Dr Stewart Mottram

Dr Stewart Mottram

Senior Lecturer in English Literature

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Arts Cultures and Education
  • School of Humanities


Dr Stewart Mottram is a Senior Lecturer specialising in interdisciplinary approaches to seventeenth-century literature, history, and culture. He has published widely on religious violence and vandalism in seventeenth-century England and Wales and his current research interests combine environmental humanities and medical humanities approaches to writing, water, and wellbeing in the literature of Andrew Marvell and his contemporaries.

His latest book – Ruin and Reformation in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Marvell – is published by Oxford University Press (2019). His most recent research on medical cures for malaria in seventeenth-century England - first reported in The Observer (August 2020) - is now available to read open access in The Seventeenth Century (2021) - ‘A most excellent medicine’: Malaria, Mithridate, and the Death of Andrew Marvell. Mottram is currently working on a book-length project on parasites in early modern England. He is fellow of the RSA and Higher Education Academy and is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College.

Mottram is currently Research Director in the Department of English, Creative Writing, and American Studies where he also co-directs two Faculty Research Centres - the Cultures of Incarceration Centre, and the Larkin Centre for Poetry and Creative Writing.

Mottram is also Deputy Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Water Cultures, hosted by the University of Hull's Energy & Environment Institute. The Centre pioneers a new, humanities-led, interdisciplinary and transhistorical research area – the ‘green-blue humanities’ – equipping a new generation of PhD students to take this agenda forward and transform our understanding of humanity's relationships with water in the green-blue regions of the world, past, present and future.

Mottram has held fellowships from the Leverhulme Trust (2008-10) and AHRC (2014-15), and currently leads an AHRC/XR Stories Creative Industries project combining disciplinary and industry expertise to virtually recreate a seventeenth-century flood of Hull. Mottram is also co-investigator on the AHRC project, 'Risky Cities: Living with Water in an Uncertain Future Climate’, a 24-month AHRC-funded project learning from the past to build climate awareness today and for the future. Working with project partners including the National Youth Theatre, Absolutely Cultured and the Living with Water Partnership, the project explores Hull’s 800-year history of flooding and use arts and heritage interventions to engage diverse communities in building flood resilience.

Level 4

- Poetry, Past and Present (module leader)

Level 5

- Writing the Environment (module leader)

- Love, Desire, and Death

Level 6

- Dissertation (supervisor)

Level 7

- Ruin and Reformation in English Renaissance Writing (module leader)

- Dissertation (supervisor)

- Guided Independent Research Essay (supervisor)

Recent outputs

View more outputs


Ruin and reformation in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Marvell

Mottram, S. (2019). Ruin and reformation in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Marvell. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Book Chapter

Rereading Ruins: Edmund Spenser and Scottish Presbyterianism

Mottram, S. (2020). Rereading Ruins: Edmund Spenser and Scottish Presbyterianism. In A. Walsham, B. Wallace, C. Law, & B. Cummings (Eds.), Memory and the English Reformation (223-237). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Journal Article

"A most excellent medicine": Malaria, Mithridate, and the death of Andrew Marvell

Mottram, S. (in press). “A most excellent medicine”: Malaria, Mithridate, and the death of Andrew Marvell. Seventeenth Century, 1-27. https://doi.org/10.1080/0268117x.2021.1901240

Book review: The concept of nature in Early Modern English Literature

Mottram, S. (in press). Book review: The concept of nature in Early Modern English Literature. Seventeenth Century, 1-2. https://doi.org/10.1080/0268117x.2019.1615540

The religious geography of Marvell's "An Horatian Ode": popery, presbytery, and parti-coloured picts

Mottram, S. (2018). The religious geography of Marvell’s “An Horatian Ode”: popery, presbytery, and parti-coloured picts. Seventeenth Century, 33(4), 441-461. https://doi.org/10.1080/0268117X.2018.1484636

Research interests

Environmental Literature, History, and Culture (1500-1700); Environmental Humanities and Medical Humanities approaches to English Literature; Digital Humanities (VR/AR recreations of historical environments); Flooding in literature and history; Community arts and humanities interventions (using the arts and humanities to raise awareness about climate change and flooding).

Project: By the rising tide of Humber: Flooding Andrew Marvell's Hull in VR

Funder: XR Stories/ AHRC

Grant: £28,058

Started: 1 October 2019

Status: Complete

Project: Representing ruins in English Renaissance literature: Empire, identity and the legacy of the English Reformation, c.1530-c.1660

Funder: AHRC

Grant: £84,694

Started: 1 September 2014

Status: Complete

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Mottram welcomes applications from PhD students in the following broad areas:

- Literature and religion: 1400-1700

- Literature and environment (especially poetry): any period

- Literature and medicine: 1400-1700

- Flooding and water management

- Andrew Marvell

- William Shakespeare (Poetry)

- Edmund Spenser

Completed PhDs

I have supervised the following projects to successful completion in recent years:

- Louise Powell (as second supervisor), The Crisis of Masculinity: Twins, Early Modern Medicine, and Drama, 1594-1655 (2018).

- Kaylara Ann Reed (as first supervisor), Writing Reform in 14th-century English Romance (2017). External examiner, Professor Raluca Radulescu (Bangor).

- Amy Albudri (as second supervisor), Phantasmal Morgans and Other Women (2016). External examiner, Dr Rob Gossedge (Cardiff).

Current PhD supervisions

I currently act as first supervisor for four PhD projects on English Literature and Heritage topics: 1) on Ted Hughes and myth, 2) Philip Larkin's letters, 3) Chaucer and medievalism, and 4) the role of the volunteer in constructing heritage narratives.

Membership/Fellowship of professional body

Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA)


Research assessment service

Member of the AHRC Peer Review College