Claire Jowitt

Claire Jowitt


  • 0.03 Registry And Council House

Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile

Key Responsibilities

Associate Dean for Research, Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Trustee and Board Member, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

Academic Background

Claire Jowitt was appointed Associate Dean for Research for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and Professor of Renaissance Studies in the Schools of Literature, Drama, and Creative Writing and History at the University of East Anglia in September 2015. She was Professor at the University of Southampton (2012-15) Nottingham Trent University (2005-12), and Visiting Professor in English at Newman University (2012-19). She is Visiting Professor in History at Southampton University. She has held fellowships at the Folger, Huntington, Clark, and John Carter Brown Libraries and at the National Maritime Museum and the Moore Institute, has received grants from the AHRC, NERC, British Academy, Modern Humanities Research Association, and the Leverhulme Trust, and has served on a range of boards, trusts, and councils. Currently she is on the Board of Trustees for the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, a member of the English Association Higher Education Committee and Editor (with Professor Jennifer Richards) of the Association’s monograph series, published by Liverpool University Press (, and she is a member of the Hakluyt Society Council. She has acted as judge for essay prizes and fellowships awarded by the Society for Renaissance Studies, the Hakluyt Society, and the Institute for Historical Research. Currently she chairs the judging panel for the Hakluyt Society's Essay Prize.

Professor Jowitt's research and teaching interests include:

  • Renaissance literature and history
  • the intersections between literature, politics, and power
  • exploration and travel writing
  • maritime culture
  • gender and race
  • piracy and privateering
  • islands and ports
  • cross-cultural encounters

She would welcome applications from students wishing to work on these topics.

Key Research Interests and Expertise

Professor Jowitt’s research is driven by a love of travel and the sea, and an interest in how people move between cultures and ideas across time. She has published widely on early modern travel writing and maritime culture, plays about cultural encounter, and the intersections between discourses of gender, race, colonial and/or imperial identities, and power.

Her most recent book is a collection of 24 essays, The Routledge Companion to Marine and Maritime Worlds, 1400-1800, co-edited with Craig Lambert and Steve Mentz (2020). Other recent books include a collection on travel drama, Travel and Drama in Early Modern England: The Journeying Play, published in 2018 by Cambridge University Press, co-edited with David McInnis; her monograph The Culture of Piracy 1580–1630: English Literature and Seaborne Crime (ESSE Book Award, Literatures in the English Language [established authors] Honourable Mention, 2012); and (with Daniel Carey) a collection of essays Richard Hakluyt and Travel Writing in Early Modern Europe. She has recently co-edited a Special Issue of the on-line journal Humanities on 'Pirates in English Literature' (with Nush Powell) http://www.mdpi/com/journal/humanities/special_issues/pirates

She is co-Director of the Hakluyt Edition Project ( and is a General Editor of the first critical edition of Hakluyt’s The Principal Navigations (1598–1600) for Oxford University Press. Funded by the AHRC, she co-organised the Haklyut@400 series of commemorative events in the autumn of 2016 for the Hakluyt Society. With John McAleer she edits the book series 'Maritime Humanities, 1400-1800: Cultures of the Sea' for Amsterdam University Press (

Her current in-progress work includes an edited collection on Richard Hakluyt (with Daniel Carey), a monograph provisionally enititled Seafever: The Sea Captain's Story. She is historical lead for The Gloucester Project ( working with Dr Benjamin Redding, on the varied material and cultual life of the Gloucester frigate, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor of Arts, University of Southampton

21 Sep 198631 May 1989

Award Date: 14 Jul 1989

External positions

Visiting Professor, University of Southampton

1 Sep 201530 Aug 2020

Visiting Professor, Newman University

1 Sep 201130 Aug 2019