Dr Rachel Stenner

Dr Rachel Stenner, Lecturer in English Literature 1350-1660, School of English, University of Sussex


Research Interests

Rachel’s research is about the literature and culture of the late medieval and early modern periods, with a particular emphasis on Tudor writers, print culture, and book history. Her monograph, The Typographic Imaginary in Early Modern English Literature analyses authors from William Caxton to Alexander Pope. This book asserts that writers develop a shared set of techniques when they depict printing houses, printers, text-making technologies, and other phenomena of the world of print. The writers she studies here engage what she calls the typographic imaginary to evaluate their place, and the place of the literary, in a rapidly changing media environment. Rachel has also recently edited a collection of essays for The Manchester Spenser. Rereading Chaucer and Spenser: Dan Geffrey with the New Poete (Manchester University Press, 2019) offers fresh approaches to the relationship between these two central poets in the English tradition. Her next major project is a monograph on the mid-Tudor satirist and printer’s assistant, William Baldwin. 

With Dr Kaley Kramer at Sheffield Hallam University and Dr Adam Smith at York St John University, Rachel has founded the Print Culture, Agency, Regional Identity network. This is a collaborative multidisciplinary project that explores how print culture articulated regional identities in the British Isles. The network’s first publication is a collection of essays, entitled, Print Culture, Agency, Regional Identity in the Hand Press Period.  

Rachel is a member of the Society for Renaissance Studies and sits on the Publications Committee of the Printing Historical Society.



Rachel Stenner, The Typographic Imaginary in Early Modern English Literature. Material Readings in Early Modern Culture (London: Routledge, 2018)

Rachel Stenner, Tamsin Badcoe, and Gareth Griffith, Gareth, eds. Rereading Chaucer and Spenser: Dan Geffrey with the New Poete. The Manchester Spenser (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2019)


Rachel Stenner, ‘Pastoral and Epic Animals in the Poetry of Edmund Spenser’, in Susan McHugh, Robert McKay, and John Miller, eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Animals in Literature. Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2019)

Rachel Stenner, ‘An Account of the Printer’s Manual, 1567-1683: History, Practice, Identity’, in Cydney Alexis, and Hannah Rule, eds. The Material Culture of Writing (Utah: Utah State University Press, 2019)

Rachel Stenner, ‘Strategies of Debate in Prefatory Dialogue’, in Graeme Kemp and Sandy Wilkinson, eds. Conflict and Controversy (Leiden: Brill, 2018)

Rachel Stenner and Frances Babbage, ‘Author of First English Novel Kept it Hidden for Ten Years – Here’s Why’The Conversation [19 September 2018].

Rachel Stenner, ‘ “The Author Laughed in a Cat’s Voice”: Aesop and Humanism in William Baldwin’s Beware the Cat in Zohar Hadromi-Allouche, ed., Fallen Animals: Art, Religion, Literature (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017)

Rachel Stenner, ‘The Act of penning in William Baldwin’s Beware the Cat’, Renaissance Studies, 30.3 (2016) 

rachel stenner

Associate Members