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School of English and Drama

Dr Clio Doyle, BA (Oxford), MPhil (Yale), PhD (Yale)


Lecturer in Early Modern Literature



I lived in France and the United States before coming to the UK to study for a BA at Merton College, Oxford. I went back to the US to study for an MPhil in Medieval Studies and a PhD in English and Renaissance Studies at Yale University, where I wrote a dissertation on stories about the invention of agriculture in late medieval and early modern Britain. I am delighted to finally have the chance to live here in London with my cat, Fortuna.


Research Interests:

Research Interests

  • Environmental Humanities
  • Classical Reception
  • Poetry
  • Virtual Reality and Theatrical Performance
  • False Histories and Historical Fictions

Recent and On-Going Research

My first book, tentatively Narrating the Origins of Agriculture from Chaucer to Milton, argues that medieval and early modern ecological thinking takes the form of inventing stories about the beginning of agriculture. Stories about prehistory become the grounds for grappling with ideas about race, human nature, and the responsibilities of humans towards animals, the earth, and each other, for speculating about ecological change and imagining possible futures, and for justifying the colonization of supposedly pre-agricultural land all the way across the globe. I have received funding from the Oak Spring Garden Foundation, the Beinecke Library, and the Macmillan Center at Yale to pursue archival research towards this project. Because of this work on early modern agriculture and the stories that are told around it, I am also interested in the idea of early history and the prehistoric in the popular imagination today, particularly when it comes to imagining how humans used to eat (for example in the case of the paleo diet), as well as the history of vegetarianism. Selections from this work have won the following prizes at Yale: the Theron Rockwell Field Prize, the Elizabethan Essay Prize, and the English Department’s Noah Webster Prize.

In 2019, I received funding from the RSA and Patricia H. Labalme Foundation to conduct exploratory research at the Giorgio Cini Foundation in Venice on my next book, which will be about the printing of Classical Greek and attempts to recapture the past through the matter of the printed book in editions of classical texts in early modern Venice and London.

I have become interested in the idea of cooking as research, and especially in attempts to follow early modern recipes and both the difficulties this presents and the insights it makes possible, and am currently planning a workshop on Reading Early Modern Food in a Digital Age for September of 2022.

I have an ongoing interest in virtual reality as a platform for theatrical performance, particularly of Shakespeare, and the ways in which it can be used to attempt to reconstruct the theatrical environment of Shakespeare's time or to imagine new theatrical environments as well as to encourage interactions between the audience, the performer, and the environment. I received a Franke Fellowship in Science and the Humanities in 2020 to learn more about the creation of VR environments and how the technology can be brought to bear in theatrical performance.  

I also host the podcast Studies in Taylor Swift, which reads the works of Taylor Swift through the prism of critical theory.



Selected publications

"'Slimy Kempes Ill Smelling of the Mud:' The Terroir of Poetry and the Desire for Change in Barclay’s Eclogues,” The Sixteenth Century Journal 52:2, 2022.

"Ecocriticism for Early Modernists: An Annotated Bibliography," Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 4:1, 2021.

"Titus Andronicus’s 'fearful and confused cries:' birdsong, empathy, and the fear of sound" in Auditory Worlds: Hearing and Staging Practices Then and Now, eds. Laury Magnus and Walter Cannon, Vancouver: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2020.

"The Afterlife of Aldus: Posthumous Fame, Collectors and the Book Trade" (review), The Sixteenth Century Journal, 49:4, 2018.

"When Science was Literature" (review), The Marginalia Review of Books, 2017.


Public Engagement

Public Writing

"Making Space for the Humanities," From the Quadrangle,, 2021.

"'Make it Sing!' Jon Butler Remembers 320 York," From the Quadrangle,, 2021.

"The Stone Heads of 320 York," From the Quadrangle,, 2021.


Studies in Taylor Swift, multiple platforms, ongoing from March 2021.

"Where Do We Go From Here? The Future of Artificial Intelligence and the Humanities" with Lauren Cox and Joanna Lawson, National Humanities Center Humanities in Class Digital Library, 2021.

"Speaking Eleanor" with Alliya Dagman, Madelaine Matej MacQueen, and Elizabeth Narvaez, National Humanities Center Humanities in Class Digital Library, 2021.


My play Impossible Children was read on The Theatre Viscera Podcast in December 2021 and was featured on the Parsnip Play Club in April 2021.