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Doctor Callan Davies

Dr Callan Davies

Lecturer in 17th Century Lit and Culture

Research interests

  • The history of play, playhouses, and commercial entertainment spaces
  • Early modern drama and performance
  • Social status and creativity in early modern England

More research

Accepting applications from PhD students.


Dr Callan Davies works across early modern literary, cultural, and theatre history; he is Lecturer in Seventeenth-Century Literature and Culture at the University of Southampton. His new book, What is a Playhouse? England at Play, 1520-1620, is an accessible account of the playhouse across early modern England (2023).  He’s part of the Box Office Bears project (researching animal sports in early modern England), as well as the Middling Culture team examining early modern status, creativity, writing, and material culture, and the Before Shakespeare team. He is the Editor of the Curtain playhouse records for Records of Early English Drama’s Records of Early English Drama REED London Online and is on the advisory board for the journal Early Theatre. His first monograph, Strangeness in Jacobean Drama (2021), was shortlisted for the Shakespeare's Globe Book Award 2023. His article on bowling alleys and playhouses in sixteenth century London for Early Theatre won the MRDS Barbara Palmer Award 2020, and he has pieces recently released or forthcoming on middling community and Bristol’s Wine Street playhouse for English Historical Review; prose and playing for The Oxford Handbook of Thomas Nashea recently-published collection on early modern ephemera with Hannah Lilley and Catherine Richardson; and the introduction for the new Oxford World's Classics The Merry Wives of Windsor.