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Daisy Black

Daisy Black

Lecturer in English

  • Email address
  • Phone number 01902 2898
  • Location MX103
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts
  • Institute School of Humanities
  • Areas of expertise

    Medieval and renaissance drama, gender and queer theory, time theory, constructions of the medieval ‘other’, medieval romance, fabliaux, bawdiness, medieval storytelling, media.

I specialise in medieval religious drama, with a particular interest in time and gender. Recent works include articles on the hortus conclusus in Cornish religious drama and on the nails used to crucify Christ in the York 'Crucifixion' pageant and domestic arguments between Mary and Joseph in the N-Town plays. 

My other research interests include periodization and memory; medieval depictions of Jews and Saracens; narratives of cannibalism and their relation to the Eucharist; medievalism in modern board game culture; examining dramatic performance as a means of reassessing lay theologies during the early Reformation and the performance and adaptation of medieval plays for modern audiences.

I also work as a theatre director and storyteller, and write short stories and plays. 

I welcome research proposals in the areas of medieval and renaissance drama; gender and queer theory; constructions of the medieval ‘other’; medieval romance; fabliaux, bawdiness and comic narrative; time theory; medievalism in popular culture; Chaucer; Shakespeare and writing for performance.

I am currently working on my first monograph, ‘Play Time: Temporality, Gender and Conflict in Medieval Religious Drama’. I am also writing a chapter on women’s performance in medieval and early modern Europe, and am co-editing essay collections on medieval gender and emotion and on Shakespeare and the traditions of early theatre. Other forthcoming research projects include a project on food in medieval drama, beginning with an article on cannibalism and cookery in the Croxton ‘Play of the Sacrament’. 

Creative projects include a storytelling performance of the Bayeux Tapestry and a collection of modern mystery plays.

I am one of the AHRC / BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinkers.

  • Gender and Medieval Studies (GMS) Steering Committee (2016 – present, web officer)
  • SMFS: Society for Medieval Feminist Studies (2014-present, member)
  • Early English Drama and Performance Network (2013-present, member)
  • Andrew Marvell Centre, University of Hull (2014-2016, member)
  • MANCASS: Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies (2013-present, member)
  • English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) (2014-present, member)
  • PhD in English and American Studies, University of Manchester (2015) Title: 'Mind the Gap: Time, Gender and Conflict in the Late Medieval Mystery Plays'
  • MA Medieval and Middle English Studies, University of Manchester (2008)
  • BA Hons English Literature (2.1), University of Cambridge (2006)

Academic Publications

Black, Daisy, ‘Theatre and Performance’ in The Routledge History of Women in Early Modern Europe, ed. by Amanda Capern (Routledge, 2019).

Black, Daisy, ‘Commanding Un-Empty Space: Silence, Stillness and Scopic Authority in the York Christ Before Herod’ in Gender: Places, Spaces and Thresholds, ed. by Victoria Blud, Diane Heath and Einat Klafter (London: IHR, 2019).

Black, Daisy, ‘Dressing the Pleasure Garden: Creation, Recreation and Varieties of Pleasure in the two texts of the Norwich Grocers’ Play’, in The Medieval and Early Modern Garden in Britain: Enclosure and Transformation, 1200-1750, ed. by Patricia Skinner and Theresa Tyers (New York: Routledge, 2018), pp. 102-122.

Black, Daisy, ‘A Man Out of Time: Joseph, Time and Space in the Marian Plays of the N-Town Manuscript’, in Gender, Time and Memory, ed. by Liz Herbert McAvoy, Liz Cox and Roberta Magnani (D. S. Brewer, May 2015), pp. 147-162.

Black, Daisy, ‘‘Nayles Large and Lang’: Masculine Identity and the Anachronic Object in the York Crucifixion Play’, Medieval Feminist Forum, 50.2 (2015), 85-104.

Black, Daisy, ‘The Time of the Tree: Returning to Eden after the Fall in the Cornish Creation of the World’, Medieval Feminist Forum, 50.1 (2014), 61-89.


