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School of English and Drama

Dr Laurie Atkinson


Modern Humanities Research Association Postdoctoral Research Associate



I am a MHRA Postdoctoral Research Associate in the School of English and Drama, providing research assistance for the Cambridge University Press edition of the complete works of Geoffrey Chaucer, edited by Professors Julia Boffey and Tony Edwards. I am also a Teaching Assistant in the Department of English Studies at Durham University, and editor of the Durham Victoria County History ‘parish short’ for Middleton-in-Teesdale.

I studied for an undergraduate degree in English Literature at Durham University, and an MPhil in Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Jesus College, Cambridge University. I completed my PhD in English Literature at Durham University in 2021. This research was funded by an AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Centre Studentship. My PhD thesis considers conceptions of literary authorship in the framed first-person allegories of John Skelton, William Dunbar, Stephen Hawes, and Gavin Douglas. It is now being revised into a scholarly monograph.


Research Interests:

My main research interests are in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century English and Scottish literature and culture, with a focus on conceptions of authorship and authorial self-promotion, quasi-autobiographical writing, and the History of the Book. I also work on the history of County Durham.

Recent and On-Going Research

Besides my work for the Victoria County History, my recent research has focussed on less understood aspects of the textual transmission of the works of Chaucer for the new CUP edition. I am currently investigating the use of decorated initials and paragraph marks (resembling the modern pilcrow symbol ¶) in some of the earliest manuscripts of The Canterbury Tales, which I intend to develop into a publication.

My next research project is on co-creative networks in early English literary print; it investigates co-creativity, rather than individual authorship, as a paradigm for textual production in this period, as manifested in literary publications ranging from texts on the subject of the ship of fools to the translations and poems of Robert Copland. I will pursue this research as a Humboldt Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow from December 2022.



I am published in multiple peer-reviewed academic journals and edited collections on poets including Thomas Hoccleve, William Dunbar, and Stephen Hawes, write reviews for Medium Ævum, and contribute the John Gower entry to The Year’s Work in English Studies. I have also worked as Research Assistant to Professor Corinne Saunders for the essay collection Middle English Manuscripts and their Legacies: Essay in Honour of Ian Doyle. For details of publications, funding, and awards, see my ORCID ( or LinkedIn profile (

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