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Dr Ceri Sullivan

Overview

Dr Ceri Sullivan Position: Reader Email: SullivanC3@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 75617
Extension: 76075
Location: John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff CF10 3EU

Research Group

English Literature

Research Interests

  • Rhetoric, religion, and trade in the early modern period.
  • Creativity theory and bureaucracy, then and now.

Selected Publications

  • Literature in the Public Service: Sublime Bureaucracy (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)
  • Essays and Studies: the Creative Environment (Cambridge:  English Association/Boydell and Brewer, 2009), co-ed. with Graeme Harper

‘Deliciously voyeuristic’ (Guardian 15/8/09); ‘rewards curiosity’ (TLS 26/6/09).

  • The Rhetoric of the Conscience in Donne, Herbert and Vaughan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)

‘Intelligent and entertaining’, ‘witty’, ‘keen sense for when the pursuit of piety veers into sardonic comedy’ (Review of English Studies 60.247); ‘extremely interesting, if stomach-churning’, ‘excellent close readings’, ‘subtle, interesting… valuable and welcome’ (MLR 104.3); ‘rich and stimulating, dense but readable’, ‘innovative, sustained, and illuminating rhetorical analyses [of] a vital subject in our intellectual history’ (Rhetorica 28); ‘brilliant insights through unusual juxtaposition and deft assimilation’ (Seventeenth Century Journal 25.1); ‘expands our knowledge of theological and tropological connections in early modern devotional texts’, ‘surprising and valuable (Year’s Work in English Studies 89); ‘insightful... sharp… probing’ (George Herbert Journal 32.1); 'lively energy... wit... conceptual daring... entertaining and intelligent piece of scholarship' (Modern Philology/ 110.2)

  • The Rhetoric of Credit. Merchants in Early Modern Writing (Madison/London: Associated U.P., 2002).

‘Incisive and learned’, ‘fascinating’, ‘an important book’ (Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 4.2); ‘redresses deficienc[ies]’, ‘historically specific’, ‘disdains previous interpretations’, ‘drives home her point’ (The Historical Journal 49.4); ‘original and complex’, unusually productive combination of professional skills’’, ‘testing but welcome factual ballast to usual critical tendencies’ (Notes and Queries 3/2004); ‘succinct, informed… fresh’, ‘learned… and important’ (Renaissance Forum 7); ‘double expertise’, ‘fascinating’, ‘provocative and very important’ (Business History 46.1); ‘welcome corrective’, densely detailed’ (Review of English Studies 55); ‘palpable irritation [which]… is engaging, not off-putting, inspiring, not reactionary’ (Sixteenth-century Journal 34.3)

  • Writing and Fantasy (London: Longman, 1999), co-ed, contrib, intro with Barbara White.

‘Theoretically sophisticated’, ‘sureness of touch’, ‘impresses’ (Gothic Studies); ‘outstanding in its range and breadth’; ‘far-reaching and important… fresh and interesting’, ‘none of the usual archetype-hunting and no facile claims’ (Journal of the Fantastic)

  • Dismembered Rhetoric. English Recusant Writing, 1580-1603 (Madison/London: Associated University Press, 1995).

‘Timely.. controversial… strong’, ‘intriguing and compelling’, ‘subtle, learned, and interesting’ (MLR 93.1); ‘fascinating’ (Shakespeare Quarterly); ‘wonderful’, ‘should be received warmly and enthusiastically’, ‘densely argued’ , ‘rock solid and satisfying’ (Sixteenth-century Journal 27.2).

