Dr Stewart Mottram

Dr Stewart Mottram

Senior Lecturer in English Literature

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Arts Cultures and Education
  • Department of English and American Studies

Summary

Dr Stewart Mottram, FRSA, FHEA, is a Senior Lecturer specialising in seventeenth-century literature and culture and came to Hull in 2010, having previously taught at Leeds, Aberystwyth, and Sidney Sussex, Cambridge.

He is Research Director in the Department of English, Creative Writing, and American Studies and leads the interdisciplinary Heritage and Memory research cluster in Hull's Faculty of Arts, Cultures, and Education. He has held fellowships from the Leverhulme Trust (2008-10) and AHRC (2014-15), has research interests in flooding, water management, and water and wellbeing in seventeenth-century literature and culture, 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' (from August 2021).

Mottram's recent research explores writerly responses to the violence and vandalism of religious reformation in the early modern period (1500-1700). His latest monograph – 'Ruin and Reformation in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Marvell' – is published by Oxford University Press (2019).

His current book project combines Literature, History, and Human Geography methodologies to explore the challenges and opportunities of living with water in the early modern Atlantic world, asking how cultural, social and technological responses to issues like flooding, water sanitation and supply, and water and wellbeing find representation in English and North American literature from this period.

Undergraduate

Level 4

- Reading Poetry (module leader)

- Travels in Text and Time (module leader)

Level 6

- Dissertation (supervisor)

Level 7

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

- Creative Writing Portfolio (module leader)

- Dissertation (module leader)

- Guided Independent Research Essay (supervisor)

- Medieval and Renaissance Intertextualities (seminar tutor)

Recent outputs

View more outputs

Book

Ruin and reformation in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Marvell

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

Book Chapter

Spenser’s Dutch uncles: The family of love and the four translations of a theatre for worldlings

Mottram, S. (2014). Spenser’s Dutch uncles: The family of love and the four translations of a theatre for worldlings. In J. Maria Perez Fernandez, & E. Wilson-Lee (Eds.), Translation and the Book Trade in Early Modern Europe. , (164-184). https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139942393.009

Journal Article

Brief reflections: the marble surfaces of Marvell’s memorial verse

Mottram, S. (2017). Brief reflections: the marble surfaces of Marvell’s memorial verse. Journal of the Northern Renaissance, 8,

“With guiltles blood oft stained”: Spenser’s Ruines of Time and the Saints of St. Albans

Mottram, S. (2018). “With guiltles blood oft stained”: Spenser’s Ruines of Time and the Saints of St. Albans. Spenser studies, 31(1), 533-556. https://doi.org/10.1086/694442

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

Stewart Mottram is an interdisciplinary researcher specialising in seventeenth-century literature and culture in relation to topics surrounding literature and religion and literature and environment. Mottram draws on the research methods and approaches of History and Heritage Studies, and works in partnership with colleagues in Human Geography and Environmental Science.

Literature and Religion

Mottram’s latest book, ‘Ruin and Reformation in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Marvell' (Oxford University Press, 2019), is the first major study to explore the impact of reformation violence and ruin creation on English literature spanning the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It reads early modern English literature in light of English reformation history, and in dialogue with recent historiographical perspectives, exploring writerly responses to the religious violence of the long reformation in England and Wales across over a century of literature and history, from the establishment of the national church under Henry VIII (1534), to its disestablishment under Oliver Cromwell (1653). It focuses on representations of ruined churches, monasteries, and cathedrals in the works of a range of English Protestant writers, including Spenser, Shakespeare, Jonson, Herbert, Denham, and Marvell, reading literature alongside episodes in English reformation history: from the dissolution of the monasteries and the destruction of church icons and images, to the puritan reforms of the 1640s.

Ruin and Reformation has been reviewed in 'The Review of English Studies', 'The Seventeenth Century', 'The Spenser Review', and 'Journal of British Studies'. Andrew Hui writes in 'The Spenser Review' that "There are few literary critics today who have his deep reservoir of knowledge in the literary, political and religious history of the period. An empiricist at heart, his command of primary texts in manuscript and print is masterful and knowledge of secondary scholarship impressive."

Literature and Environment

Mottram’s latest book project combines Literature, History, and Human Geography methodologies to explore the challenges and opportunities of living with water in the early modern Atlantic world, asking how cultural, social and technological responses to issues like flooding, water sanitation and supply, and water and wellbeing find representation in English and North American literature from this period.

Mottram currently leads an AHRC/XR Stories Creative Industries Cluster project, ‘By the rising tide of Humber: Flooding Andrew Marvell’s Hull in VR’, an interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers in English, Geography, and the Energy and Environment Institute (EEI) at Hull together with industry partners, BetaJester Ltd. The project recreates in virtual reality (VR) a geographically and historically accurate model of 1640s Hull, which we use to test Hull's flood defence capability in the 1640s by subjecting the virtual town to an historical weather event - a documented storm surge and flood in 1646 - using flood modelling tools developed in the EEI. Through knowledge exchange, the project is driving developments in heritage and environmental applications of VR, while at the same time the VR product is enabling us to bring historical floods to life.

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

- 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

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)

2015

Research assessment service

Member of the AHRC Peer Review College

2020