Hello! I’m Dr Sophie Duncan, a theatre historian and literary critic based at Christ Church, in the University of Oxford
I’m the author of Shakespeare’s Women and the Fin de Siecle (2016), published by Oxford University Press, Women and Power: The Struggle for Suffrage (2018), co-written with Rachael Lennon and published by the National Trust, and the forthcoming Shakespeare’s Props: Memory and Cognition, to be published by Routledge on Valentine’s Day, 2019 (romantic). As the titles suggest, I specialise in Shakespeare, theatre, memory studies, and women’s literary, political, and theatrical lives.
If you’d like to hear me talking about my research, why not listen to my episode of BBC Radio 3’s The Essay, on ‘Shakespeare and the suffragettes’? On an entirely different note, you can also hear me talking about why tragedy is good for you (spoiler: endorphins) on the BBC World Service.
I am also the academic lead on the National Trust’s 2018 National Public Programme, Women and Power.
My research specialisms include Early Modern theatrical memory, cognitive approaches to theatre, ageing in theatre, Oscar Wilde, women’s performance, and the life of Ira Aldridge, the first African American actor to succeed in Europe. I have a longstanding relationship with Lolita Chakrabarti’s award-winning play Red Velvet, acting as historical advisor for both the original Tricycle run and its recent West End transfer. I continue to work regularly as an historical advisor and dramaturg for radio, theatre, and television.