Melinda Gough, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English
Location: Chester New Hall, Room 329
Phone: 905 525 9140 ext. 23716
Areas of Interest
Early modern drama (English and continental); Performance as Research (PaR) in early theatre studies; intersections between feminist, queer, and trans studies; early modern court studies; editing early modern plays.
Melinda Gough is Associate Professor of English and Cultural Studies, with a cross-appointment to the Graduate Program in Gender Studies and Feminist Research, at McMaster University. Her research focuses on late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century English and continental literature, with particular attention to early modern women as producers and consumers of courtly and popular culture. She is Editor (with Helen Ostovich) of Early Theatre: A Journal Associated with the Records of English Drama. She is also a steering committee member for Theater Without Borders, a research collaborative dedicated to advancing knowledge of the transnational circulation of early modern theatre and performance.
Melinda’s first book, Dancing Queen: Marie de Médicis’ Ballets at the Court of Henri IV (University of Toronto Press, 2019), uses theories and methodologies from a wide variety of disciplines – including literary and cultural studies, history, musicology, dance studies, art history, theatre history, and women’s and gender studies – to examine the performing arts as a vehicle for politically engaged queenship. Three spin-off pieces from this monograph have been awarded international prizes: her article “Marie de Medici’s 1605 Ballet de la Reine and the Virtuosic Voice” won the Best Article Prize for an essay published in Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal Volume 7 (2012); her article “Marie de Medici’s 1605 ballet de la reine: New Evidence and Analysis” (Early Theatre 15.1) was awarded the Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society’s 2013 Palmer Award for Best New Essay in Early Drama Archives Research; and her essay “‘Not as myself’: the Queen’s Voice in Tempe Restored ” (Modern Philology 101.1) received the 2004 Award for Best Article from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women.
Currently, Melinda is editing the anonymous tragicomedy Swetnam the Woman-Hater Arraigned by Women (1620) for the Revels Plays at Manchester University Press. This new edition will present the first modernized text of Swetnam the Woman-Hater prepared in accordance with current editorial principles and made accessible to a broad as well as specialized readership.
She is also one of the lead investigators for the international research project Engendering the Stage in the Age of Shakespeare and Beyond. Highlighting resonances between the history of gendered performance on the early modern stage and our contemporary drive to achieve gender equity in today’s professional theatre industry, this project brings together scholars and artists in Performance as Research workshops designed to explore the influential but largely unacknowledged work of female performers in early modern Italy, Spain, France, and England; the effects of such performances by women on the “all-male” early modern English stage; traces of trans and queer identities on the early modern stage; the impacts of these new insights on contemporary casting and performance practices; and the insights of actors and directors working with innovative cross- and non-binary gendered casting today.
Melinda welcomes graduate supervisees interested in early modern studies; performance studies and performance history; and intersectional feminist theory and activism. She also serves on MA and PhD committees in areas ranging from medieval through contemporary studies. In the Department of English and Cultural Studies Melinda teaches graduate seminars such as Gender, Civility, and Courtliness in Early Modern Europe, and in the Gender Studies and Feminist Research Program she teaches Current Debates in Feminist and Gender Theory and Knowledge in Action (a course which focuses on community-based activism and experiential learning).
Dancing Queen: Marie de Médicis’ Ballets at the Court of Henri IV. Toronto: U Toronto P, 2019.
Special Journal Issues:
Transnational Mobility and Female Performance in Early Modern Europe. Special Section co-edited with Clare McManus. Renaissance Drama 44.2 (Fall 2016): 187-275.
Queens and the Transmission of Political Culture: The Case of Early Modern France. Guest editor, with R. Malcolm Smuts. Special Volume of The Court Historian 10.1 (2005).
Refereed Journal Articles:
“Introduction: Gender, Cultural Mobility, and Theater History Inquiry.” with Clare McManus. Renaissance Drama 44.2 (Fall 2016): 187-200.
“The Advent of Women Players and Playwrights in Early Modern France,” with Perry Gethner. Renaissance Drama 44.2 (Fall 2016): 217-232.
