Naomi Baker

Naomi Baker


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Personal profile

Research interests

Specific research interests:

English Renaissance literature and drama; literature and theology; literature and philosophy. 

I have published widely on radical religious writing from the seventeenth century, including a critical edition of two Puritan conversion narratives, Scripture Women: Rose Thurgood, 'A Lecture of Repentance' and Cicely Johnson, 'Fanatical Reveries' (Nottingham: Trent Editions, 2005). Written in the 1630s, these texts are among the earliest known English conversion narratives. The fact that both of the authors were female, and that one of them was poor to the point of starvation (the other was of the 'middling sort'), makes the texts even more remarkable.

My first book, Plain Ugly: The Unattractive Body in Early Modern Culture (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2010), discusses representations of physical unattractiveness in early modern England as a means of analysing the changing relationship between the body and the self in this era. 

I am currently writing a book about radical religious women of the seventeenth century. 

Further information

Naomi Baker studied at the University of Oxford and the University of Manchester, where she completed a PhD thesis on early modern women's autobiographical writing. She held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, during which she completed a critical edition of two of the earliest known English conversion narratives, both of which were written by women. She has subsequently taught and researched at the University of Manchester and has been a visiting academic at the University of Queensland (2019). 

She teaches and researches English Renaissance literature and culture, with a particular focus on the intersections of literature and theology, and has published widely on early modern English drama, literature and life writing. Her first book examined representations of ugliness in early modern culture and she is currently completing a book on radical religious women of the seventeenth century. 

She is an associate editor of the journal Literature and Theology (Oxford University Press).  

Supervision areas:

English Renaissance drama and literature, seventeenth-century religious writing, literature and philosophy, literature and theology.

Past and current areas of supervision include projects on English Renaissance drama, early modern devotional poetry, seventeenth-century life writing and early Quaker writing. 

Please get in touch if you are interested in postgraduate study in any of the areas mentioned above.

Email address:

External positions

Associate Editor, Oxford University Press

1 Jan 2024 → …


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