Creative Publications and Plays

Story: ‘Four Blank Pages’ in Nothing, ed. by Hannah Kate (Manchester: Hic Dragones, 2019)

Article: ‘Passion for Dance’ in Magnet Magazine, issue 112 (Spring 2017) (Commission).

Play: The Alchemist’s Daughter (Performed at the Royal College of Physicians, 10th March 2016).

Play: Bayeux Tapestry: The Stitches Speak (Performed at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, 2015).

Story: ‘Shifting Sands’, in Hauntings, ed. by Hannah Kate (Manchester: Hic Dragones, 2014), pp. 319-338.

Story: ‘The Carrier’, in Impossible Spaces, ed. by Hannah Kate (Manchester: Hic Dragones, 2013), pp. 11-22.

Story: ‘A Study of a Life in Six Umbrellas’, Uroborus Journal (2012), 22-24.

Poem: ‘On a Painting by Degas’, in Mays 14, ed. by Don Paterson and Jeanette Winterson (2006).



Black, Daisy, ‘Late Medieval: Excluding Chaucer (Drama Section)’, The Year’s Work in English Studies, for years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Black, Daisy, Review: Philip Butterworth, Staging Conventions in Medieval English Theatre (Cambridge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), Leeds Studies in English 47 (2016).

Black, Daisy, Review: Alicia Spencer-Hall, Medieval Saints and Modern Screens: Divine Visions as Cinematic Experience, Medievally Speaking (2018).

Black, Daisy, Review: Emma Maggie Solberg, Virgin Whore, Studies in the Age of Chaucer (2019).

Black, Daisy, Review: Philip Butterworth and Katie Normington, ed., Medieval Theatre Performance: Actors, Dancers, Automata and Their Audiences, Theatre Journal 71.4 (2019).



19th March 2020:   Appeared on BBC Radio Sheffield talking about the Modern Decameron project.

3rd March 2020:     Guest on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Free Thinking’ talking about women in performance and the history of gossip.

29th December 2019:  Wrote and presented a BBC Radio 3 Sunday feature, ‘Glitter and Villainy’

21st December 2019:  Guest on Kat Cowan’s morning breakfast show for BBC Radio Sheffield.

14th October 2019: Guest appearance as academic and storyteller on BBC Radio Sheffield’s ‘The Monday Night Social’.

2nd April 2019:  Delivered BBC Radio 3’s The Essay: ‘Cooking and Eating God in Medieval Drama’.

29th March 2019: Appeared as guest on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’.

23rd October 2019: Appeared as guest and exhibiton reviewer on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Free Thinking’.

23rd May 2018:        Appeared on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Free Thinking’ talking about Noah’s Wife and motherhood.

10th March 2018:     Participated in panel at the BBC’s Free Thinking Festival, Gateshead.  Live audience of 200;                            show subsequently broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on the 3rd April at 22.00.  Programme available                              at

21st February 2015: Radio interview for North Manchester FM (106.6 FM) programme Hannah’s Bookshelf (see     





My previous position was as a Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Hull, where I taught:

  • Introduction to English Poetry (BA)
  • Introduction to Medieval Literature (BA)
  • Introduction to Renaissance Literature (BA)
  • Research Skills I and II (MA)
  • Shakespearean Transformations (BA)
  • Playing God: Late Medieval Drama from Page to Stage (BA). 

I also work as a freelance theatre director, academic arts advisor, writer and storyteller. 

I have produced several medieval mystery plays in Manchester and Sheffield, and over the last few years have been commissioned by Manchester Cathedral to produce a series of historical monologues. The monologue based on Dr John Dee’s daughter, Katharine, was recently performed alongside an exhibition on Dee at the Royal College of Physicians in London. 

As a teller of medieval stories, I am currently performing ‘Broken Shells’, a storytelling project weaving narratives from Chaucer’s ‘Man of Law’s Tale’, the Albina myth and the poetry of Sappho together with folk music in order to raise funds and awareness for refugees at Calais and Lesbos. I am also working on a new one-woman show, ‘The Bayeux Tapestry: The Full Yarn’. 

I run medieval drama and Shakespeare workshops at national folk and storytelling festivals.

I am happy to advise any students interested in using their English degree in the creative arts and arts management.