Professor Tiffany Stern FBA

Shakespeare, theatre history from the 16th to the 18th century, book history and editing

Elected 2019

Tiffany Stern is Professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama at The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham; she has previously held professorships at Royal Holloway, University of London; and Oxford (University College). Her work combines literary criticism, theatre history and book history from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. She specialises in the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, particularly Jonson, Brome, Middleton and Nashe, and also writes on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century playwrights and editors, including Wycherley, Farquhar, Sheridan, Theobald and Johnson. The theatrical contexts that bring plays about – by Shakespeare and others – is her particular focus. Having researched the theatrical documents put together by authors and others in the process of writing and learning a play, she is repeatedly drawn back to actors’ parts, the documents consisting of cues and speeches from which actors learned their roles. She also writes on prologues, epilogues, songs, letters, arguments, plots and other stage documents; acting methods; theatre props, music, marketing and architecture. General editor of New Mermaids, and the flagship Shakespeare series Arden Shakespeare 4, she is also on the editorial boards of the journals SEDERI, Shakespeare Bulletin, and The Hare. Her scholarship is widely used by theatre companies interested in historically inflected performances.

Current post

Professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama, Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham

Past appointments

Royal Holloway, University of London Shakespeare Chair and Professor of Early Modern Literature

Aug 2016 - Aug 2017

University College, Oxford CUF in English

Aug 2005 - Aug 2016

University of Oxford Professor of Early Modern Drama

Aug 2005 - Aug 2016

Oxford Brookes University Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Reader

Aug 2001 - Aug 2005

Merton College, Oxford Junior Research Fellow

Aug 1997 - Aug 2000

The British Academy 10-Minute Talks: Theatre marketing and ballads in the time of Shakespeare

17 Jun 2020 The British Academy on YouTube

Why are Shakespeare plays filled with songs – not all of them relevant to the story? Tiffany Stern asks whether songs performed in, about or after plays were ‘product placement’ for theatre sales.

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