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Dr Mark Chambers

Teaching Fellow

BA, MA (York), PhD (TCD)

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Teaching Fellow in the Department of English Studies  
Member of the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies  


Tudor Theatre: Vol. 6 (Collection THETA): Centre D'Etudes: Books

Overview and Research

I am currently a Teaching Fellow in the department, providing lecturing, seminar teaching and tutorials on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules. My primary research interest is in medieval and early Tudor drama, and especially interdisciplinary approaches to premodern performance history. I also have research interest in late medieval material culture (e.g. cloth and clothing) and late medieval language contact. 

At present, I am preparing a monograph on Performing Disability in Premodern Britain for ARC Humanities Press, to be published in 2021. This major study of performance history examines the nature and socialisation of 'disabled' performers in the medieval and early Tudor records. It takes a new approach to the study of the evidence for, and conceptualisation of 'impairment', as a performative act, in the premodern records and play texts. The study sheds new light on historic performance culture, reflecting on what that culture might tell us about the continued 'othering' of disability in society today.

I am also co-editing (with Professor John McKinnell) the Records of Early English Drama series for County Durham. The first traunch of this substantial collection of records for performance in the county are due to be published by REED, Toronto within the next year ( For more on this long-running international series, see

From, 2012-13, I was a Teaching Fellow at The University of Birmingham. I also acted as Research Consultant on the Lexis of Cloth and Clothing Project based at the University of Westminster, London, UK ( I have also served as Research Assistant on a parallel, Leverhulme-funded project: the Medieval Dress and Textile Vocabulary in Unpublished Sources Project, in collaboration with Professor Louise Sylvester and Professor Gale Owen-Crocker.

I have published widely on material culture and historical philology and continue conducting research on fashion and sumptuary legislation in the 14th through the 16th centuries, especially the lexicology of medieval fashion and dress.


I currently provide lecturing, seminar & tutorial teaching and mentoring on the undergraduate modules Intro to Drama, Medieval Literature, Renaissance Literature, Shakespeare and Old French. I also teach on the MA RMR seminar.

Previous to joining the team in Durham in 2013, I provided lecturing and further teaching, primarily on medieval and Renaissance English language and literature, at the University of Durham (2001-2), Trinity College Dublin, University of Westminster and the University of Birmingham.

Research interests

  • Early English Drama
  • Late-Medieval Language Contact
  • Medieval Clothing and Fashion

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Medieval history: Theatre History
  • Middle Ages & Early Modern History: Theatre History
  • English Literature & Drama: Theatre History
  • Medieval history: Anglo-Norman French
  • Middle Ages & Early Modern History: Anglo-Norman French
  • Linguistics & Language: Anglo-Norman French
  • Environment and culture: Medieval Clothing and Dress
  • Medieval history: Medieval Clothing and Dress
  • Middle Ages & Early Modern History: Medieval Clothing and Dress
  • English Literature & Drama:
  • Linguistics & Language:


