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Professor Andy Mousley

Job: Professor in Critical Theory and Renaissance Literature

Faculty: Art, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Humanities

Research group(s): English

Address: De Montfort University, Clephan Building, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 2078324

E: amousley@dmu.ac.uk

W: https://sagebitesreflections.wordpress.com/

 

Personal profile

Emeritus Professor Mousley’s main areas of academic interest are in literary theory, humanism and posthumanism, Renaissance literature, Shakespeare, and autobiography. He is the author of Literature and the Human: Criticism, Theory, Practice (London: Routledge, 2013), and the second, updated edition of Re-Humanising Shakespeare: Literary Humanism, Wisdom and Modernity appeared in 2015 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015; first published 2007). He is the author of Renaissance Drama and Contemporary Literary Theory (London: Macmillan, 2000) and co-author (with Martin Halliwell) of Critical Humanisms (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2003). He is the editor, with introduction, of Towards a New Literary Humanism (London: Palgrave, 2011), and John Donne: New Casebooks (London: Macmillan, 1999), and he has published numerous book chapters and articles in a range of journals includingTextual Practice, Biography, and Shakespeare. He is also the series co-editor of Edinburgh Critical Guides to Literature.

His next project will be to edit a new series of mini-monographs (for Routledge) on new literary theory. The aim of the series will be to re-assess and re-vitalise ideas about the value and significance of literature in the twenty-first century.    

Research group affiliations

English  

Publications and outputs 

 

Click here for a full listing of Andy Mousley's publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

- Re-Humanising Shakespeare: Literary Humanism, Wisdom and Modernity, 2nd edn (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015; first published 2007).

This book has received the following commendations:

“This is one of the few books on Shakespeare that has shown itself capable of building judiciously on the advances of the past 40 years, and, in a just world, whose impact deserves to extend far beyond the groves of academe ... We should all unite behind the banner of “literary humanism” especially in this winter of our discontent.” Professor John Drakakis (University of Stirling).

“This second edition is a testament to the enduring importance of Andy Mousley's trailblazing book, which was ahead of its time when first published, and which remains compulsory reading for anyone who needs reminding why literature matters, and who is ready to have their view of Shakespeare transformed.” Professor Kiernan Ryan (Royal Holloway, University of London)

- Literature and the Human: Criticism, Theory, Practice (London: Routledge, 2013)

“ … no less than an attempt, against the orthodoxies of the last thirty years, to assert the necessity of recognising human universals in our accounts of literature. In a series of brilliant and persuasive analyses, [Mousley] succeeds in providing a rich vocabulary for mediating between these universals and the dense particularities of literary texts”. Professor Simon Dentith (formerly of the University of Reading)

- ‘The New Literary Humanism: Towards a Critical Vocabulary’, Textual Practice, 24:5 (2010), 819-39. 

- ‘Early Modern Autobiography, History and Human Testimony’, Textual Practice, 23:2 (2009), 267-87. 

- ‘Autobiography, Authenticity, Human and Posthuman: Eva Hoffman’s Lost in Translation’, Biography, 35: 1 (2012), 99-114.

Research interests/expertise

Critical theory; humanism and posthumanism, Renaissance literature; Shakespeare; autobiography.

Areas of teaching

Renaissance Literature; Shakespeare; Critical Theory; Autobiography

Qualifications

1982:  BA (Hons) English, First Class (University of Wales, Cardiff)

1983:  MA in Elizabethan and Jacobean Studies (University of Kent)

1989:  PhD (University of Kent) 

Courses taught

Level 4: 
Introduction to Critical Theory (core course leader)
Introduction to Drama 
Poetry 
History of English and its Contexts 

Level 5: 
Medieval and Renaissance Literature 
History of English: Medieval to Augustan Literature  
Ways of Reading: the Past, Present and Future of Literary Studies (course leader)

Level 6: 
Writing the Self: 20th and 21st Century Autobiography  
Shakespeare
Advanced Critical Theory
English in the Workplace 

MA:  
Shakespeare, Humanism and Anti-Humanism
Shakespeare Today
Research Methods

Honours and awards

  • 2008:  Introduction to Counselling (University of Leicester). First Class.
  • 2005: Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award
  • 2009: Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • 2003 -  : Higher Education Academy
  • 2008 - :  East Midlands Early Modern Colloquium (full member).

