Profile: Cathy Shrank

Professor Cathy Shrank’s reformation expertise can be summed up as “identities” and “religious dialogue.” The 500 Reformations team asked Cathy some questions about how this knowledge connects with her research.

Tell us about your Reformation research:

I work on English literature and culture from the late fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries. My first book, Writing the Nation in Reformation England, considered ideas of nationhood c. 1530-1580, and an ongoing theme of that book was the impact on national consciousness and culture of the break with Rome. For the past two years, I’ve been working on a new project looking at printed dialogues.

What question, or questions, are you aiming to answer in your 500 Reformations talk?

I can offer two different talks:

One considers national identity: What impact did the Reformation, and the break with Rome, have on how the English thought and wrote about themselves, their nation, and their relationship with other European countries: ideas of national identity with far-reaching consequences.

The other focuses on how writers use dialogue to intervene in — or defusereligious controversy, and how the form and tone of religious dialogue changes under the pressures of Reformation and Counter-Reformation.

Is this your main research area?

Yes. I’m going back to slightly older research on national identities, and I also look forward to drawing on material from my current dialogue project.


Find out more:

Read about Cathy’s research interests (University of Sheffield research profile)

See a list of Cathy’s publications (University of Sheffield publication list)


Want to hear Cathy speak?

Those in Sheffield and the surrounding area are encouraged to invite Cathy as part of the 500 Reformations scheme. Information about hosting. 


Photograph courtesy of the School of English.