Sarah Beckwith

Sarah Beckwith

Katherine Everett Gilbert Distinguished 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. “Medieval Penance, Reformation Repentance and Measure for Measure.” Reading the Medieval in Early Modern England, edited by Gordon McMullan and David Matthews, Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp. 193–204.

Beckwith, S. “The Play of Voice: Knowledge, Acknowledgment and Judgement in Measure for Measure.” Spectacle and Public Performance in the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, edited by R. Stillma, Brill, 2006.

Beckwith, S. “Long review essay on Catholic Shakespeares.” Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, 2006.

Beckwith, S. “Preserving, Conserving, Deserving the Past: A Meditation on Ruin in Postwar Britain in five Fragments.A Place to Believe In: Locating Medieval Landscapes, edited by Clare Lees and Gillian Overing, Penn State University Press, 2006, 2006, p. p.191-210.

Beckwith, Sarah. “Office,Role,Persona: Martin Marprelate’s Contribution to Theater History.” Image and Imagination of the Religious Self in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe Edited by Walter Melion, 2005.

Beckwith, S. “Repairs in the Dark: Medieval Penance and Reformation Repentance in Measure for Measure.” Reading the Medieval in the Early Modern Edited by David Mathews and Gordon MacMullan, Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Beckwith, S. “Preserving, Deserving, Conserving the Past: A Meditation in Fragments on Ruin as Relic in Post War England.” Eds, Lees and Overing, edited by Clare Lees and Gillian Overby, State Press, 2004.

Beckwith, S. “Absent Presences: Resurrection Theatre in York.” Festschrift for Derek Pearsall, edited by D. Aers et al., 2000.

Beckwith, S. “Review of Covert Operations: Secrecy in Middle English Literature.” Studies in the Age of Chaucer, U of Pennsylvania P, 1999.


Aers, D. “Introduction.” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, vol. 31, no. 3, Duke University Press, Oct. 2001, pp. 443–44. Crossref, doi:10.1215/10829636-31-3-443. Full Text

Beckwith, S. “Sacrifice: Medieval and Early Modern.” Jmems, edited by D. Aers and S. Beckwith, vol. 31, 2001.

Beckwith, Sarah. “The Body Broken: The Calvinist Doctrine of the Eucharist and the Symbolization of Power in Sixteenth-Century France. By Christopher Elwood. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. xii + 251 pp. $49.95 cloth..” Church History, vol. 69, no. 1, Cambridge University Press (CUP), Mar. 2000, pp. 183–85. Crossref, doi:10.2307/3170607. Full Text

Beckwith, S. “Catholicism and Catholicity: Eucharistic Communities in Historical and Contemporary Perspectives.” Directions in Modern Theology, edited by G. Jones and J. Buckley, vol. 15, no. 2, Blackwell, Mar. 1999.

Beckwith, S. “Introduction.” Modern Theology, vol. 15, no. 2, Jan. 1999, pp. 113–14. Scopus, doi:10.1111/1468-0025.00088. Full Text

Beckwith, S. “The Cultural Work of Medieval Theatre: Ritual Practice in England 1350-1600.” Jmems, edited by S. Beckwith, vol. 29, 1999.

Beckwith, S. “Introduction - The cultural work of medieval theater: Ritual practice in England, 1350-1600.” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, vol. 29, no. 1, 1999, pp. 1–5.

Beckwith, S., and S. Wharton AJ. “Body, Matter, Spirit.” Jmems, Special Issue, edited by A. Wharton, vol. 28, 1998.

Beckwith, S. “English communities in transition, 1350-1600 - Introduction.” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, vol. 28, no. 2, 1998, pp. 257–62.

Beckwith, S. “The Present of Past Things: The York Corpus Christi Theatre as a Contemporary Theater of Memory.” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 1996.