Conference attendance

  • Keynote Speaker at conference on Love’ Labour’s Lost, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France, January 2015. Title: ‘Love: Ontological Foundation or Laughing Matter?’
  • Invited Speaker at conference on Modernism and the Moral Life, University of Manchester, May 2014. Title:  ‘Universals, Particulars, and the Experiencing of Morality in the Poetry of T. S. Eliot’
  • Invited Panel Paper, ‘Shakespeare and Depth’, British Shakespeare Association, University of Lancaster, February 2012.
  • Invited Speaker at International Symposium on ‘Posthuman Lives’ at the University of Hawai’i, September, 2011. The title of my paper was: ‘Autobiography, Authenticity and the Posthuman: Eva Hoffman’s Lost in Translation’. The paper has been converted into an article for publication in a special issue of the international journal Biography. 
  • Keynote Speaker at conference on ‘Shakespeare and Early Modern Emotion’, University of Hull, June 2011. The title of the paper was: “True Lively Knowledge”: Shakespeare, Emotion and Early Modern Culture’. 
  • Keynote Speaker at conference on ‘The Monster Inside Us, The Monsters Around Us: Monstrosity and Humanity’, De Montfort University, November, 2011. The title of my paper was: ‘Borderline Monsters’. 
  • Invited Speaker at University of Cardiff’s Medieval and Early Modern Research Initiative, February 2011. The title of my paper was ‘Re-thinking the Human and the Human Significance of Literature: The Wakefield Second Shepherds’ Play and King Lear’.
  • Keynote Speaker at conference on ‘The Good of Criticism’, University of Reading, March 2010. The title of my paper was: ‘Quality of Life, Literature as Ersatz Theology, and the New Humanist Criticism’. 
  • Keynote Speaker at conference on ‘The Emergence of the Posthuman Subject’, University of Surrey, July 2010. The title of my paper was: ‘Shape without form, shade without colour’: Literature’s Mediation of the (Post-) Human’.
  • Invited respondent to papers on ‘Shakespeare’s Philosophy’ at a one-day seminar at Royal Holloway College, London, May 2010.
  • Keynote Speaker at English Subject Centre conference on 'Situated and Work-Related Learning in the Humanities', University of Central Lancashire, March 2007. 

Other forms of public presentation

  • Invited International Lecture Series  
    Series of invited lectures, funded by the British Council, delivered at three Universities (Sarajevo, Tuzla and Banja Luka) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2008). My lectures addressed the topic of ‘human remains’ in Shakespeare.

Consultancy work

Visiting Lectureships

  • Visiting Lecturer on MA programme ‘The Literary Human’ at the University of Denmark, Aarhus University, Denmark, forthcoming April 2013
  • Visiting Lecturer on MA in Humanities at the University of Leicester (2003-2013)

External Examining (Postgraduate)

  • ‘Rethinking Historicism: Shakespeare’s History Plays, Royal Holloway, University of London, July 2010
  • ‘Shakespeare’s Existentialism’, Royal Holloway, University of London, September 2012 
  • ‘Shakespeare’s History Plays’, Cardiff University, Wales, December 17, 2012.
  • External Examiner for MA in Shakespeare, Royal Holloway, University of London 2013-16

External Examining (Undergraduate)

  • Chief External Examiner: University of Bolton, 2011-13 
  • External Examiner: English Undergraduate Programme, University of Bolton, 2008-12 
  • External Examiner: English Undergraduate Programme, Liverpool John Moores University, 2013-16.

AHRC Peer Reviewer, 2009

  • Reader/Reviewer: for Palgrave, Manchester University Press, Polity and Edinburgh University Press; and for the journals Keywords, Literature and History, Shakespeare, Comparative Drama, and Cahiers Elisabethains

Current research students

  • PhD: First Supervisor of AHRC-funded thesis on the quest for wisdom in the work of H.D. The student approached me as potential supervisor having read my 2013 monograph Literature and the Human.
  • I am currently second-supervising three other PhDs. 

Internally funded research project information

Departmental Study Leave: January 2010-June 2010 to complete the following:

  • Edited collection of essays, Towards a New Literary Humanism (London: Palgrave, 2011)
  • Journal article: ‘The New Literary Humanism: Towards a Critical Vocabulary’, Textual Practice, 24:5 (2010), 819-39. 
  • Journal article, as invited expert respondent to special issue of journal on the human/posthuman: ‘Limits, Limitlessness and the Politics of the (Post)human’, postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies 1:1 (2010), 247-55.
  • Encyclopedia entry: ‘Thomas Whythorne’, in Encyclopedia of English Renaissance Literature, ed. Garrett A. Sullivan Jr and Alan Stewart, 3 vols (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming 2011).
  • Book Review: Peter Holbrook, Shakespeare’s Individualism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), Cahiers Elisabethains,78 (2010), 109-10.

University Research Leave: January 2012-June 2012

Professional esteem indicators

  • Visiting Lecturer, Aarhus University, Denmark, April 2013.
  • Invited Speaker at the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, University of Durham, February 2015. Title: ‘Limits Lost and Limits Regained in Shakespeare’.
  • Invited Speaker at Liverpool John Moores Research Seminar, October 2012.  The title of my paper was ‘Literature, Literary Theory and the Fate of the Universal’.
  • Invited Speaker at International Symposium on ‘Posthuman Lives’ at the University of Hawai’i, September, 2011. The title of my paper was: ‘Autobiography, Authenticity and the Posthuman: Eva Hoffman’s Lost in Translation’. The paper has been converted into an article for publication in a special issue of the international journal Biography.
  • Member of Editorial Board of the journal Filolog, University of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Other members of this board include Distinguished Professor Terry Eagleton and Professor Ross Posnock (University of California).  Role: advisor and peer reviewer.

Responses to my publications include:

  • Re-Humanising Shakespeare: Literary Humanism, Wisdom and Modernity (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007).

