Sarah Beckwith

Office Hours: 

Monday 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m; Tuesday 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. & by appointment.

Sarah Beckwith

Katherine Everett Gilbert Professor of English

External Address: 
302A Allen, Box 90014, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Duke Box 90014, Durham, NC 27708-0680
(919) 684-2741

Sarah Beckwith works on late medieval religious writing, medieval and early modern drama, and ordinary language philosophy. She is the author of Christ's Body: Identity, Religion and Society in Medieval English Writing (London: Routledge, 1993, pbk 1996); Signifying God: Social Relation and Symbolic Act in York's Play of Corpus Christi (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001, pbk 2003), and Shakespeare and the Grammar of Forgiveness (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011, pbk 2013). She is currently working on a book about Shakespearean tragedy and about philosophy's love affair with the genre of tragedy and The Book of Second Chances, a book about versions of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. She co-edited JMEMS for several years, and co-founded the book series Re-Formations with the University of Notre Dame Press and is the editor of numerous collections of essays and journals.


  • Ph.D., King's College 1992
  • M.A., University of Oxford (UK) 1982
  • B.A., University of Oxford (UK) 1981

Beckwith, S, and Simpson, J. Premodern Shakespeare. 2010. Full Text Open Access Copy

Beckwith, S. Hermeneutics and Ideology: Reading Medieval and Early Modern Texts. Ed. D Aers and S Beckwith. 2003.

Beckwith, S. Sacrifice. Ed. D Aers and S Beckwith. 2001.

Bauer, N, Beckwith, S, Crary, A, Laugier, S, Moi, T, and Zerilli, L. "Introduction." March 1, 2015. v-xiii. Full Text

Beckwith, S. "William Shakespeare and Stanley Cavell: Acknowledgement, Confession and Tragedy." Stanley Cavell and Literary Studies. Continuum, September 2011.

Beckwith, S. "Acknowledgement and Confession in Cymbeline." Shakesepeare and Religion: Early Modern and Postmeodern Perspectives. University of Notre Dame Press, 2011. 97-126.

Aers, D, and Beckwith, S. "The Eucharist." Cultural Reformations. Ed. J Simpson and B Cummings. Oxford University Press, 2011.

Aers, D, and Beckwith, S. "The Eucharist." Cultural Reformations. Ed. B Cummings. 2010. 153-165.

Beckwith, S. "Shakespeare’s Resurrections." Shakespeare and the Middle Ages. Ed. C Perry and J Watkins. Oxford University Press, October 2009.

Beckwith, S. "Middle English Drama." The Cambridge Companion to Middle English Literature. Ed. L Scanlon. Cambridge University Press, June 2009.

Beckwith, S. "Drama." The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Literature 1100-1500. January 1, 2009. 83-94. Full Text

Aers, D, and Beckwith, S. "Discerning the Body." Collection on Medieval and ReformationCulture. Ed. B Cummings and J Simpson. Oxford UP, 2008.

Beckwith, S. "Medieval Penance, Reformation Repentance and Measure for Measure." Reading the Medieval in Early Modern England. Ed. G McMullan and D Matthews. Cambridge University Press, 2007. 193-204.


Beckwith, S. "Reading for Our Lives." PMLA 132.2 (March 2017): 331-336. Full Text

Bauer, N, Beckwith, S, Crary, A, Laugier, S, Moi, T, and Zerilli, L. "Introduction." New Literary History 46.2 (2015): v-xiii. Full Text

Beckwith, S. "Language Goes on Holiday: English Allegorical Drama and the Virtue Tradition." JOURNAL OF MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN STUDIES 42.1 (2012): 107-130. Full Text

Beckwith, S, and Aers, D. "Reform and Cultural Revolution." JMEMS (2005). (Introduction)

Aers, D, and Beckwith, S. "Reform and cultural revolution: Introduction." JOURNAL OF MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN STUDIES 35.1 (2005): 3-11. Full Text

Beckwith, S. "Stephen Greenblatt's Hamlet and the forms of oblivion." Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 33.2 (January 29, 2003): 261-280. Full Text

Aers, D, and Beckwith, S. "Hermeneutics and ideology: Introduction (Religious writing in the medieval and early modern periods)." JOURNAL OF MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN STUDIES 33.2 (2003): 211-213. Full Text


Selected Grants

Forms of Conversion: Religion, Culture, and Cognitive Ecologies in Early Modern Europe and its Worlds awarded by Mcgill University, Montreal (Principal Investigator). 2013 to 2019

Paper Dolls awarded by The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2001 to 2002