Dr Emma Rhatigan

Lecturer in Early Modern Literature


Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA


My research interests lie in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature, in particular, the genre of the early modern sermon. Much of my work has been dedicated to developing readings of the sermon which locate it within the broader political, religious, and performance cultures of early modern London.

My introduction to early modern sermons came through an undergraduate dissertation on John Donne. I then completed a DPhil at Oxford University on his sermons at Lincoln's Inn.


I am currently completing an edited volume of John Donne’s Inns of Court sermons for the Oxford Edition of the Sermons of John Donne. This edition will provide a freshly edited and, for the first fully annotated text, of Donne’s sermons.

I am also developing a new project exploring connections between the theatre and the pulpit.


I teach on the Level 1 modules ‘Renaissance to Revolution’ and ‘Shakespeare’ and I also convene the Level 2 module ‘John Donne'. I contribute to the MA modules ‘Writing the Renaissance’ and ‘The Early Modern Book’.


I welcome PhD students interested in sixteenth- and seventeenth century literature.


  • ‘Margins of Error: Performance, Text, and the Editing of Early Modern Sermons’, The Library (forthcoming)
  • John Donne’s Biblical Encounters’ in The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in early Modern England, c, 1530-1700, ed. by Kevin Killen, Helen Smith, and Rachel Willie (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 564-76
  • ‘Reading the White Devil in Thomas Adams and John Webster’, in Early Modern Drama and the Politics of Biblical Reading, ed. Adrian Streete (Palgrave Macmillan; 2012)
  • Hugh Adlington, Peter McCullough, and Emma Rhatigan, eds, The Oxford Handbook of the Early Modern Sermon (Oxford University Press; 2011)
  • ‘Preaching Venues: Architecture and Auditories’, in The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Sermon, ed. by Hugh Adlington, Peter McCullough, and Emma Rhatigan (Oxford University Press; 2011)
  • ‘Audience, Actors and “Taking Part” in the Revels’ in Imagining the Audience in Early Modern Drama, 1558-1642, ed. Jennifer Low and Nova Myhill (Palgrave Macmillan; 2011)
  • ‘Donne’s Readership at Lincoln’s Inn’, in The Oxford Handbook for John Donne Studies, ed. by Jeanne Shami, M. Thomas Hester, and Dennis Flynn (Oxford University Press; 2011)
  • ‘“The sinful history of mine own youth”: John Donne Preaches at Lincoln’s Inn’, in The Intellectual and Cultural World of the Early Modern Inns of Court, ed. by Jayne Archer, Elizabeth Goldring, and Sarah Knight (Manchester University Press; 2011)
  • ‘Preaching to Princes: John Burgess and George Hakewill in the Royal Pulpit’, The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 62.1 (2011), 273-96
  • ‘Knees and Elephants: John Donne Preaches on Ceremonial Conformity at Lincoln’s Inn’, John Donne Journal, 23 (2004), 135-61


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