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Dr Daniel Blank

Assistant Professor in Early Modern Literature, 1500-1700

Assistant Professor in Early Modern Literature, 1500-1700 in the Department of English Studies



I joined the Department of English Studies as Assistant Professor in Early Modern Literature, 1500-1700 in September 2021. My main research interests include Shakespeare, early modern drama, and theater history, as well as the intellectual culture and classical heritage of the early modern period. My first monograph, Shakespeare and University Drama in Early Modern England, was published by Oxford University Press in 2023. This book explores the relationship between the Shakespearean stage and the tradition known as ‘university drama’: student theatrical performances at universities during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. By placing Shakespeare’s works in conversation with these student plays, Shakespeare and University Drama in Early Modern England provides both new readings of canonical plays and fresh insight into the theatrical activities of the early modern English universities. My published articles have appeared in a number of academic journals including The Review of English StudiesRenaissance Quarterly, and Renaissance Studies. I have also written about Shakespeare and theater for the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, the Folger Library's Shakespeare & Beyond BlogOUPblog, and Harvard Magazine.

Among other administrative roles, I am the Department's Chair of the International Committee and International Exchange Coordinator, roles in which I serve as an advisor for all incoming and outgoing exchange students. If you are a current Durham student interested in studying abroad, or if you are an international student interested in coming to Durham on an exchange, please feel free reach out to me with questions or for general advice. 

I received my BA in English and Political Science from Columbia University, and I then received my masters from the University of Oxford on a Euretta J. Kellett Fellowship. I completed my PhD in English at Princeton University in 2018. Before coming to Durham, I spent three years as a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows.

Research interests

  • Early modern drama
  • Shakespeare
  • Theater history
  • Performance studies
  • Classical reception
  • Intellectual history
  • Manuscript studies
  • History of the book

Esteem Indicators

  • 2022: Sassoon Fellowship, Bodleian Library:
  • 2020: William F. Milton Fund Award, Harvard University:
  • 2018: Quin Morton Teaching Fellowship, Princeton Writing Program:
  • 2017: Graduate School Teaching Award, Princeton University:
  • 2016: Graduate Research Fellowship, Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University:
  • 2015: Graduate Prize Fellowship, Center for Human Values, Princeton University:
  • 2014: Donald and Mary Hyde Academic Year Research Fellowship, Princeton University:
  • 2009: Euretta J. Kellett Fellowship, Columbia University:


Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

Other (Print)

Supervision students