Jeanne Shami

Professor Emeritus / Adjunct Professor
BA Hons, MA (Western Ontario), PhD (Toronto)

Office: AH 320

Research interests

  • Early modern literature and culture
  • John Donne
  • Sermons
  • Women and sermons
  • Material culture
  • Reception history
  • Manuscript sermons and their transmission.

President's Scholar

Jeanne Shami's main fields of interest include John Donne, especially his sermons and reception history; historical approaches to Renaissance literature; censorship and Renaissance literature; and women as writers and patrons of literature and sermons in the 17th century. She has published numerous essays and book chapters on John Donne, and has been invited to deliver several plenary addresses on her work on Donne to international conferences in Britain and the United States. A parallel-text edition of the Donne sermon corrected in his hand (the only such Donne sermon known to scholars) was published in 1996. She has also edited a special issue of the John Donne Journal on sermons and contributed the historical and critical introduction to reading the sermons of this period. Currently, she is an editorial board member of the John Donne Journal and English Studies in Canada, and serves on the General Editorial Board of the Donne Variorum project. She is also Executive Editor of the Verse Letters volume for that project. She was named President's Scholar (2003-2005), and in 2004 received the Alumni Award for Excellence in Research. Work on two further manuscript discoveries appeared in English Manuscript Studies (2007). Her book, John Donne and Conformity in Crisis in the Late Jacobean Pulpit (326 pages), was published by D. S. Brewer in 2003 and won the John Donne Society Award for Distinguished Publication for that year (she also received this award in 1996, 2000, and 2007). With her colleagues Dennis Flynn and M. Thomas Hester she published the Oxford Handbook of John Donne (OUP, 2011). It included two of her essays (one on Donne’s sermons as genre, and a biographical essay on Donne’s decision to take orders). Recent publications include an essay on “Women and Sermons” for The Oxford Handbook of the Early Modern Sermon, and a forthcoming essay on “The Sermon” in The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Literature and Religion (OUP, 2017). Most recently, she and her colleague, Dr. Anne James, have collaborated on project entitled The Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons (GEMMS). GEMMS is a SSHRC-funded project to create an open-access, comprehensive, fully searchable, online bibliographic database of early modern sermon manuscripts from the British Isles and North America. The database is a finding aid for all types of manuscripts related to sermons, including complete sermons, sermon notes and reports of sermons, held in numerous repositories in the UK, Ireland, the USA and Canada. GEMMS is hosted by ITER: Gatewill launch in May 2017 in the UK at Dr. Williams’s Library. For further information contact:

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