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Dr. Adrian Streete - Queen's University Belfast Research Portal - Research Directory & Institutional Repository for QUB
Adrian Streete

Dr Adrian Streete

Senior Lecturer

Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 1081

For media contact email
or call +44(0)2890 973091.


I work on literature, religion, politics, and intellectual history in the period 1500-1700.


I am currently Co-Director of Postgraduate Education and Personal Tutor with responsibility for PhD students in the School of English.

Research Statement

My research examines the intersections between literature and the religious, political and philosophical thought of the early modern period. I write on all kinds of Protestantism, including Calvinism, Puritanism and Arminianism; Catholicism and the Counter-Reformation; early modern epistemology, scepticism and speculative philosophy; apocalypticism; the early modern Bible; and early modern politics particularly in a European context. I also have an interest in Shakespearean appropriations, especially in film and opera.

I have written, edited or co-edited five books, including Protestantism and Drama in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009; paperback edition, 2011) and Early Modern Drama and the Bible: Contexts and Readings, 1570-1625 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) (for a complete list, see below). Between 2010 and 2012, I was the recipient of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship - I have recently completed a book called Anti-Catholicism, Apocalypse and Politics in Seventeenth Century English Drama funded by this Fellowship. I have also won funding from the AHRC. I'm a member of an international group of Shakespeareans preparing a new edition of Geoffrey Bullough's Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare for Routledge, and am editing the volume on the Classical non-Roman plays. Current work also includes articles on Arminianism and speculative philosophy, Thomas Traherne, and Fulke Greville's Caelica.

In February 2011 I gave a public lecture on 'Shakespeare and the Reformation' at the Globe Theatre in London as part of their Shakespeare, Hamlet and Wittenberg series. I have given plenary lectures and papers at numerous conferences in the UK, Ireland, Germany, America, Canada and Romania. I sit on the JISC Historic Books Advisory Board. I'm currently a member of Academic Board, and was elected School representative on Academic Council (2010-13) and member of the Board of the Institute of Theology (2008-12) at Queen's.

Forthcoming Publications

'Calvin, Lucretius and Natural Law in Measure for Measure' in Shakespeare and Early Modern Religion, ed. David Loewenstein and Michael Witmore (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

'Christian Liberty and Female Rule: Exegesis and Political Controversy in the 1550s', in Reading Biblical Women in Early Modern Literary Culture, ed. Victoria Brownlee and Laura Gallagher (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014).

'Conciliarism and Liberty in Shakespeare and Fletcher's Henry VIII' in Drama in Post-Reformation England, ed. James Mardock and Kathryn McPherson (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2014).

''Ethics and the Undead': Shakespearean (Mis)appropriation in Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula' in Shakespeare and the Ethics of Appropriation, ed. Alexander Huang and Elizabeth Rivlin (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Selected Publications


Early Modern Drama and the Bible: Contexts and Readings, 1570-1625, ed. Adrian Streete (Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, 2011), 308 pp.

The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts, ed. Mark Thornton Burnett, Adrian Streete and Ramona Wray (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011), 588 pp.

Filming and Performing Renaissance History , ed. Mark Burnett and Adrian Streete (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 212 pp.

Protestantism and Drama in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 308 pp.

Refiguring Mimesis: Representation in Early Modern Literature , ed. Jonathan Holmes and Adrian Streete (Hatfield: University of Hertfordshire Press, 2005), 240 pp.  

Refereed Articles

'An old quarrel between us that will never be at an end: Middleton's Women Beware Women and Late Jacobean Religious Politics', The Review of English Studies, 60, 244, 2009, pp. 230-254.

''What bloody man is that?' Questioning Biblical Typology in Macbeth', Shakespeare, Special Issue on 'Shakespeare and Protestantism', 5, 1, 2009, pp. 18-35.

'Francis Quarles' Early Poetry and the Discourses of Jacobean Spenserianism', Journal of the Northern Renaissance, 1, 1, 2009, pp. 88-108.

'Samuel Rowland's 'Fawnguest' and Marston's The Dutch Courtesan', Notes and Queries, 56, 4, 2009, 615-616.

'The Politics of Ethical Presentism: Appropriation, Spirituality and the Case of Antony and Cleopatra', Textual Practice, 22, 3, 2008, pp. 405-431.

'Reforming Signs: Semiotics, Calvinism and Clothing in Sixteenth Century England', Literature and History, 12, 1, 2003, pp. 1-18.

'Chrysostom, Calvin and Conscience: More on King Richard III, III.i.iii.222', Notes and Queries, 248, 1, 2003, 21-22.

'Charity and Law in Love's Labour's Lost: A Calvinist Analogue?', Notes and Queries, 247, 2, 2002, 224-225.

'Consummatum est: Calvinist Exegesis, Mimesis and Doctor Faustus', Literature and Theology, 15, 2, 2001, pp. 140-158.

'Calvinist Conceptions of Hell in Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus', Notes and Queries, 245, 4, 2000, 430-432. 

'Nashe, Shakespeare and the Bishops' Bible', Notes and Queries, 245, 1, 2000, 56-59.


'Passions, Politics and Subjectivity in Philip Massinger's The Emperor of the East' in Passions and Subjectivity in Early Modern Culture, ed. Brian Cummings and Freya Sierhuis (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2013), pp. 217-235.

'Rooting for Macbeth: Parable Ethics in Scotland' in Macbeth: A Critical Guide, ed. John Drakakis and Dale Townshend (London and New York: Bloomsbury/Arden Shakespeare, 2013), pp. 153-171.

''Arminian is like a flying fish:' Region, Religion and Polemic in the Work of Richard Montague' in Region, Religion and English Renaissance Literature, ed. David Coleman (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2013), pp. 105-122.

