Staff Profile


Dr Claire Bartram

Senior Lecturer

School: School of Humanities

Campus: Canterbury

Tel: 01227 923358

Profile summary

Claire Bartram completed her doctoral thesis on Gentry Writers in Elizabethan Kent at the University of Kent and taught as an associate lecturer at Kent and for the Open University before joining CCCU in 2005 on a fractional contract. She teaches undergraduate courses on Renaissance literature including Radicalisation and Retreat: Political Landscapes in Seventeenth Century Literature in Year 2 and Topics in Renaissance Literature and Culture, a more specialised Year 3 module which draws on her research interests in Book History.

She set up and ran the English Literature Research Seminar for six years and established the Masters by Research in English Literature. A member of the School of Humanities Equality and Diversity Committee she was involved in the working group that compiled the CCCU application for the Athena Swan Institutional Bronze Award and more recently worked on the School of Humanities Bronze application.  She is currently Year Lead for Level 4 English Literature.

Research and knowledge exchange

Her research endeavours to be interdisciplinary and early publications situated the print and manuscript writings of the gentry author within a broader ethos of gentility frequently drawing on aspects of material culture and the visual arts. Her recent and forthcoming publications focus more broadly on book culture in the provinces.

Her recent collection of essays with Peter Lang Publishers, Kentish Book Culture: Writers, Archives, Libraries and Sociability 1400-1660, foregrounds the activities of provincial readers and writers, juxtaposing the book culture and writing practices of different social groups including monastic writing practices at Canterbury Cathedral Priory, urban administration in the Cinque Port towns, and the reading and writing habits of members of the gentry and clergy, of a mariner and of members of the Dutch stranger community at Sandwich. It glimpses the book collections of farmers and merchants and an apothecary, and the establishment of an illegal press in Reformation Canterbury. In its consideration of literate activities the collection examines a broad range of texts -both quasi-literary and pragmatic. The approach is inspired by D. F. McKenzie’s emphasis on the need to consider ‘the human motives and interactions which texts involve at every stage of their production, transmission and consumption’ and by the work of Margaret Ezell who highlighted the need to recover ‘perished authors’ and to explicitly consider ‘the lived material conditions of reading and writing in the provinces’.

She has supervised doctoral work on Youth Culture in Early Jacobean Drama and is currently supervising Masters by Research students working on marginalia and early modern letter-writing.  She is interested in supervising new doctoral projects on early modern book history and provincial culture in particular.

External activities

Recent Papers include:

2019 Invited Speaker for Lunchtime Talks Series at Maidstone History and Library Centre, Maidstone: 'Bookishness: Writing, Sharing and Collecting Books in Early Modern Kent' 

2019 Invited Speaker for From Paris to Canterbury: The Lyghfield Bible in Context, MEMS,University of Kent: "Continuities in Kentish Book Culture?: People, Places and Literate Activity in Medieval Kent."

2019 Christchurch Heritage A-Z: Celebrating 30 Years of the Canterbury UNESCO World Heritage Site: Entries for 'Tradescant' and 'Wotton' 

2018 Medieval and Early Modern Studies Summer Festival, University of Kent: "Letter and Chronicle-Writing:Textual Production and Patronage in Elizabethan Kent" and convenor of a session on Early Modern Letter-Writing Practices.

2016 Medieval and Early Modern Studies Summer Festival, University of Kent:‘‘Gentle Reader’: Patronage and Authorial Pretension in Elizabethan Administration’ and convenor of a session on Book Ownership in the Provinces.

Invited Speaker for Reading Kent’s Past Series at Kent History and Library Centre, Maidstone: ‘Old Books Horded up in Corners’: William Lambarde Writing and Reading in Late Tudor Kent’.

2015    Invited Speaker: CRKHA New Directions in Kent History Conference CCCU: ‘Plough and Pen: Reviewing the place of agricultural texts and authors in early modern society’
John Fletcher: A Critical Reappraisal, CCCU: ‘“Yea, I have a goodly heritage” (Psalms 16.6): Literary Creativity, Family and Place in John Fletcher’s Formative Years.’

2014    Society for Renaissance Studies Biennial Conference, University of Southampton ‘‘Feats, illusions and Transes’: The Staging of Demonic Possession in Elizabethan society’ and convenor of a session with colleagues from Kent University on Performance, Story-telling, and Place.

English Literature Research Seminar, CCCU ‘‘The Great Coverlet of Arras, of The Story of Parris and Helene’: Using Decorative Objects to Reconstruct Women’s Reading Practices In The Late Sixteenth Century?’

2013    Invited Speaker CRKHA New Developments in Kentish Urban Studies, CCCU:'Exploring Provincial Book Culture and Notions of Authorial Identity in Late Elizabethan Dover.'

Publications and research outputs

"Chronicling Dover: Authorship, Archives and Audiences c.1580-1604" and "An Introduction to Kentish Book Culture 1400-1660" in C. Bartram (ed.), Kentish Book Culture:Writers, Archives, Libraries and Sociability 1400-1660 (Peter Lang, 2020)

Bartram, C. & Dixon, M., ''With the consent of the towne, and other skillfull marryners and gentlemen': An Examination of Textual Negotiations in the Elizabethan Restoration of Dover Harbour 1582-1605.' in S. Sweetinburgh (ed.), Negotiating the Political in Northern European Urban Society, c.1400-1600. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, vol. 365 (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2013)

‘Honoured of posteryte by record of wrytinge’: Memory, Reputation and the Role of the Book within Commemorative Practices in Late Elizabethan Kent’ in M. Penman ed., Monuments and Monumentality in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Shaun Tyas, 2013)


Connect with us

Last edited: 13/12/2018 21:16:00