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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Ailsa Grant Ferguson's research is in the field of early modern English literature and its afterlives, especially Shakespeare in performance and cultural contexts, performance and gender, literary commemoration, heritage  and memory, and early modern women’s writing. Her publications to date focus on Shakespeare in cultural memory; Shakespeare and the First World War; appropriations of Shakespeare and counter-cultural expression; early modern mothers’ legacies and the idea of posthumous writing. Her most recent major project uncovered the full history of the SHakespeare Hut, a First World War building for New Zealand ANZACS on leave in London that contained a purpose-built theatre and was created to mark Shakespeare's tercentary in 1916 and her current research, in collaboration with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, focuses on Shakespeare's daughter, Susanna and the mediation of early modern women in heritage presentation and cultural memory.

Scholarly biography

Dr Grant Ferguson joined the University of Brighton in 2014, following working as the National Theatre's first academic in residence, and a post at King’s College London. In her early career, she taught at the University of Bristol and is also a PGCE-qualified and experienced teacher with keen interests in pedagogy and widening participation, having spent time as Head of Department (English, Media and MFL) in an FE College and as an experienced A Level examiner before taking up her previous post at King's.

After receiving the Society for Theatre Research Award in 2013, her first monograph, Shakespeare, Cinema, Counterculture was published by Routledge in 2016, which was followed by co-authoring a collaborative monograph with an international group of scholars, 'Antipodal Shakespeare' (published by Bloomsbury in 2014). Grant Ferguson's second monograph, The Shakespeare Hut was published in 2019 by the Arden Shakespeare (Bloomsbury). She has recently released, cowritten with Dr Kate Aughterson, a major new textbook for the Arden Shakespeare series, Shakespeare and Gender, which was published in August 2020.

With a particular experience and interest in public engagement and media communication, her recent engagement and consultation includes work with the National Theatre, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the Royal Shakespeare Company, YMCA, Chawton House Library, BBC Radio 3 & 4 and the National Trust. She speaks regularly on Shakespeare and early modern literature in the media.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Bristol

Award Date: 15 Aug 2009


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