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Academic biography

I studied English and cultural history at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, completing my PhD in 2012. A revised version of my thesis was published in 2013 as Rhetoric and the Familiar in Francis Bacon and John Donne. Following this I taught at the University of Sydney, University of Notre Dame, Sydney, and at Macquarie University, before taking up the S. Ernest Sprott Fellowship in 2014, awarded by the University of Melbourne and carried out at the Warburg Institute, University of London, and then fellowships at Durham University. I have also been an Associate Investigator with the Australian Research Council’s Centre for Excellence for the History of Emotions 1100-1800 (

I am interested in early modern and eighteenth century cultural and intellectual history. My research and publications have focused on topics such as rhetoric, the history of emotions, soliloquy, and more recently humour and friendship.

Research interests

  • Myth and mythography
  • Traditions of comedy
  • Humour theory
  • Early modern rhetoric
  • Shakespeare
  • Early modern drama
  • Francis Bacon and natural philosophy
  • Poetry of John Donne


Authored book

  • Derrin, Daniel (Accepted). Humour and Renaissance Culture: 1500-1660. Routledge.
  • Derrin, Daniel (2013). Rhetoric and the Familiar in Francis Bacon and John Donne. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

Book review

  • Derrin, Daniel (2020). Review of "In the Event of Laughter: Psychoanalysis, Literature and Comedy" by Alfie Bown. The Modern Language Review 115(1): 147-148.
  • Derrin, Daniel (2018). Review of "Humour and Laughter in History: Transcultural Perspectives" edited by Elisabeth Cheauré and Regine Nohejl. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research 31(4).
  • Derrin, Daniel (2015). Review of "Teaching Shakespeare and Marlowe: Learn Versus the System" by Liam Semler. Parergon
  • Derrin, Daniel (2014). Review of "The English Clown Tradition from the Middle Ages to Shakespeare" by Robert Hornback. Parergon 31(2): 173-174.

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article