Teaching

  • SE2032 Texts in Time 1500-1800
  • SE 2443 Elizabethan Shakespeare
  • SE 2561 Jacobean Shakespeare
  • MA module: Talking to God in the Early Modern Period

Publications

  • Literature in the Public Service: Sublime Bureaucracy (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)
  • Essays and Studies: the Creative Environment (Cambridge:  English Association/Boydell and Brewer, 2009), co-ed. with Graeme Harper
  • The Rhetoric of the Conscience in Donne, Herbert and Vaughan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)
  • 'The carpe diem topos and the “geriatric gaze” in early modern verse', Early Modern Literary Studies, 14.2 (Sept 2008)
  • ‘Disposable elements?  Indications of genre in early modern titles’, Modern Language Review 102.3 (2007), pp. 641-56.
  • 'Thomas Middleton's View of Public Utility', Review of English Studies (2007) 58(234), pp. 162-174.
  • ‘The art of listening in the seventeenth century’, Modern Philology 104.1 (2006), pp. 34-71.
  • ‘London’s early modern creative industrialists’, Studies in Philology 103.3 (2006), pp. 313-28.
  • The Rhetoric of Credit. Merchants in Early Modern Writing (Madison/London: Associated U.P., 2002).
  • Writing and Fantasy (London: Longman, 1999), co-ed, contrib, intro with Barbara White.
  • ‘Physiology of penance in weeping texts of 1590s’, Cahiers Elisabethains 57 (2000), pp. 31-48.
  • ‘Britain’s renaissance of letters’, in Courts, Patrons, Poets, ed. David Mateer (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), pp. 227-97.
  • ‘The “well wrought urn” as competitive trope’, Essays in Criticism 48 (1998), pp. 129-43.
  • ‘Wreath poems as florilegia’, George Herbert Journal 19 (1996), pp. 95-102.
  • Dismembered Rhetoric. English Recusant Writing, 1580-1603 (Madison/London: Associated University Press, 1995).

Research

''Language most shows a man: speak that I may see thee'. Jonson's confidence in his ability to read through the rhetoric is a constant challenge to me in research, and my four monographs have browsed, sheeplike, over this terrain.

The first deals with whether one may persuade oneself in devotion, focusing on Catholic texts (Dismembered Rhetoric: English Recusant Writing 1580-1603). The second muses over how a merchant represents himself and reads others' representations in the real and dramatic markets (The Rhetoric of Credit: Merchants in Early Modern Writing). A third asks whether, if the conscience is structured as a language, the consequence of the divine I AM is YOU AREN'T (The Rhetoric of the Conscience in Donne, Herbert and Vaughan). The fourth, Literature in the Public Service: Sublime Bureaucracy, reassesses Max Weber’s understanding of the individual in the ideal bureaucracy, and recognises the past and current relationship between creativity and bureaucracy.

My new project is Prayer in Shakespeare’s Histories. This explores prayer as the most widely practised form of creative writing between 1580-1620. Much good work has already been done on early modern liturgy, but almost nothing has appeared on private prayer. I am currently reading hundreds of private prayer-books, both printed and manuscript, and finding out texts which describe how people pray. In the absence of secular literary criticism, we have used biblical reading to understand how people responded to texts. Similarly, I hope to be able to draw out from discussions of set and inspired prayer a vocabulary about creativity, which is currently missing from discussions about the period.  I would be most interested to hear from anyone working in this area.

Biography

Educated at Cardinal Newman Catholic Comprehensive School, Rhydyfelin and Hertford College, Oxford. First career in the City of London, with KPMG Peat Marwick McLintock, as a banking analyst and auditor.  Second career in NGOs, with VSO Zambia and Oxfam (Zambia, Sudan, Mozambique, and DRC).  Third career in universities:  Oxford, the Open University, Bangor, and here in Cardiff.  Fourth career still a possiblity!

Current professional positions:

QAA English Subject Benchmark review team, Member (2014)

Society for Renaissance Studies, Council member (conference officer, 2012-)

JISC Historic Books, Advisory Board (2012-)

Council for College and University English, Executive (2011-)

Higher Education Academy, Fellow (2011-)

English Association, Higher Education Committee (2010-); Fellow (2005-);

AHRC Peer Review College (2005-)