Sarah Neville’s research agenda is split between three complementary elements: textual editing, historical bibliography/book history and Shakespearean performance.
She is an assistant editor of the New Oxford Shakespeare (2016), for which she has edited five plays: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The First Part of Henry the Sixth, The Comedy of Errors, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Julius Caesar. She is also a general textual editor of the Digital Renaissance Editions, an open access project publishing electronic scholarly editions of non-Shakespearean early English drama. Her recent publications in editorial theory include “Mediating Textual Annotation in the Online Scholarly Edition” (The Shakespeare International Yearbook) and “Nihil biblicum a me alienem puto: W.W. Greg, Bibliography and the Sociology of Text” (Variants: The Journal of the European Society for Textual Scholarship).
As a book historian, Neville’s research concerns the social, cultural, and economic contingencies implicit in the production, dissemination and reception of printed materials. She is particularly interested in the ways that quantitative analysis and ‘bio-bibliography’ can illuminate the elided histories of early modern women. Her interdisciplinary book project on early English herbals uses botanical books as a test case to investigate D.F. McKenzie’s notion of book history as the “sociology of text,” coupling that analysis with a broadening of Foucault’s ideas of the author-function to include such textual progenitors as stationers, printers and booksellers.
Neville’s work in Shakespeare and performance is bolstered by her textual and editorial scholarship. She is the founder of the Lord Denney’s Players, an academic theatre company housed within the Department of English that is designed to explore intersections of texts, criticism and performance. While at West Virginia University, her feminist adaptation of 1 and 2 Henry IV was produced as part of the 2013-14 season of WVU’s College of Creative Arts. Neville’s conflated text of Henry IV shifts the traditional focus away from the father-son dynamic to one that explores questions of gender identity and epistemology. Her essay on “The Dead Body Problem” of the Renaissance stage is forthcoming.
- Assistant Editor. The New Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works. (Modern Critical Edition.) General Editors Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2016.
- “Nihil biblicum a me alienum puto: W.W. Greg, Bibliography, and the Sociology of Texts.” Variants: The Journal of the European Society for Textual Scholarship 11 (2014): 91-112.
- “Did Shakespeare Write His Plays?” The Walrus. Online. November 2, 2016.
- “Mediating Textual Annotation in the Online Scholarly Edition.” Review Essay. Special issue: “Digital Shakespeares.” Ed. Brett D. Hirsch and Hugh Craig. Shakespearean International Yearbook 14 (2014): 133-141.