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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 how the practicalities of sharing lyrics as letters in early modern England shaped the ways poets such as Shakespeare, Donne, and Wroth represent intimate contact with their addressees. I argue that a number of formal innovations arose in response to conventions of folding, sending, delivering, storing, and copying the mobile lyric objects I call "letter-poems."

You can read more about my research and collaborative projects in an interview with Oxford's Centre for Early Modern Studies. 



“John Donne’s Poetics of Mediation.” Forthcoming in the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies.

“The Absent Lady and the Renaissance Lyric as Letter.” Forthcoming in English Literary Renaissance.

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