Dr Alison Searle

BA Hons (Sydney), PhD (Sydney)
ARC DECRA Fellow

A20 - John Woolley Building
The University of Sydney


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Biographical details

From 2008 to 2012 I was a Research Associate on the AHRC-funded Complete Works of James Shirley (forthcoming with Oxford University Press) at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. In 2006 I was a Leverhulme Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Dissenting Studies at Queen Mary, University of London; I am now a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre. I am currently preparing an edition of The Sisters (1642) by James Shirley for Oxford University Press. I am also co-general editor (with Johanna Harris) of a nine-volume edition of the correspondence of Richard Baxter (contracted with Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2018-2022).

Research interests

  • Religious nonconformity and dissent
  • Renaissance drama
  • Seventeenth-Century Epistolary Culture
  • Trans-Atlantic Puritan literary traditions
  • Theories of the imagination
  • Literature and Theology

Current projects

'Religious Nonconformity and Performance in Britain (c. 1620-1680),' ARC DECRA June 2012 - March 2016.

This project analyses the ways in which religious nonconformity was practised in seventeenth-century Britain and its relationship to dramatic performance. These two core areas of cultural activity are often perceived to be in diametric opposition. I am developing a theoretical approach that analyses the inter-relationships between dramatic performance and religious nonconformity focusing on spectatorship, or a politics of audience, space, dissimulation, conversion, and belief.

Selected grants

2012

  • Religious Nonconformity and Performance in Britain (c. 1620 -1680); Searle A; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA).

2010

  • Bibliographical, Textual and Manuscript Research on the Writings of James Shirley; Searle A; Houghton Library, Harvard University/Katharine F. Pantzer Jr. Fellowship in Descriptive Bibliography.

2009

  • Bibliographical Investigation and Textual Collation of James Shirley’s 'The Sisters'; Searle A; British Academy/Sir Ernest Cassel Educational Trust Fund.
  • The Complete Works of James Shirley; Giddens E, Searle A; The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation/Research Grant.

Selected publications

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Books

  • Searle, A. (2008). 'The Eyes of Your Heart’: Literary and Theological Trajectories of Imagining Biblically. Milton Keynes: The Paternoster Press.

Book Chapters

  • Searle, A. (2014). Conversion, Incarnation, Performance: Theology and the Future of Imagination. [In Press]. In Trevor Cairney and David Starling (Eds.), Theology and the Future. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Searle, A. (2013). Ben Jonson and Religion. A Handbook of Jonson Studies. Oxford University Press.
  • Searle, A. (2013). Writing Authority in the Interregnum: The Pastoral Letters of Richard Baxter. In Anne Dunan-Page, Clotilde Prunier (Eds.), Debating the Faith: Religion and Letter Writing in Great Britain, 1550-1800, (pp. 49-67). Springer.
  • Searle, A. (2012). Conversion in James Shirley's St Patrick for Ireland. In Lieke Stelling, Harald Hendrix, Todd Richardson (Eds.), The Turn of the Soul: Representations of Religious Conversion in Early Modern Art and Literature. Leiden: Brill.
  • Searle, A. (2007). Narrative, Metaphor and Myth in C. S. Lewis’s testimonial novel Till We Have Faces. In F. C. Fagundes and I. M. F. Blayer (Eds.), Oral and Written Narratives and Cultural Identities: Interdisciplinary Approaches. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.
  • Searle, A. (2007). Tolkien and Time: The Fantastic Art of Consolation, Endurance, Escape. In Jan Lloyd Jones, Paul Campbell and Peter Wylie (Eds.), Art and Time, (pp. 158-171). Melbourne Australia: Australian Scholarly Publishing.

Journals

  • Searle, A. (2008). Letters: emergence, interaction, transcendence. Appositions: Studies in Renaissance / Early Modern Literature and Culture, 1(Published on website, accessed 25/03/09), http://appositions.blogspot.com/-http://appositions.blogspot.com/.
  • Searle, A. (2008). Though I am a Stranger to You by Face, yet in Neere Bonds by Faith: A Transatlantic Puritan Republic of Letters. Early American Literature, 43(2), 277-308.
  • Searle, A. (2007). Fantastical fact, home, or other? The imagined 'medieval' in C. S. Lewis. Mythlore: a journal of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and mythopoeic literature, 25(3-4), 5-15.
  • Searle, A. (2007). The Certainty of the Worlds of Spirits: Richard Baxter's Prophetic Voice. The Glass (Northwood): towards a Christian understanding of literature, 19(Spring 2007), 62-71.
  • Searle, A. (2007). The Role of Missions in Things Fall Apart and Nervous Conditions. Literature and Theology: an international journal of religion, theory and culture, 21(1), 49-65.
  • Searle, A. (2006). An Idolatrous Imagination? Biblical Theology and Romanticism in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Christianity and Literature, 56(1).
  • Searle, A. (2006). My Souls Anatomiste: Richard Baxter, Katherine Gell and Letters of the Heart. Early Modern Literary Studies: A Journal of Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century English Literature, 12(2).
  • Searle, A. (2006). The Moral Imagination: Biblical Imperatives, Narrative and Hermeneutics in Pride and Prejudice. Renascence: essays on values in literature, 59(1), 17-32.
  • Searle, A. (2005). The Biblical and Imaginative 'Interiority' of Samuel Rutherford. The Dalhousie Review: a Canadian journal of literature and opinion, 85(2), 307-320.
  • Searle, A. (2005). Theology, Genre and Romance in Richard Baxter and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Religion and Literature, 37(1), 69-91.
  • Searle, A. (2004). Biblical Aesthetics And The Pilgrim's Progress. Aesthetics (was Literature & Aesthetics), 14(2), 51-64.
  • Searle, A. (2003). Which Model? Whose Measure?: Sexuality, Morality and Power in Measure for Measure and Basilicon Doron. Philament, 1(1).

