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Dr Dianne Mitchell

Junior Research Fellow in English


I grew up in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, and graduated with highest honors from Smith College in Massachusetts in 2009. I received my MSt. in English from Oxford in 2010, and my PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. At various points, I have worked as a research technician for an entomologist, a tasting room manager at a winery, a cover supervisor at a state school outside of Oxford, and an assistant on the Leverhulme-funded project Digital Miscellanies Index.  I have also taught university courses on Renaissance lyric, Shakespeare, and critical writing.


I am interested in how the material conditions of Renaissance texts shape their literary form. I'm currently writing a book about the ways in which sixteenth and seventeenth century English poetry was used as a form of correspondence. In archives and special collections across the US and Britain, I have uncovered extensive evidence of people sending poetry as mail. My book argues that this little-known social practice helps explain why negotiations between public and private modes of address are so central to early modern lyric.


“‘Or Rather a Wyldernesse’: The Changing Works of Dudley, Third Baron North,” Studies in Philology (114.2) Spring 2017, 368-394