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Sarah Beckwith, Professor of Theater Studies and Katherine Everett Gilbert Distinguished Professor of English and Professor of Religion and Bass Fellow of English

Sarah Beckwith
Office Location:  302A Allen, Box 90014, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 684-2741
Email Address:   send me a message
Web Page:  

Research Interests:

Sarah Beckwith (Ph.D., University of London) has worked at the University of East Anglia and the University of Pittsburgh. Her chief interests are in late medieval religious culture, especially culture in performance. Her publications include work on medieval mysticism and gender, Corpus Christi theatre, sacramental culture, and ritual theory and practice. Her first book, Christ’s Body was published by Routledge in 1993 (paperback, 1996). Her book Signifying God: Social Act and Symbolic Relation in the York Corpus Christi Play was published by the University of Chicago in November 2001. She is currently working on the interrelationship between church and theater as performative cultures in the transition from medieval to early modern theatre.

Teaching (Fall 2022):

  • ENGLISH 235.01, SHAKESPEARE Synopsis
    Allen 326, MW 03:30 PM-04:45 PM
    Friedl Bdg 102, W 12:00 PM-02:30 PM
Office Hours:

Virtual Office Hours Mondays between 1:30 and 3:30 pm and by appointment


Ph.D.King's College1992
M.A.University of Oxford (United Kingdom)1982
B.A. with HonorsOxford University1981
B.A.University of Oxford (United Kingdom)1981

Dramatic Literature

Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Beckwith, S. Signifying God: Social Relation and Symbolic Act in York’s Play of Corpus Christi.  University of Chicago Press, (2001).
  2. Beckwith, S. Christ’s Body: Identity, Culture and Society in Late Medieval Writings.  Routledge, (1996).
  3. Beckwith, S, "Sacrifice: Medieval and Early Modern". Jmems 31:3 (Fall, 2001).
  4. Beckwith, S, "The Cultural Work of Medieval Theatre: Ritual Practice in England 1350-1600". Jmems 29:1 (Winter, 1999).
  5. S Beckwith. "Catholicism and Catholicity: Eucharistic Communities in Historical and Contemporary Perspectives." Directions in Modern Theology 15:2 (March, 1999).  [abs]
  6. "Stephen Greenblatt's Hamlet and the Forms of Oblivion."  8000 words Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies  (Jan. 2003).  [abs]
  7. Beckwith, S. "Absent Presences: Resurrection Theatre in York." Festschrift for Derek Pearsall  (2000).


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