“Marie de Medici’s 1605 ballet de la reine and the virtuosic female voice,” Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal 7 (2012): 127-56. (Winner, Best Article Prize for an essay published in Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal Volume 7)
“Marie de Medici’s 1605 ballet de la reine: new evidence and analysis.” Early Theatre 15.1 (2012): 109-44. (Winner, Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society’s 2013 Barbara D. Palmer Award for Best New Essay in Early Drama Archives Research)
“Queens and the International Transmission of Political Culture,” co-authored with Malcolm Smuts. The Court Historian 10.1 (2005): 1-13.
“ ‘Not as myself’: the Queen’s Voice in Tempe Restored.” Modern Philology 101.1 (August 2003): 48-67. (Winner of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women Award for Best Article Published in 2003)
“A newly discovered performance by Henrietta Maria.” Huntington Library Quarterly 65.3 & 4 (2002): 435-7.
“Tasso’s enchantress, Tasso’s captive woman.” Renaissance Quarterly 54.2 (Spring 2001): 523-52.
” ‘Her filthy feature open showne’ in Ariosto, Spenser, and Much Ado About Nothing.” Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 39.1 (Winter 1999): 41-67.
“Jonson’s Siren Stage.” Studies in Philology XCVI.1 (Winter 1999): 68-95.
Refereed Book Chapters:
“Dynastic Marriage, Royal Ceremonial, and the Treaties of London (1604-05) and Antwerp (1609).” Stuart Marriage Diplomacy: Dynastic Politics in their European Context, 1604-1630, ed. Sara J. Wolfson and Valentina Caldari (Woodbridge, Suffolk; Rochester, NY: Boydell and Brewer, 2018).
“Courtly comédiantes: Henrietta Maria and amateur women’s stage plays in France and England.” Women Players in Early Modern England, 1500-1660: Beyond the ‘all-male stage’, ed. Pamela Allen Brown and Peter Parolin (Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2005). 193-215.
“Women’s Popular Culture? Teaching the Swetnam controversy.” Debating Gender in Early Modern England, ed. Cristina Malcolmson and Mihoko Suzuki (New York: Palgrave, 2002). 79-100. Republished in Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800 (Gale 2011).
“‘Honny-dewed tongues of harlots’: Circe and the Sirens in Renaissance encyclopedias and mythographic compendiums” (translated as “Circe y las Sirenas en las Mitografías y Enciclopedias del Renacimento”). El libro de las sirenas, ed. J. M. Pedrosa (Almería: Exco. Ayuntamiento de Roquetas de Mar, 2002). 129-48.
Early Theatre 21.2 (December 2018), co-edited with Helen Ostovich, Erin E. Kelly, and Sarah Johnson.
Early Theatre 21.1 (June 2018), co-edited with Helen Ostovich and Erin E. Kelly.
Early Theatre 20.2 (December 2017), co-edited with Helen Ostovich and Erin E. Kelly.
Early Theatre 20.1 (June 2017), co-edited with Helen Ostovich, Erin E. Kelly, and Sarah Johnson.
Early Theatre 19.2 (December 2016), co-edited with Helen Ostovich and Erin E. Kelly.
Early Theatre 19.1 (June 2016), co-edited with Helen Ostovich, Erin E. Kelly, and Peter Kirwan.
Early Theatre 18.2 (December 2015), co-edited with Helen Ostovich, Erin E. Kelly, and Sarah Johnson.
Early Theatre 18.1 (June 2015), co-edited with Helen Ostovich, Erin E. Kelly, and Sarah Johnson.
Early Theatre 17.2 (December 2014), co-edited with Helen Ostovich, Erin E. Kelly and Sarah Johnson.
Early Theatre 17.1 (June 2014), co-edited with Helen Ostovich, Erin E. Kelly and Sarah Johnson.
Early Theatre 16.2 (December 2013), co-edited with Helen Ostovich, Erin E. Kelly and Sarah Johnson.
Introduction and Contextual Materials for Swetnam the Woman-Hater Arraigned By Women, Brown Women Writers Project, Renaissance Women On-Line, 1999.