'Situating Political and Biblical Authority in Massinger and Field's The Fatal Dowry' in Early Modern Drama and the Bible: Contexts and Readings, 1570-1625, ed. Adrian Streete (Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, 2011), pp. 195-222.

'Shakespeare and Opera' in The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts, ed. Mark Thornton Burnett, Adrian Streete and Ramona Wray (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011), pp. 142-168.

'Key Critical Concepts and Topics' in The Shakespeare Handbook, ed. Andrew Hiscock and Stephen Longstaffe (London and New York: Continuum, 2009), pp. 129-144.

'Interrogating Conversion in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and Michael Radford's The Merchant of Venice', in Apocalyptic Shakespeare: Essays on Visions of Destruction and Revelation in Recent Film Adaptations, ed. Carolyn Jess-Cooke and Melissa Croteau (North Carolina: McFarland Press, 2009), pp. 166-180.

'Kyd and Revenge Tragedy', in Teaching Shakespeare and Early Modern Dramatists, ed. Andrew Hiscock and Lisa Hopkins (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007), pp. 26-41.


Reviews of Protestantism and Drama

'One of the most thought-provoking and innovative books of the year'. Studies in English Literature

'an innovative, articulate account of the metamorphosis of the figure of Christ...from medieval early modern transcendence...This important volume bears comparison with John Stachniewski's The Persecutory Imagination, which established the significance of predestination for early modern English culture.' Choice Reviews

'This book is a reminder that we have not yet fully understood the far-reaching implications of the theological debates of the time...Streete's methodology, of applying the same rigorous attention to the language of religious material as he does to more traditional literary texts, is remarkably fruitful and compelling... Protestantism and Drama offers a more complete and nuanced picture of the early modern subject than has been offered before.' Renaissance Quarterly

'skillfully orients his reader in ongoing debates...has an uncommon gift for taking theology on its own terms, no matter how arcane or fanciful...It is a tremendous strength of this book to have shown in the depths of the most abstract theology how Protestants' rejection of images made them all the more subject to the lure of simulacra...should help invigorate future scholarship concerned with the complex relations between theater and theology.' Medieval and Renaissance Drama

'Adrian Streete's formidable Protestantism and Drama is a necessarily difficult book [demonstrating] historical acuity and a sustained depth of analysis...learned and closely argued.' Marlowe Society of America Newsletter

'In Streete's erudite and thoughtful study, we have a deeply intertheatrical and networked account of early modern drama practices, in which Shakespeare is part of a much larger picture being offered to the reader'. Shakespeare Survey

'Adrian Streete's knowledge of Protestant theology and Reformation history is solid, detailed, and immensely impressive [...] Protestantism and Drama in Early Modern England is a learned and theoretically sophisticated account of the Reformation's cultural impact'. Shakespeare Quarterly

'rewarding and timely insights into how the early modern English faced the rise of Calvinism. The author has entered into his subject with zeal, and he illuminates the tortured nuances of Calvinist experience, in particular the abyss of self-doubt, while building a finely textured historical perspective.' Religion and the Arts

'an erudite, well-documented, and provocative investigation [...] many valuable insights into the era's theological conflicts. Its pages are worthy to be reread and consulted.' The Shakespeare Newsletter

'Streete's account is extremely nuanced, given that theology is not his field. (How many literary critics of the era could offer an extended discussion of the extra Calvinisticum?) Most significantly, Streete recognizes and emphasizes the intensely christological focus of Reformation theology; as he observes, the fact that many critics have failed to take this seriously enough has sometimes led them to superficial conclusions. Streete's second major contribution is his use of the poetry and especially the drama of the period to demonstrate how its internalized theological tensions work themselves out in practice. More specifically, figuration (in language and in visual forms) takes on the role of negotiating the clash between participatory and rationalistic modes of thought.' International Journal of Systematic Theology


I teach across a range of undergraduate modules. I teach and lecture on stage one courses including 'English in Context' and 'Sounds of the City, teach and lecture on the stage two module 'Introduction to Renaissance Literature', and convene my own stage three option  'Shakespearean Genres'.

Postgraduate teaching encompasses the MA Core module 'Reconceiving the Renaissance' and my option module 'Church, State and Subject: Reading Early Modern Religious and Political Writings'. I am currently the convenor of the MA in Reconceiving the Renaissance' and Co-Director of Postgraduate Education in the School. I am also an experienced PhD supervisor. If you are interested in doctoral work, please contact me at:

Current Ph.D. Supervisions.

- Sonja Kleij, 'Anglo-Dutch-Spanish Literary Politics, 1588-1688.' DEL funded.

- Joe Malone, 'Religion and the Passions in Early Modern Poetry.' DEL funded.

Completed Theses

- Victoria Brownlee, 'Biblical Typology and Early Modern Literature.' AHRC funded, 2008-2011. Dr Brownlee has held temporary lectureships at Queen's and NUI Maynooth. She is currently IRC Fellow in the School of English, UCD.

- Gail McConnell, 'Modern Irish Poetry and Religion.' DEL funded, 2007-2010. Dr McConnell is currently a lecturer in Modern Literature, School of English, Queen's University, Belfast. A book based on her thesis will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2014.

- Patricia Canning, 'Word and Image in Early Modern Thought and Literature.' DEL funded, 2006-2009. Dr Canning is the founder of, an organisation that works with female prisoners to develop literacy and reading skills. She has also published a monograph based on her thesis with Continuum/Bloomsbury.

- Mary-Ellen Lynn, 'Body and Soul: Reflections on Early Modern Subjectivity.' AHRC funded, 2005-2008.

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Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

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