRC Research Leave funding (2008-2009), and has successfully applied for grants from the Catholic Record Society (2014); British Academy/Association of Commonwealth Universities (2011); the Society for Renaissance Studies (2007, 2012); the Association for Manuscripts and Archives in Research Collections (2013); the MHRA (2013); and the Arts Council/East Midlands Regional Development Agency (2010-11). She has also won internal 'New Teaching Initiatives' funding (2009-10) and Research Incentive funding (2011-12) from the University of Leicester.

Dr Knight and Dr Mary Ann Lund are the two School of English press contacts for the University's 'Search for Richard' project. This work has resulted in a jointly authored article, 'Richard Crookback', for the Times Literary Supplement, and in several conference presentations, public talks, and schools visits. For several years Dr Knight and Dr Lund have organised a rhetoric and performance workshop on Shakespeare's Richard III, held at Bosworth Heritage Site and aimed at first-year Renaissance Drama students, in collaboration with two local theatre companies (1623 and Lostboys Productions).

Current Postgraduate Supervision

Dr Knight welcomes applications and enquiries 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

Dr Knight has supervised several MA and PhD dissertations on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature.

Teaching and Administration

MA: Dr. Knight teaches on the MA in the Country House (seventeenth-century poetry) and on the MA in English Studies (editing early modern drama).

Administration: Dr Knight's 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 on the College Academic Committee (2009-2012), Director of Teaching (2012-14), and member of the School Management Group (2012-14).

Selected Publications

'University', in The Oxford Handbook of Neo-Latin, ed. by Sarah Knight and Stefan Tilg (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 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, ed. by Edward Jones (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming).

'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: Jayne Elisabeth Archer, Elizabeth Clarke, Elizabeth Goldring; Associate General Editors: Faith Eales, Gabriel Heaton, Sarah Knight (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). 5 volumes. ISBN 9780199205066.

(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, edited by Jayne Elisabeth Archer, Elizabeth Golding and Sarah Knight (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011; paperback edition 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 edition 2014) (Long-listed for the William MB Berger Prize for British Art History). ISBN 9780199291571.

Leon Battista Alberti, Momus, trans. and co-ed. (I Tatti Renaissance Library No. 8) (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003). ISBN 0674007549.

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