Get to know the fantastic plenaries of BritGrad 2015! Dr Chris Laoutaris, a lecturer and Birmingham Fellow at the Shakespeare Institute, will be featured as the first in a series of brief speaker profiles.
Laoutaris received his undergraduate, master’s, and doctorate from University College London, where he taught and served as Renaissance Literature Course Convenor. He has lectured at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and is currently teaching at the Shakespeare Institute.
He relishes archival adventures and interdisciplinary explorations of early modern literature. His wide range of interests includes poetry (it’s in his blood, having descended from a line of poets), women’s history, translation, and Renaissance studies of anatomy. Other research areas involve early modern superstition and witchcraft, satire, death-ritual, Puritanism, monstrosity, and natural history.
You might have heard of Laoutaris’s book Shakespeare and the Countess: The Battle that Gave Birth to the Globe (Penguin 2014), which has received numerous accolades. The Telegraph and Observer listed it as one of the best books of 2014, and it made the shortlist for the Tony Lothian Prize for Biography. The Countess follows the formidable Elizabeth Russell, a lady who successfully opposed the creation of a Blackfriars playhouse in 1596, forcing William Shakespeare to adapt his writing for the Globe Theatre.
Laoutaris has also written Shakespearean Maternities: Crises of Conception in Early Modern England (Edinburgh University Press 2008) and is now working on the Birmingham Fellowship Project Team Shakespeare: The First Folio and the Men who Created the Shakespeare Legacy.
As expected from someone with such diverse expertise, Dr Laoutaris will speak on the fascinating topic of early modern robotics in Shakespeare and Spencer. Prepare for old-school cyborgs!