Chapter in book

  • Chambers, Mark (2021). Staging Conversion: Preternatural Voices and Visions in the Medieval Drama. In Visions and Voice-Hearing in Medieval and Early Modern Contexts. Powell, Hilary & Saunders, Corinne Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Chambers, Mark (2021). ‘An Exotic Monster, a French Magician, and Scottish ministralli: Visiting Players in the Durham Records’. In Early Performers in the North-East of England: Continuity and Difference. Wyatt, Diana & McKinnell, John ARC Humanities Press.
  • Chambers, Mark & McKinnell, John (2021). ‘Tradition Adapted: Boy Bishops in Medieval Durham’. In Early Performers in the North-East of England: Continuity and Difference. Wyatt, Diana & McKinnell, John ARC Humanities Press.
  • Chambers, Mark (2017). ‘How Long is a Launce?: Units of measure for cloth in late medieval and Early Modern Britain’. In Medieval Clothing and Textiles. Netherton, Robin & Owen-Crocker, Gale R. Boydell and Brewer. 13.
  • Chambers, Mark & Sylvester, Louise (2012). Language Use in Manuscripts of the Royal Wardrobe and Petitions: Evidence for the Study of Dress and Textile Vocabulary’. In English Manuscript Studies, 1100-1700. Edwards, A. S. G. & Da Rold, Orietta The British Library. 17: 262-279.
  • Chambers, Mark (2012). 'brail’, ‘crakow’, ‘chronicles’, ‘gorget’, ‘handbooks’, ‘letters’, ‘medley’, ‘perse’, ‘surcoat’, etc. In Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles, c. 450-1450. Owen-Crocker, Gale, Coatsworth, Elizabeth & Hayward, Maria Brill.
  • Chambers, Mark C. & Sylvester, Louise M. (2012). 'Multilingualism in the Vocabulary of Dress and Textiles in Late Medieval Britain: Some issues for historical lexicology’. In English Historical Linguistics 2010. Hegedűs, Irén & Fodor, Alexandra John Benjamins. 313 – 326.
  • Chambers, Mark (2011). '"Hys surcote was ouert": The "Open Surcoat" in Late Medieval British Texts'. In Medieval Clothing and Textiles. Netherton, Robin & Owen-Crocker, Gale R. Boydell and Brewer. 7.
  • Chambers, Mark C. & Sylvester, Louise M. (2010). ‘From apareil to warderobe: some Observations on Anglo-French in the Middle English Lexis of Cloth and Clothing’. In The Anglo-Norman Language and its Context. Ingham, Richard York Medieval Press/Boydell and Brewer. 63-73.
  • Chambers, Mark C. & Sylvester, Louise M. (2010). ‘Redressing Medieval Dress with the Lexis of Cloth and Clothing in Britain Project’. In Everyday Objects: Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture and its Meanings. Hamling, Tara & Richardson, Catherine Ashgate. 71-82.
  • Chambers, Mark C. & Owen-Crocker, Gale (2008). 'From Head to Hand to Arm: The Lexicological History of "Cuff"'. In Medieval Clothing and Textiles. Netherton, Robin & Owen-Crocker, Gale R. Boydell and Brewer. 4.
  • Chambers, Mark C. (2008). ‘“What is this, a betell, or a batowe, or a buskyn lacyd?” Lexicological Confusion in Medieval Clothing Culture’. In Textual Healing: Studies in Medieval English Medical, Scientific and Technical Texts. Vera, Javier E. Díaz & Rodríguez, Rosario Caballero Peter Lang. Linguistic Insights: Studies in Language and Communication 101: 55-74.

Conference Paper

  • Chambers, Mark (2019), ‘Riding the Bounds of REED: Assessing the Evidence from Pre-Reformation Durham’, Renaissance Society of America. Toronto, Canada.
  • Chambers, Mark (2018), ‘“Durhams old Cittie thus salutes our King” Civic Performance and Royal Power in Post-Reformation Durham’, 18th annual Medieval English Theatre Conference. Sheffield, UK.
  • Chambers, Mark (2018), ‘Medieval Records for Early English Drama in Durham: Entertaining Town & Gown in the Palatinate’, 53rd Intl. Congress on Medieval Studies. University of Western Michigan, Kalamazoo, MI.
  • Chambers, Mark (2012), 'Clothing by Name: Approaching the Study of Late Medieval Multilingualism through a Specific Technical Lexis', in Volodarskaya, Emma & Roberts, Jane eds, The Third International Conference 'Language, Culture, and Society in Russian/English Studies'. School of Advanced Studies, London, London, 87-97.

Edited book

  • Chambers, Mark C., Sylvester, Louise M. & Owen-Crocker, Gale R. (2014). Medieval Dress and Textiles in Britain: A Multilingual Sourcebook. Medieval and Renaissance Clothing and Textiles. Boydell Press.

Journal Article