Sarah Ross

AProf Sarah Ross profile picture

Associate Professor School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies


BA(Hons) Canterbury

MSt (Distinction) Oxford

DPhil Oxford

Current research projects

I currently lead a 3-year Marsden-funded project, "Woe is me: women and complaint in the English Renaissance" (2017-2019).

This project explores complaint as one of the most powerful and ubiquitous modes in the English Renaissance, voicing erotic, religious, and political protest and loss. Renaissance complaint often foregrounds the voice of a lamenting woman; but it has been largely understood as male-authored, an act of literary ventriloquy. Our project explores how Renaissance women engaged with complaint, as writers, readers, patrons, collaborators, editors, and performers. In doing so, we seek to produce a new account of how the voices of the disempowered, railing against their circumstances, helped to shaped the literary and social cultures of the English Renaissance.

I am delighted to collaborate on this project with Associate Professor Rosalind Smith (University of Newcastle, Australia), and Professor Michelle O’Callaghan (Reading, UK).

Areas of supervision

I would welcome supervision in all of the areas of my research:

  • early modern poetry and poetics (including Shakespeare, Donne, Herbert and Milton)
  • early modern women’s writing
  • writing of the English Civil War and Restoration
  • early modern histories of emotion
  • early modern manuscript and print culture
  • theories and practice of editing
  • gender and literature

Recent publications


Edited books

Women Poets of the English Civil War, ed. with Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Manchester University Press, 2017):

Editing Early Modern Women, ed. with Paul Salzman (Cambridge University Press, 2016)

Book chapters

  • 'Complaint', with Rosalind Smith and Michelle O'Callaghan, in A Companion to Renaissance Poetry, ed. Catherine Bates (forthcoming, Wiley Blackwell 2017)
  • 'Anthologizing early modern women's poetry: Women Poets of the English Civil War';, with Elizabeth Scott-Baumann, in Editing Early Modern Women , ed. Sarah C E Ross and Paul Salzman (Cambridge University Press, 2016), pp. 215-231
  • 'Epic, meditation, or sacred history? Women and biblical verse paraphrase in seventeenth-century England', in The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in England, c. 1520-1700, eds Kevin Killeen, Helen Smith, and Rachel Willie (Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 482-497
  • Queen Elizabeth I at Bissam, Sudeley and Ricote, 1592, in Nichols's The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth I: A New Edition of the Early Modern Sources, 5 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)
  • Material relating to John Chamberlain; and material relating to the Clifford Family, in Nichols's The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth I: A New Edition of the Early Modern Sources, 5 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), with Faith Eales
  • ‘Elizabeth Melville and the religious sonnet sequence in England and Scotland’ , in Susan J. Wiseman (ed.), Early Modern Women and the Poem (Manchester University Press, 2013), pp. 42-59

View all publications by Sarah C.E. Ross

Journal articles

  • ‘Early Modern Women and the Apparatus of Authorship’, in a special issue of Parergon, 29.2 (2012), guest ed. Sarah C. E. Ross, Patricia Pender, and Rosalind Smith, pp. 1-8
  • '"Like Penelope, Always Employed": reading, life-writing, and the early modern female self in Katherine Austen’s Book M', Literature Compass, 9.4 (April 2012), 306-16, <DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-4113.2012.00878.x>