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Dr Claire Bartram

Senior Lecturer

School of Humanities & Educational Studies

Senior Lecturer in Early Modern Studies and Section Lead for the Humanities. Co-director of the Centre for Kent History and Heritage.

Dr Claire Bartram is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern Studies and Section Lead for the Humanities. She is also co-director of the Centre for Kent History and Heritage.

As a fractional member of staff, Claire 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 also involved in the successful Institutional and School Applications for the Athena Swan Bronze Award. In recent years she has undertaken the role of Year Lead for Level 4 English Literature and Subject Lead for English Studies before being seconded to the role of Section Lead in September 2022. As co-director of the Centre for Kent History and Heritage she actively supports and promotes Kent's rich heritage through research, partnerships, knowledge exchange and student placements. In this role and as a recent convenor of the cross-school module, Applied Humanities: Employability in Practice, Claire has promoted the value of active preparation for the graduate workplace and champions the importance of equipping students to recognise and articulate their skills as Humanities graduates. This is linked to her wider advocacy of the social value of the humanities both as a subject of study at university and in wider society.

Claire taught as an associate lecturer at the University of Kent and for the Open University before joining CCCU in 2005 on a fractional contract. Trained in an interdisciplinary environment, she has taught History and Medieval and Early Modern Studies modules but specialises in sixteenth and seventeenth-century literature, particularly poetry. Current undergraduate modules include Women Writers: Finding a Voice, The Rise of the Professional Writer and an interdisciplinary MA module on Early Modern Authorship. Recipient of a Teaching Innovation Award, Claire's teaching focuses on the social functions of writing and considers why people wrote and shared poetry and how readers accessed and engaged with their writings. Her teaching frequently incorporates practical hands-on material culture sessions, fieldtrips, and original research using digitised resources. She also encourages students to consider their future identity as professional writers incorporating visiting Industry Experts from areas such as Heritage, the Civil Service and Bid-Writing.

Claire Bartram completed her doctoral thesis on Gentry Writers in Elizabethan Kent at the University of Kent. Her recent edited collection of essays Kentish Book Culture: Writers, Archives, Libraries and Sociability 1400-1660, (Peter Lang, 2020) encapsulates her interest in Book History, the social and material history of writing, life-writing and marginalised voices. The volume explores the writing practices and book collections of a range of individuals in early modern Kent, including monks, a mariner and an apothecary as well as members of the gentry and clergy and urban administrators. Interdisciplinary in approach, the collection brought together Book History specialists, literary scholars, social historians and librarians to explore literate culture, the nature of authorship and the dynamics of the market for print and manuscript books. Recipient of a grant from the Institute for Historical Research for their centenary year,  she curated an online exhibition ‘Imagining Dover’ in Spring 20222 which included short social history and literary essays, creative writing prompts, a walk and a podcast developed from an interdisciplinary research event at Dover Cliffs. Most recently, she has reached into the field of Critical University Studies in a co-authored book chapter for Palgrave on ‘Educating for the Future in the Humanities: Passion, Utility and Student Perspectives of Employability in Higher Education.


Research Projects

  • Quantifying and Qualifying Inventorised ‘Heirlooms’: A reconstruction of the material legacy of the Hammond Family of St Albans Court Nonington 1551 – 1938 including a searchable dataset.. Researcher(s): Mrs Victoria Stevens. Supervisor(s): Dr Claire Bartram, Professor Carolyn Oulton. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • The barriers to successful admissions for pupils from lower incomes backgrounds to English grammar schools. Researcher(s): Mr Robert Hyland. Supervisor(s): Dr Claire Bartram, Dr Nicola Kemp. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • The Change in Reader Responses to 16th Century Prayer Books Before and After the Reformation. Researcher(s): Miss Nicole Perry. Supervisor(s): Dr Claire Bartram, Dr David Grummitt. [Postgraduate Research Project (past)]
  • The Letter Book of Gabriel Harvey C.1573 – 1580. An Examination of a Cambridge Scholar’s Epistolary Practices with a Focus on Early Modern Social Context and the Material Implications of Hand Written Correspondence.. Researcher(s): Mr Anthony Heathfield. Supervisor(s): Dr Claire Bartram, Dr Astrid Stilma. [Postgraduate Research Project (past)]
  • The suppression of several of Kent’s monastic houses during Cardinal Wolsey’s asset-stripping ‘Little Dissolution’ (1520s). A critical study of three religious houses: Tonbridge, Bayham and Lesnes.. Researcher(s): Mrs Jane Richardson. Supervisor(s): Dr Sheila Sweetinburgh, Dr Claire Bartram. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • The use and development of the Maison Dieu, Dover and its significance to the crown, port and local community 1450-1606.. Researcher(s): Ms Kieron Hoyle. Supervisor(s): Dr Sheila Sweetinburgh, Dr Claire Bartram. [Postgraduate Research Project]
  • Tonbridge: the evolution of a town 1250 to 1700. Researcher(s): Mrs Maureen McLeod. Supervisor(s): Dr Sheila Sweetinburgh, Dr Claire Bartram. [Postgraduate Research Project]

Claire is an active member of a number of committees including for the Canterbury Medieval Pageant, Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library and The Canterbury Branch of the Historical Association.