Participant Info

First Name
Alice
Last Name
Leonard
Affiliation
University of Warwick, UK
Website URL
https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/ias/people/wirl/leonard/
Keywords
early modern culture, book history, error, correction, early science, medicine, Shakespeare, drama, metaphor
Additional Contact Information
I am in a research position and have a large amount of flexibility. Please feel free to contact me.

Personal Info

Photo
About Me

I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study and the Department for English and Comparative Literary Studies.

I am currently on 12 months’ research leave funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (FNS). From 1 December – 1 June 2019 I will be a Visiting Member of the Faculty of English, University of Oxford. Email: alice.leonard@ell.ox.ac.uk

I am researching an interdisciplinary project on the history of the book and the history of science, focusing on Thomas Browne’s Pseudodoxia Epidemica (1646). Browne aimed to write an encyclopedia of error, aiming to correct common superstitions. He participated in a social epistemology driven by print, where readers sometimes corrected each other’s work by conducting experiments, or failed to eradicate the mistakes of claims of truth in print.

Four hundred years ago rapidly changing technology threw truth and error into question in similar ways that social media is doing today. We live in a post-truth world, but we are far from the first to worry about the state of truth. My research investigates the origins of these concerns. Browne and other thinkers like Francis Bacon called for an overhaul of knowledge on the basis of observation and experiment, instigating ideals of objectivity, empiricism, science and impartiality which we now see threatened.

Rather than conceptualizing our current crisis of truth as an unprecedented phenomenon driven by new technology, it is possible to take a long view of alt-facts, where the epistemological pressures which forced the invention of modern error are contentious once again.

 

Recent Publications

Error in Shakespeare: Shakespeare in Error, under contract and full manuscript under review (expected April 2019) Palgrave Macmillan Shakespeare Studies Series

Article: ‘To Nell and Back: e-Editing Mistress Quickly’, collaborative research paper, co-authors: Rosemary Gaby (University of Tasmania, Australia), James Mardock (University of Nevada, Reno), Helen Ostovich (McMaster University, Canada) and Alice Leonard, under review with Renaissance Drama

Guest blog: ‘Shakespeare’s Mother Tongue’ Beyond Shakespeare blog, Folger Shakespeare Library, September 2017

Article: ‘“Enfranchised” Language in “The Dutch Courtesan” and “Henry V”’, Cahiers Élisabéthains, vol. 84, Autumn 2013

Media Coverage
Country Focus
England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Germany
Expertise by Geography
England, United Kingdom, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
Pre-17th century, 17th century, Early Modern
Expertise by Topic
Book History, Gender, Law, Libraries & Archives, Local & Regional, Material Culture, Medicine, Politics, Public History, Rebellion & Revolution, Science, Sexual Violence, Technology, Women