Amy Kenny

Amy Kenny Visiting Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of Sussex

Amy Kenny received her PhD in early modern literature and culture from the University of Sussex for her thesis on Shakespeare’s medical representation of the family.  From 2009-2012, she was Research Coordinator at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, where she was the chief dramaturge for 15 productions, and taught courses on theatrical practice and Shakespearean drama.  She also conducted over 80 interviews with actors and directors on architecture, audiences, and performance, as part of an archival resource for future scholarship.

Her research focuses on how a robust understanding of the medical treatises and treatments available during the early modern period can shed light on the notion and representation of the humoral body, blood, and disease in Shakespeare’s plays.  In addition, she is interested in the semiotics of performance; how signs are codified and interpreted through and by the performance space and audiences.

In 2018, Amy will become co-editor of The Hare, a peer-reviewed, on-line academic journal of untimely reviews.


  • Humoral Wombs on the Shakespearean Stage (under contract with Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science, and Medicine).
  • “‘A deal of stinking breath’: The smell of contagion in the early modern playhouse” in Contagion and the Shakespearean Stage, ed. Mary Floyd-Wilson and Darryl Chalk (Ashgate, forthcoming).
  • “The ‘speaking Cleopatra boy’: Performance of the Queen’s two bodies on the early modern stage” in Shakespeare’s Queens (Palgrave, 2018).
  • 22 biographies in A Biographical Encyclopaedia of Early Modern Englishwomen, Exemplary Lives and Memorable Acts, 1500-1650, eds. Carole Levin, Michelle Osherow and Anna Riehl Bertolet (Routledge, 2016).
  • The Senses in Early Modern England, 1558-1660, ed. Simon Smith, Jacqueline Watson, and Amy Kenny (Manchester University Press, 2015).
  •  “‘I hope ‘twill make you laugh’: Audience laughter at the Globe Theater” in Theatre Research International 40:1 (March 2015).
  • “The Limits of the Known in Shakespeare” in Romanian Shakespeare Journal 2:2 (2015), 65-75.
  • “‘A feast of languages’: the role of language in the Globe-to-Globe festival” in Multicultural Shakespeare 11:1 (December 2014).
  • Dramaturgy as Training: A Collaborative Model at Shakespeare’s Globe” in The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy, ed. Magda Romanska (Routledge, 2014).
  • “The Reconstructed Dramaturg” in Theatre Topics 24:1 (March 2014), with Casey Caldwell.
  • “William Shakespeare” in Oxford Bibliographies in British and Irish Literature, with Andrew Hadfield (Oxford University Press: 2013).
  • “Shakespeare’s World Explained” in Globe Education: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream  (Hodder Education: 2011-12).