Dr Alison Searle
(BA Honours 1) Sydney, PhD Sydney
ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award
My research interests include Renaissance drama, seventeenth-century cultures of religious nonconformity and dissent, trans-Atlantic Puritan literary traditions, theories of the imagination, the relationship between literature and theology, and the epistolary genre. I am a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Dissenting Studies and the Centre for Baptist History and Heritage. From 2008 to 2012 I worked as a Research Associate on the AHRC-funded Complete Works of James Shirley (forthcoming with Oxford University Press, 2013-2015) at Anglia Ruskin University. In 2006 I was a Leverhulme Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Dissenting Studies. I am currently preparing an edition of The Sisters (1642) by James Shirley for Oxford University Press. I am also working, with Dr Johanna Harris (Exeter), on a complete edition of Richard Baxter’s correspondence.
My current project, ‘Religious Nonconformity and Performance in Britain (c. 1620-1680)’, 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.
Seventeenth-Century Epistolary Culture
Literature and Theology
Religious Nonconformity and Performance in Britain (c. 1620-1680) (ARC DECRA 2012-2018)
‘The Eyes of Your Heart’: Literary and Theological Trajectories of Imagining Biblically (Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2008).
‘Writing Authority in the Interregnum: The Pastoral Letters of Richard Baxter,’ eds., Anne Dunan-Page and Clotilde Prunier, Debating the Faith: Religion and Letter-Writing in Great Britain, 1550-1800 (Springer: International Archives of the History of Ideas, forthcoming).
‘Women, Marriage and Agency in Restoration Dissent' eds., Sarah Apetrei and Hannah Smith, Religion and Women in Britain, c. 1660-1760 (Aldershot: Ashgate, forthcoming).
‘Bunyan and the Word’, ed., Michael Davies, A Handbook of Bunyan Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
‘Ben Jonson and Religion,’ ed. Eugene Giddens, A Handbook of Jonson Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
‘Conversion in James Shirley’s St Patrick for Ireland’ in The Turn of the Soul: Representations of Religious Conversion in Early Modern Art and Literature (Intersections: Yearbook for Early Modern Studies, Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands, 2012).
‘Narrative, Metaphor and Myth in C. S. Lewis’s testimonial novel Till We Have Faces’ in Oral and Written Narratives and Cultural Identities: Interdisciplinary Approaches, eds., F. C. Fagundes and I. M. F. Blayer (New York: Peter Lang, 2007).
‘Tolkien and Time: The Fantastic Art of Consolation, Endurance, Escape’, in Art and Time eds., Jan Lloyd et al., (Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2007).
‘Letters: Emergence, Interaction, Transcendence,’ Appositions: Studies in Renaissance/Early Modern Literature & Culture 1 (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 (2008).
‘The Role of Missions in Things Fall Apart and Nervous Conditions’, Literature and Theology 21.1 (2007).
‘Fantastical Fact, Home or Other? The Imagined ‘Medieval’ in C. S. Lewis’ in Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Mythopoeic Literature, 25.3-4 (2007).
‘The Certainty of the Worlds of Spirits: Richard Baxter’s Prophetic Voice,’ The Glass, No. 19 (2007).
‘My Souls Anatomiste’: Richard Baxter, Katherine Gell and Letters of the Heart’ in Early Modern Literary Studies, 12.2 (2006).
‘The Moral Imagination: Biblical Imperatives, Narrative and Hermeneutics in Pride and Prejudice’ in Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature 59.1 (2006).
‘‘An Idolatrous Imagination? Biblical Theology and Romanticism in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre’ in Christianity and Literature 56.1 (2006).
‘The Biblical and Imaginative ‘Interiority’ of Samuel Rutherford,’ Dalhousie Review 85.2 (2005).
‘Theology, Genre and Romance in Richard Baxter and Harriet Beecher Stowe,’ Religion and Literature 37.1 (2005).
‘Biblical Aesthetics and the Pilgrim’s Progress,’ Journal of Literature and Aesthetics 14.2 (2004).
‘Which Model? Whose Measure?: Sexuality, Morality and Power in Measure for Measure and Basilicon Doron,’ Philament 1.1 (2003).