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Dr Daniel Blank

Assistant Professor in Early Modern Literature, 1500-1700

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Assistant Professor in Early Modern Literature, 1500-1700 in the Department of English StudiesRoom 107A, Hallgarth House 
Member of the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies  



I joined the Department of English Studies as Assistant Professor in Early Modern Literature, 1500-1700 in September 2021. My main research interests include Shakespeare, early modern drama, and theater history, as well as the intellectual culture and classical heritage of the early modern period. My first monograph, Shakespeare and University Drama in Early Modern England, was published by Oxford University Press in 2023. This book explores the relationship between the Shakespearean stage and the tradition known as ‘university drama’: student theatrical performances at Oxford and Cambridge during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. By placing Shakespeare’s works in conversation with these student plays, Shakespeare and University Drama in Early Modern England provides both new readings of canonical plays and fresh insight into the theatrical activities of the early modern English universities. My published articles have appeared in a number of academic journals including The Review of English StudiesRenaissance Quarterly, and Renaissance Studies. I have also written about Shakespeare and theater for the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, the Folger Library's Shakespeare & Beyond BlogOUPblog, and Harvard Magazine.

I received my BA in English and Political Science from Columbia University, and I then received my masters from the University of Oxford on a Euretta J. Kellett Fellowship. I completed my PhD in English at Princeton University in 2018. Before coming to Durham, I spent three years as a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows.

Research interests

  • Early modern drama
  • Shakespeare
  • Theater history
  • Performance studies
  • Classical reception
  • Intellectual history
  • Manuscript studies
  • History of the book

Esteem Indicators

  • 2022: Sassoon Fellowship, Bodleian Library:
  • 2020: William F. Milton Fund Award, Harvard University:
  • 2018: Quin Morton Teaching Fellowship, Princeton Writing Program:
  • 2017: Graduate School Teaching Award, Princeton University:
  • 2016: Graduate Research Fellowship, Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University:
  • 2015: Graduate Prize Fellowship, Center for Human Values, Princeton University:
  • 2014: Donald and Mary Hyde Academic Year Research Fellowship, Princeton University:
  • 2009: Euretta J. Kellett Fellowship, Columbia University:


Authored book

  • Blank, Daniel (2023). Shakespeare and University Drama in Early Modern England. Oxford University Press.

Book review

  • Blank, Daniel (2021). 'Hamlet's Choice: Religion and Resistance in Shakespeare's Revenge Tragedies' by Peter Lake. The Review of English Studies 72: 591-593.
  • Blank, Daniel (2021). 'Early Shakespeare, 1588-1594', edited by Rory Loughnane and Andrew J. Power. Renaissance Quarterly 74(4): 1412-1413.

Chapter in book

  • Blank, Daniel (2023). 'Cultural and Celestial Representations in Goffe's "The Courageous Turk"'. In Materializing the East in Early Modern English Drama. Murat Ogutcu & Aisha Hussain Bloomsbury.

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

  • Blank, Daniel (2022). 'Modelled on the Master: The Origins and Authorship of a Seventeenth-Century Comedy'. Times Literary Supplement
  • Blank, Daniel (2022). 'Bookhood: On Emma Smith's "Portable Magic"'. Los Angeles Review of Books
  • Blank, Daniel (2020). 'In Search of Shakespeare's Mind'. Los Angeles Review of Books
  • Blank, Daniel (2019). 'Harry Elkins Widener: Brief Life of a Theater-Loving Bibliophile'. Harvard Magazine

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

  • Blank, Daniel (2023). 'University Drama Performed at 17th Century Colleges' (Interview). That Shakespeare Life Podcast.
  • Blank, Daniel (2022). 'Ephemeral Documents and Enduring Debates' (Interview). Journal of the History of Ideas Blog.
  • Blank, Daniel (2022). 'John, Paul, Pyramus, and Thisbe: The Beatles Performing Shakespeare'. Folger Library Blog.
  • Blank, Daniel (2021). 'Not of an Age: The History Behind Ian McKellen’s Hamlet'. Folger Library Blog.
  • Blank, Daniel (2020). 'Shakespeare at a Distance: When the Playhouses Close but Performance Continues'. Folger Library Blog.
  • Blank, Daniel (2020). 'Making Shakespeare a Classic'. OUP Blog.

Supervision students