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Personal profile


Originally from West Yorkshire, Tom Roebuck came to UEA in 2013 from the University of Oxford.  He works on the intellectual cultures of Renaissance and early-modern England (spanning the period roughly from 1580 to 1710), especially on the ways in which the scholars of the period read, wrote, thought, and argued with one another. This has meant he is often to be found in archives, exploring scholars' letters, notebooks, and annotations. At UEA, Tom leads the teaching of seventeenth century literature, of Shakespeare, of Elizabethan literature (in a creative-critical module which recreates the teaching methods of Renaissance humanism), and, for third year students, he teaches a specialist module on early-modern writers' engagements with religion, and especially the ways in which religious questions gave shape to John Milton's late poetry. All Tom's teaching is motivated by a belief that we have a great deal to learn from the careful and passionate reading of the minutiae of texts' language.

Tom is the Director of Admissions for the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, and he welcomes messages from those interested in studying in the unique community of critics and practitioners that make up LDC. 

Key Research Interests and Expertise

Tom's research focusses on the scholars and scholarship of Renaissance and early-modern England (1580-1710), especially on the development of historical scholarship in England, the study of classical, biblical and Jewish texts, and the ways in which scholarship was shaped by complex religious and political commitments. He uses letters, notebooks, annotated printed books, and other original documents from archives around the world, to reconstruct the ways in which scholars of the past worked, thought and argued with one another. He is currently engaged in an intellectual biography of the clerical scholar, orientalist, antiquary and non-juror, Thomas Smith (1638-1710). He has recently written essays on the editing of Josephus, on the scholarship behind the King James Bible, and on the archaeological study of the near east in the late seventeenth century, and is working on essays on the historical scholarship of the Elizabethan Archbishop, Matthew Parker (1504-1575), on the editing of medieval texts in 1590s England, on antiquarianism in the period 1640-1715, and on the drafting of William Camden's Britannia (1586-1607); in spare minutes, he has been engaged for a while on collecting and editing the unpublished letters of the classical scholar, Richard Bentley (1662-1742). He regularly presents his work at leading international conferences.