BA (Southampton) English Language and Literature, 1989; MA (Southampton), Romanticism and Modernism, 1990; PhD (Southampton), Renaissance Travel Writing, 1996
- Primary position:
I was appointed to a personal chair in English at Southampton in 2012 and am Head of Research. Before this I was Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at Aberystwyth University (1996-2005), and Professor of Renaissance English Literature at Nottingham Trent University (2005-12). I have held research fellowships at the Hartley Institute, Southampton (1995, 2002), the Caird Library at the National Maritime Museum (2008), and the Clark Library, UCLA (2008). I am Visiting Professor at Newman University College (2011-14).
I am at present External Examiner for the undergraduate degree at Aberdeen University, and have recently examined PhD theses at the universities of Exeter, Melbourne, Liverpool, and Sussex.
I am a member of the Higher Education Committee of the English Association and since 2006 have been a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, serving on the AHRC Panel for Research Fellowships in 2013. I was Hon. Secretary of the Society of Renaissance Studies, the premier learned society for the study of the Renaissance, between 2005 and 2008, and continue to be on the Society's Council. I was elected to the Council of the Hakluyt Society in 2013. I have served, or continue to serve, on the Editorial Boards of the journals Jewish History and Culture, Renaissance Studies (ex officio), Literature Compass, and The Journal of Maritime Research. I was co-editor of Key Words, the Journal of the Raymond Williams Society between 2007 and 2010. Since 2009 I have co-edited (with Professor Anthony Hasler) the Renaissance section of Wiley-Blackwell's online journal Literature Compass. I am a General Editor (with Professor Daniel Carey of the National University of Ireland, Galway) of OUP's new edition of Richard Hakluyt's The Principal Navigations (1598-1600).
I am a member of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture at Southampton and a Fellow of the English Association. In 2014 CMRC are hosting the Society of Renaissance Studies biennial international conference.
I would welcome applications from prospective postgraduates to work with me on topics related to Renaissance travel writing, maritime literature and culture, or the connections between Renaissance literature and politics more generally.
The University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints)
My research interests focus on Renaissance travel writing and early modern maritime culture. My first monograph Voyage Drama and Gender Politics, 1589-1642 (2003) explored the way geographic drama was used as a vehicle to express other cultural and political concerns. My second monograph, The Culture of Piracy, 1580-1630 (2010) examines how the figure of the Renaissance pirate was not only sensational, but also culturally significant. This book received an honourable mention when shortlisted for the European Society for the Study of English Book Award 2012 in the Literatures in the English Language category.
My current work involves co-leading (with Professor Daniel Carey) the Hakluyt Editorial Project, which will produce a scholarly edition of Richard Hakluyt's The Principal Navigations (1598-1600), the most important collection of travel writing ever published. The edition will be published by OUP in 14 volumes commencing in 2015. I am editing Volume 14 on The South Seas, the Far East, and Hakluyt's Notes on Spanish Trade and Navigation, as well as being a General Editor of the edition as a whole. Daniel Carey and I have recently edited Richard Hakluyt and Travel Writing in Early Modern Europe (2012) and are currently beginning work on a new volume of 40 essays, The Oxford Hakluyt Handbook, which will be published to accompany the new edition. My work on Hakluyt has been supported by a British Academy Research Development Award 2010-12, as well as grants from the AHRC and MHRA.
I am also working on edited books (with Dr David McInnis) on travel and drama and (with Professor Steve Mentz) on an Ashgate Research Companion to the sea. Currently I am writing essays on representations of drowning in the Renaissance and on the shadowy figure of Lopez Vas (or Vaz), a Portuguese pilot whose work Hakluyt included in The Principal Navigations. BBC History Magazine published my cover-feature article on ‘Queen Elizabeth's Pirates' (2010) as well as my article ‘The most important travel book ever written: Richard Hakluyt's The Principal Navigations' (2013). I recently appeared on BBC Radio 4's ‘Open Book' programme talking to Mariella Frostrup about my work on pirates.
I currently teach (with Dr Marianne O'Doherty) Tales of Travel 1000-1650: Idylls, Utopias, Monsters and Cannibals, an interdisciplinary undergraduate course on medieval and Renaissance travel writing and (with Dr Stephanie Jones) Swashbucklers, Cut-throats, Revolutionaries: Five Hundred years of Pirates in English Literature.
Professor Claire Jowitt
Faculty of Humanities
University of Southampton
Room Number: 65/2023