'Re-Humanising Shakespeare has evidently been written from a position of tried-and-tested literary experience as well as deep critical and theoretical understanding. Here, the history of literary criticism and of literary theory is made to sit comfortably alongside questions of human authenticity and existentialism, with Mousley’s range stretching easily from Aristotle to Charles Taylor, from Leavis to “presentist” criticism … While this book leads its readers to think about Shakespeare afresh in terms of “literary humanism”, and away from a critical tradition often scathing about the very word “human”, the benefit of this thoughtful and well-crafted book is obvious from the outset: Re-Humanising Shakespeare returns us to a reinvigorated idea of why we read and think about literature.’
Michael Davies, Bulletin of the Society for Renaissance Studies, 27:1 (2010) 

‘One of the most readable works of Shakespeare scholarship I’ve encountered in a long time  - and one that articulates a wise and heartening vision for a new ethical humanism in literary studies. A very accessible, lucidly written, fair-minded and forward-looking book.’
Distinguished Professor Robert Watson, University of California, US (reproduced on back cover)

‘Andy Mousley’s revivified ‘literary humanism’ joins up the basic critical question – ‘How to read? – with the basic existential question – ‘How to live?’. Humanism’s more reactionary defenders tend to come out frothing and flailing but the keynote of Rehumanising Shakespeare is a rare and impressive gentleness.  Here’s a book about the plays brave enough not only to have a heart, but also to seek and perhaps transform yours.’
Professor Ewan Fernie, Shakespeare Institute (reproduced on back cover)

‘If “human” is just a word, it is nonetheless among the most important, if not the most important work we have … One of the many things this book does well is to force us to ponder what we mean by “the human'’.
Douglas Bruster, English Studies, 90:1 (2009)

  • Towards a New Literary Humanism (London: Palgrave, 2011)

‘This book stands out as an intervention in post-poststructuralist debates ... and will have a significant impact on the way literary studies will shape its theoretical debates in the near future.’
Professor Tim Woods, University of Aberystwyth (reproduced on back cover)

  • ‘The New Literary Humanism: Towards a Critical Vocabulary’, Textual Practice, 24:5 (2010), 819-39.

‘This article will be of considerable interest to Textual Practice readers for the erudite and incisive ways in which it tries to establish for Humanism the kind of careful critical scrutiny and studious elaboration of keywords and concepts already undertaken in the pages of this journal for other critical movements such as Cultural Materialism’.
Reader’s report

  • 'Autobiography, Authenticity, Human and Posthuman: Eva Hoffman’s Lost in Translation’, Biography, 35: 1 (2012)

‘I think you have done what the special issue really needs: a sophisticated defence of literary autobiography in humanist terms … I am impressed and delighted with what you have produced for the posthuman issue. It is a fine essay.’
Professor Gillian Whitlock, University of Queensland, Australia and editor of the special issue in which this article appears

  • ‘Limits, Limitlessness and the Politics of the (Post)human’, postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies 1:1 (2010)

‘You really did a marvellous job of outlining what you see as the most insistent demands/perils/hopes of posthumanist/humanist discourse at this stage of the game in the humanities, especially in the field of literary studies.’
Professor Eileen Joy, Southern Illinois University, US and editor of the special issue in which this article appears. This article has been included in a representative sample of the best of the journal’s content (see: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/pmed/free_articles.html), and the journal itself voted best new journal in the Humanities and Social Sciences Awards by the 2011 Prose Awards. 

  • Critical Humanisms: Humanist and Anti-Humanist Debates, with Martin Halliwell (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2003)

‘In Critical Humanisms, Martin Halliwell and Andy Mousley have created an extensive and profitable study.’ Keith Mears, Journal of American Studies, 38 (2004)

‘I wanted to share with you the website for The BABEL Working Group, for which your and Halliwell's book has also been an influence. You have also influenced our next collection, which will be coming out from Ohio State UP's new series, Interventions: Studies in Medieval Culture’
Professor Eileen Joy, Southern Illinois University, US

  • Renaissance Drama and Contemporary Literary Theory (London: Macmillan, 2000)

‘Mousley writes with …a demystifying accessibility that refuses to simplify complex material or to dazzle with the sophistication of his own critical intelligence’, Edward Pechter, Shakespeare Survey, 55 (2002)

‘Mousley’s book is highly readable and highly recommended’, Matthew Steggle, Year’s Work in English Studies, 81 (2000)

Case studies

As an extension of one of his ‘signature’ research specialisms in literature and humanism, Dr Mousley has created a website, commended by Alain de Botton, designed to deepen public interest in the value of literature and the way that past and present writers can provoke reflection on what it is to be human. The website, called Sage Bites: Reflections on Quotations for Life, is available at https://sagebitesreflections.wordpress.com/  The project has generated interest from various individuals and organisations, including Professor Ben Knights, former Director of the English Subject Centre.
Andy-Mousley-1173

Search Who's Who

Towards a New Literary Humanism - Andy Mousley

Critical Humanisms - Andy Mousley

Re-Humanising Shakespeare - Andy Mousley

 
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