Jonathan P. Lamb
- Associate Professor
- Job Placement and Professionalization Officer
My research and teaching focus on sixteenth and seventeenth century English, including early modern drama (especially Shakespeare), history of the book, rhetoric and poetics, and language.
I am author of Shakespeare in the Marketplace of Words, published in 2017 by Cambridge University Press. The book was released in paperback in 2022. (Here is a link to the Amazon page.) In this book, I argue that Shakespeare's plays established positions on an emerging market in which words and forms circulated. I reinterpret five of Shakespeare's best-known plays by examining his use of peculiar formal features in the context of the marketplace of words, where those features had traceable exchange values. This book makes extensive use of the 2-billion-word Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership (EEBO-TCP) database. The book was reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement, the Review of English Studies, Modern Philology, Shakespeare Quarterly, Renaissance Quarterly, SEL, Cahiers Élisabéthains, and Textual Practice (these last two I'm especially proud of!).
I am finishing up a second book titled How the World Became a Book in Shakespeare's England. I recently gave a big public talk about the book. With a team of graduate and undergraduate student researchers, I am again drawing on the EEBO-TCP corpus to examine the way in which the language of printed books reshaped English culture. Think, for instance, of Don Armado's boast in Love's Labour's Lost that he is "for whole volumes in folio." Think too of the polemicists who, in the 1630s and 40s, weaponized the language of print for rhetorical effect. Think, moreover, of Royal Society members in the later 1600s who would appeal (like Puritans before them) to the printed book as a metaphor for the natural world.
I have also begun work on a critical edition of Shakespeare's Love Labour's Lost for Cambridge Press's new series of Shakespeare plays. I like to say I was born to edit this play, with its fulsome wordplay, its intense meta-theatricality, and its unconventional ending.
Early modern drama, especially Shakespeare; history of the book and textual studies; language and form; rhetoric and poetics; digital humanities.