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. "Sacrum Signum: Sacramentality and Dissent in York’s Theatre of Corpus Christi." Dissent in the Middle Ages. Ed. R Copeland. Cambridge UP, January 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. Ed. B Hanawalt and D Wallace. U of Minnesota P, January 1995.

Beckwith, S. "Review of Feminist Approaches to the Medieval Body." Speculum. Ed. S Stanbury and L Lomperis. 1995.

Beckwith, S. "Making the World in York and the York Corpus Christi Cycle." Framing Medieval Bodies. Ed. S Kay and M Rubin. Manchester UP, January 1994. 254-276.

Beckwith, S. "Review of The New Medievalism." Envoi: A Review Journal of Medieval Literature. Ed. M Borwnlee, K Brownlee, and S Nichols. 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. Ed. D Aers and H Hempstead. Harvester, January 1992. 65-90.

Beckwith, S. "The Power of Devils and the Hearts of Men: Notes Towards a Drama of Witchcraft." Shakespeare and the Changing Curriculum. Ed. N Wheale and L Aers. Routledge, 1991. 143-161.

Beckwith, S. "A Very Material Mysticism: The Medieval Mysticism of Margery Kempe." Medieval Literature: History, Criticism and Ideology. Ed. D Aers. 1986. 34-57.


Beckwith, S. "Women sing the Blues." Review of Wilfrid Mellers’ Angels of the Night, Women’s Review (January 1987).

Beckwith, S. "Kingsley and the Women." Review of Kingsley Amis’s ’The Old Devils,’ New Socialist (January 1987).

Beckwith, S. "Steven Berkoff’s Theatre of the Grotesque." Review of Sink the Belgrano, New Socialist (October 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).

"Communities in Transition." JMEMS, special issue 28.