2014

  • Searle, A. (2014). Conversion, Incarnation, Performance: Theology and the Future of Imagination. [In Press]. In Trevor Cairney and David Starling (Eds.), Theology and the Future. London: Bloomsbury.

2013

  • Searle, A. (2013). Ben Jonson and Religion. A Handbook of Jonson Studies. Oxford University Press.
  • Searle, A. (2013). Writing Authority in the Interregnum: The Pastoral Letters of Richard Baxter. In Anne Dunan-Page, Clotilde Prunier (Eds.), Debating the Faith: Religion and Letter Writing in Great Britain, 1550-1800, (pp. 49-67). Springer.

2012

  • Searle, A. (2012). Conversion in James Shirley's St Patrick for Ireland. In Lieke Stelling, Harald Hendrix, Todd Richardson (Eds.), The Turn of the Soul: Representations of Religious Conversion in Early Modern Art and Literature. Leiden: Brill.

2008

  • Searle, A. (2008). 'The Eyes of Your Heart’: Literary and Theological Trajectories of Imagining Biblically. Milton Keynes: The Paternoster Press.
  • Searle, A. (2008). Letters: emergence, interaction, transcendence. Appositions: Studies in Renaissance / Early Modern Literature and Culture, 1(Published on website, accessed 25/03/09), http://appositions.blogspot.com/-http://appositions.blogspot.com/.
  • Searle, A. (2008). Though I am a Stranger to You by Face, yet in Neere Bonds by Faith: A Transatlantic Puritan Republic of Letters. Early American Literature, 43(2), 277-308.

2007

  • Searle, A. (2007). Fantastical fact, home, or other? The imagined 'medieval' in C. S. Lewis. Mythlore: a journal of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and mythopoeic literature, 25(3-4), 5-15.
  • Searle, A. (2007). Narrative, Metaphor and Myth in C. S. Lewis’s testimonial novel Till We Have Faces. In F. C. Fagundes and I. M. F. Blayer (Eds.), Oral and Written Narratives and Cultural Identities: Interdisciplinary Approaches. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.
  • Searle, A. (2007). The Certainty of the Worlds of Spirits: Richard Baxter's Prophetic Voice. The Glass (Northwood): towards a Christian understanding of literature, 19(Spring 2007), 62-71.
  • Searle, A. (2007). The Role of Missions in Things Fall Apart and Nervous Conditions. Literature and Theology: an international journal of religion, theory and culture, 21(1), 49-65.
  • Searle, A. (2007). Tolkien and Time: The Fantastic Art of Consolation, Endurance, Escape. In Jan Lloyd Jones, Paul Campbell and Peter Wylie (Eds.), Art and Time, (pp. 158-171). Melbourne Australia: Australian Scholarly Publishing.

2006

  • Searle, A. (2006). An Idolatrous Imagination? Biblical Theology and Romanticism in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Christianity and Literature, 56(1).
  • Searle, A. (2006). My Souls Anatomiste: Richard Baxter, Katherine Gell and Letters of the Heart. Early Modern Literary Studies: A Journal of Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century English Literature, 12(2).
  • Searle, A. (2006). The Moral Imagination: Biblical Imperatives, Narrative and Hermeneutics in Pride and Prejudice. Renascence: essays on values in literature, 59(1), 17-32.

2005

  • Searle, A. (2005). The Biblical and Imaginative 'Interiority' of Samuel Rutherford. The Dalhousie Review: a Canadian journal of literature and opinion, 85(2), 307-320.
  • Searle, A. (2005). Theology, Genre and Romance in Richard Baxter and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Religion and Literature, 37(1), 69-91.

2004

  • Searle, A. (2004). Biblical Aesthetics And The Pilgrim's Progress. Aesthetics (was Literature & Aesthetics), 14(2), 51-64.

2003

  • Searle, A. (2003). Which Model? Whose Measure?: Sexuality, Morality and Power in Measure for Measure and Basilicon Doron. Philament, 1(1).

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