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. “"Pytussely beholde": Duffy, Consolation and the Contemporary Past.” Assays, edited by P. Knapp, 1997.

Beckwith, S. “Sacrum Signum: Sacramentality and Dissent in York’s Theatre of Corpus Christi.” Dissent in the Middle Ages, edited by Rita Copeland, Cambridge UP, 1996.

Beckwith, S. “Review of Texts of the Passion: Latin Devotional Literature and Medieval Society.” Studies in Philology, U of Pennsylvania P, 1996.

Beckwith, S. “Ritual, Theatre and Social Space in York’s Play of Corpus Christi.” Bodies and Disciplines: Intersections of Literature and History in Fifteenth Century England, edited by Barbara Hanawalt and David Wallace, U of Minnesota P, 1995.

Beckwith, S. “Review of Feminist Approaches to the Medieval Body.” Speculum, edited by Sarah Stanbury and Linda Lomperis, 1995.

Beckwith, S. “Making the World in York and the York Corpus Christi Cycle.” Framing Medieval Bodies, edited by Sarah Kay and Miri Rubin, Manchester UP, 1994, pp. 254–76.

Beckwith, S. “Review of The New Medievalism.” Envoi: A Review Journal of Medieval Literature, edited by Marina Borwnlee et al., 1993.

Beckwith, S. “Ritual, Church and Theatre: Medieval Dramas of the Sacramental Body.” Culture and History: Essays on English Communities, Identities and Writing 1350-1600, edited by David Aers and Hemel Hempstead, Harvester, 1992, pp. 65–90.

Beckwith, S. “The Power of Devils and the Hearts of Men: Notes Towards a Drama of Witchcraft.” Shakespeare and the Changing Curriculum, edited by Nigel Wheale and Lesley Aers, Routledge, 1991, pp. 143–61.

Beckwith, S. “A Very Material Mysticism: The Medieval Mysticism of Margery Kempe.” Medieval Literature: History, Criticism and Ideology, edited by David Aers, 1986, pp. 34–57.


Beckwith, S. “Passionate Regulation: Enclosure, Ascesis and the Feminist Imaginary.” Saq, vol. 93, 1994, pp. 803–24.

Beckwith, S. “Problems of authority in late medieval english mysticism: Language, agency, and authority in the book of margery kempe.” Exemplaria, vol. 4, no. 1, Jan. 1992, pp. 171–99. Scopus, doi:10.1179/exm.1992.4.1.171. Full Text

Beckwith, S. “Women sing the Blues.” Review of Wilfrid Mellers’ Angels of the Night, Women’S Review, Jan. 1987.

Beckwith, S. “Kingsley and the Women.” Review of Kingsley Amis’S ’The Old Devils,’ New Socialist, Jan. 1987.

Beckwith, S. “Steven Berkoff’s Theatre of the Grotesque.” Review of Sink the Belgrano, New Socialist, Oct. 1986.

Beckwith, S. “Schlock up your Daughters.” Review of Recent ’Exploitation’ Cinema, New Socialist, July 1986.

Beckwith, S. “Women beware Barker.” Review of Howard Barker’S Women Beware Women, New Socialist, June 1986.

Beckwith, S. “Review of Geoff Dyer’s Ways of Telling: The Works of John Berger.” City Limits, Jan. 1986.

Communities in Transition.” Jmems, Special Issue, vol. 28.