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Dr Ros Barber

Staff details

PositionLecturer in Creative and Life Writing
Email r.barber (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone+44 (0)20 020 7296 4389
Dr Ros Barber

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in English Literature (Sussex)
  • MA in Creative Writing, the Arts and Education (Sussex)
  • BA in English Literature and Philsophy (Open)
  • BSc in Biology (Sussex)

Teaching

Poetry, short story, the novel, literary fiction, fictional auto/biography, literary biography, life writing, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Examples of courses currently or recently taught

  • Introduction to Poetry
    A core module covering the key figures, movements and tendencies in English language poetry and poetic forms.  Topics include couplets, the sonnet, Emily Dickenson, open form, Modernist poetry, close reading, modern American poetry, The Movement, contemporary poetry. 
  • Foundation Workshop in Creative Writing
    A first-year creative writing core module taught over two terms and covering the following topics: avoiding cliche, developing character, developing narrative drive, the balance between show and tell, writing as interrogation, beginnings, form, dialogue, considering the reader, experimentation, point of view, voice, sound and sense, imagery, width and focus, redrafting, endings. Texts studied (prose, poetry and essays) include Shakespeare, Plath, Hughes, Carver, Chekhov, Pound and Foster-Wallace as well as numerous contemporary writers.
  • Creative Writing Workshop
    The second-year creative writing core module, split between poetry and prose and  covering the following topics: Poetry - imagery and metaphor, rhyme and near-rhyme, repetitive forms, the sonnet; Prose - setting, character creation, characterisation, developing plot, advanced dialogue. Text studied include: Jo Shapcott, Vicki Feaver, Paul Durcan, David Constantine, Sylvia Plath, Fleur Adcock, Paul Muldoon, Simon Armitage, Derek Mahon, Dylan Thomas, Elizabeth Bishop, E.M. Forster, Hilary Mantel, Michael Cunningham, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Penelope Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Claire Keegan.

Current topics of PhD supervision

  • Second World War novel focused on internment
  • Korean-Canadian novel on multi-generational trauma
  • Young Adult novel about child smuggling
  • Literary fiction about Caribbean sex tourism
  • Fictional biography of Roget

Research Interests

Principal areas of research

Early Modern literary biography

With a primary focus on Christopher Marlowe, I have published articles re-evaluating the literary and historical evidence used to construct Marlowe’s accepted biography, looking in particular in the way that his scandalous posthumous reputation has coloured interpretations of his personality: as violent, for example. I am also researching, and have published articles on, minor writers connected to Marlowe’s social circle. In 2011 and 2014, I was joint winner of the Calvin & Rose G Hoffmann Prize for a distinguished publication on Christopher Marlowe.  In November 2015 I delivered the inaugural Annual Christopher Marlowe Lecture in London for The Marlowe Society.

Shakespeare Authorship Question

The critical component of my PhD was the first doctoral degree in the UK (and the second worldwide) to focus on the Shakespeare authorship question, and I continue to research and publish on this topic. I am currently compiling a comprehensive online compendium, Shakespeare: The Evidence, detailing the evidence, arguments and counter-arguments marshaled on both sides of this perennial (and often heated) debate.  I have given papers on the authorship question in numerous venues, from the Institute of Ideas and Shakespeare’s Globe in London, to Queen’s University Belfast, to the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship in Ashland, Oregon. I am Director of Research at the Shakespearean Authorship Trust.

Writing

Writing is a form of research which sometimes requires additional research of its own. I continue to develop in my practice as a writer, working both in literary fiction and in other genres, such as drama. Debut novel The Marlowe Papers (2012) was winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize, joint winner of the Author’s Club Best First Novel Award and long-listed for the Bailey’s (formerly the Orange) Prize.  Adapted for the stage by myself in conjunction with director Nicola Haydn, the 5-star debut run (January 2016) received rave reviews. An opera has also been optioned. Second novel Devotion was published August 2015 to good critical notices in the press including The Guardian and the TLS; the paperback and US edition are published April 2016.

 

Publications

Book

Devotion
Barber, Ros. 6 August 2015. Devotion. London: Oneworld. ISBN 978-1780747286

The Marlowe Papers
Barber, Ros. 2012. The Marlowe Papers. Sceptre. ISBN 978-1444737387

Material
Barber, Ros. 2008. Material. Anvil Press Poetry. ISBN 978-0856464102

Not the Usual Grasses Singing: A Journey Around the Isle of Sheppey
Barber, Ros. 2005. Not the Usual Grasses Singing: A Journey Around the Isle of Sheppey. Four Shores. ISBN 978-0955046704

How Things Are On Thursday
Barber, Ros. 2004. How Things Are On Thursday. Anvil Press Poetry. ISBN 978-0856463747

Edited Book

30-Second Shakespeare
Barber, Ros, ed. 24 September 2015. 30-Second Shakespeare. Ivy Press. ISBN 978-1782402602

Book Section

Blank Verse
Barber, Ros. 16 May 2016. Blank Verse. In: Nigel McLoughlin, ed. The Portable Poetry Workshop. Palgrave MacMillan. ISBN 978-0230522305

Was Marlowe a Violent Man?
Barber, Ros. July 2010. Was Marlowe a Violent Man? In: Sarah K Scott, ed. Christopher Marlowe the Craftsman. Ashgate, pp. 47-61. ISBN 978-0-7546-6983-8

Article

Christopher Marlowe and Gervase Markham
Barber, Ros. September 2016. Christopher Marlowe and Gervase Markham. Notes and Queries, ISSN 0029-3970

Shakespeare and Warwickshire Dialect
Barber, Ros. March 2016. Shakespeare and Warwickshire Dialect. Journal of Early Modern Studies(5), pp. 91-118. ISSN 2285-6382

Sir John Davies as Guilpin’s Fuscus
Barber, Rosalind. 10 December 2015. Sir John Davies as Guilpin’s Fuscus. Notes and Queries, 62(4), pp. 553-554. ISSN 0029-3970

Bardolph and Poins
Barber, Ros. 6 February 2015. Bardolph and Poins. Notes and Queries, 62(1), pp. 104-107. ISSN 0029-3970

Shakespeare's 'Honey-Stalks'
Barber, Ros. January 2015. Shakespeare's 'Honey-Stalks'. Notes and Queries, 62(1), pp. 92-93. ISSN 1471-6941

Did Shakespeare Visit Italy?
Barber, Ros. June 2014. Did Shakespeare Visit Italy? The London Magazine, ISSN 0024-6085

Exploring biographical fictions: the role of imagination in writing and reading narrative
Barber, Ros. 2010. Exploring biographical fictions: the role of imagination in writing and reading narrative. Rethinking History, 14(2), pp. 165-187. ISSN 1364-2529

Shakespeare Authorship Doubt in 1593
Barber, Ros. 2009. Shakespeare Authorship Doubt in 1593. Critical Survey, 21(2), ISSN 0011-1570

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