Fred Schurink

Fred Schurink


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Personal profile


I was educated at the Universities of Amsterdam (MA), London (Warburg Institute, MA), and Oxford (D.Phil.). Before joining the University of Manchester in September 2014, I was a Research Associate and Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Newcastle University and a Lecturer at Northumbria University in Newcastle. My research has been funded by the AHRC, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, and the Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science, and I have held Fellowships at the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Newberry Library, the Huntington Library, the Houghton Library at Harvard, and the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel. I am a Co-Editor of the Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, an Associate Editor of the MHRA Tudor & Stuart Translations series, and serve on the Board of Advisors of Renaissance Studies (2020-25).

Research interests

I have broad interests in early modern English and European literature and its global connections, including Shakespeare. My research centres on the movement of books across borders from about 1500 to 1700. It examines how a focus on the transnational circulation of texts can challenge and transform our predominantly national and mono-lingual histories of literature in the period. My approach combines the study of translation, book history, classical reception, and digital humanities.

My AHRC-funded project ‘Continental European Books in Early Modern England, 1500-1640: A New Approach Using Bibliographic Data Science’ challenges the common equation of early modern English literature with English-language books printed in London by transforming our knowledge and understanding of foreign books in Renaissance England. It draws on Bibliographic Data Science to create the largest and most comprehensive database of foreign-language books printed on the Continent in early modern England and analyse the implications of England’s peripheral place in the European book market for its access to and appropriation of ideas and forms of writing.

I am also working on a project on that investigates how digital humanities tools and methods can help to unlock the unique archive of the Antwerp printer Christophe Plantin as a major source for the cultural geography of early modern European literature and a multi-scalar study of the transcontinental reception of the ancient philosopher and historian Plutarch. Finally, I am collaborating with Chetham's Library in Manchester on a research project on early modern readers from the North West of England, funded by an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award.

My monograph, Classical Translation and the Culture of Counsel in Tudor England, reveals how sixteenth-century translators of ancient Greek and Roman history, oratory, and moral philosophy presented themselves as counsellors to monarchs, nobles, and other leaders of the commonwealth and intervened in some of the most significant political developments and debates of the Tudor period, from Henry VIII's divorce to the Armada and from controversies over military intervention in support of Protestantism on the Continent to political ideas about freedom and democracy.

My two-volume scholarly edition Plutarch in English, 1528-1603 (2020), offers the first book-length study of the reception of one of the most popular and influential ancient authors in Renaissance England. It restores early modern English versions of Plutarch's Essays and Lives to view as significant literary works in their own right and make them available to read alongside canonical works of English Renaissance literature.

Areas of expertise

  • PR English literature
  • Early Modern
  • Translation
  • Transnationalism
  • Z004 Books. Writing. Paleography
  • History of Reading

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures


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