Andrew Elder Zurcher, BA (Yale), MPhil, PhD. Tutor and Director of Studies in English (Part I).
As Director of Studies I am responsible for organising teaching for the English undergraduates. I also supervise early modern English literature, Shakespeare, Practical Criticism, and Tragedy, as well as supervising a range of dissertations. In supervisions, I try to help students create a safe space for collaborative critical thinking, a place where they can formulate and debate positions on literary, historical, ethical, political and other sorts of questions that arise from their reading.
I love getting the opportunity to meet and learn from students outside my own subject area, and to work alongside them to make Queens' an open, inclusive, vibrant, and self-respecting environment in which to live and study. I take a particular interest in BATS (the undergraduate theatrical society) and in our college literary magazine, the Dial.
Anyone thinking of applying to study English at Queens' should read as widely as possible, in poetry, prose and drama. In addition to browsing bookshops for good current and recent authors, it's wise to begin to try to understand the historical development of English literature; here anthologies can be helpful, alongside introductions to the history of literary writing in English.
My main area of research is literature in English between the years 1500 and 1700, including the varied writings of Edmund Spenser, Sir Philip Sidney, William Shakespeare, John Donne and Sir Thomas Browne. I am especially interested in early modern manuscript and print culture; in law and literature studies, and in early modern rhetoric and epistemology. I am currently collaborating on new editions of the works of Edmund Spenser and Thomas Browne (both for Oxford University Press), and working on a study of the significance of the rhetorical figure of hypallage to the writings of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English poets and dramatists.
In the Faculty of English I give occasional lectures and supervise graduate students. This includes contributions to early modern papers in Part 1, including the Shakespeare paper, and to the Tragedy paper in Part II. I also teach early modern paleography for the Faculty of History.