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Dr Jessica Dyson

Senior Lecturer

Jessica Dyson


I graduated from the  University of Stirling with a BA (Hons) in English Studies, before going on to undertake the  M.Litt in Renaissance Studies at the Scottish Institute for Northern Renaissance Studies based at the University of Strathclyde and then returning to Stirling to complete my PhD. Having completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (University of Portsmouth), I am now a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I joined the English Department at Portsmouth in 2011, having previously taught at the University of Cumbria, Lancaster University and the University of Stirling.

Research Interests

My main research interest is in early modern drama, particularly exploring the relationship between the plays and their legal, political and historical context. Recent and current research projects include:

  • Staging Authority in Caroline England: Prerogative, Law and Order in Drama 1625-1642 (Ashgate, 2013), which focuses on ideas of common law and prerogative in drama of the commercial theatre under Charles I
  • the changing relationship between madness and justice in Elizabethan, Jacobean and Caroline drama
  • representation of the passions in early modern drama, particularly as they relate to injustice and revenge
  • pirate plays as an exploration of Elizabethan and Jacobean foreign policy figured through images of masculinity.


PhD supervision

I welcome enquiries and applications from students wishing to undertake MRes or PhD research in any area relating to the above topics.

Teaching Responsibilities

I teach on the L4 'Literary Powers' and 'Global Identities' units, and offer a specialist unit at L6: 'Dangerous Desires: Renaissance Revenge Drama'. 

My teaching experience includes teaching critical theory, and ranges from Chaucer to contemporary women's writing. I have often supervised undergraduate dissertations on the latter.


I am Senior Lecturer in English Literature, specialising in early modern drama. Most of my published work focuses on Caroline drama, including my monograph: Staging Authority in Caroline England: Prerogative, Law and Order in Drama 1625-1642 (Ashgate, 2013).

I am keen to develop this research to consider changes in representations of authority, particularly regarding to access to and delivery of justice, in drama from the Elizabethan through to the Caroline period.

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