Modern English Literature (16th - 18th Centuries)

Devani SINGH

Dr Devani SINGH

Senior Research Associate

+41 22 379 78 86


Office and Office Hour


Devani Singh is a literary scholar and book historian whose teaching and published research span the medieval and early modern periods. She was educated at the universities of Toronto (BA, Hons), Oxford (MPhil in Medieval English, 650-1550), and Cambridge (PhD). She is currently Principal Investigator on the project 'To the Reader: The English Preface in Print, c. 1475-1623', for which she holds an 'Ambizione' grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation. Dr Singh previously held a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship in English at the University of Oxford.

Her most recent book, Chaucer's Early Modern Readers: Reception in Print and Manuscript (CUP, 2023), is the first study of the relationship between Chaucer's medieval manuscripts and early modern print. With Lukas Erne, she is co-author of Shakespeare in Geneva (Ithaque, 2018) and co-editor of the first critical edition of the printed commonplace book Bel-vedére (CUP, 2020). This edition was named a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title in 2021. In addition, she collaborates with the University of Geneva's Bodmer Lab, a digital humanities initiative that aims to catalogue, digitise, and study the collections of the Fondation Martin Bodmer in Cologny, Geneva. In 2022, she co-founded Print Exchanges, a collaborative network of early and mid-career print scholars, together with UK- and US-based colleagues, Alex da Costa, Aditi Nafde, and Kathleen Tonry.



Chaucer's Early Modern Readers: Reception in Print and Manuscript (Cambridge University Press, 2023).

Bel-vedére or the Garden of the Muses: An Early Modern Commonplace Book [with Lukas Erne] (Cambridge University Press, 2020). See

Shakespeare in Geneva: Early Modern English Books (1475-1700) at the Martin Bodmer Foundation [with Lukas Erne] (Editions Ithaque, 2018). 

Journal Articles (peer-reviewed)

'Shakespeare’s Maimed, Deformed, and Perfect Books in the First Folio’s Epistle “To the Great Variety of Readers”, Shakespeare Jahrbuch 160 (2024), 137-54.

'Computing Book Parts with EEBO-TCP', Book History 25.2 (2022), 503-29 [with James Misson].

‘Dedications, Epistles to the Reader, and Prefatory Custom in Printed English Playbooks, 1559-1642’, Review of English Studies 72, issue 304 (2021), 280-300.

‘An Unreported Chaucer Epitaph in English’,  Notes and Queries  68.1 (2021), 51-59.

‘The Progeny of Print: Manuscript Adaptations of John Speed’s Chaucer Engraving’, Digital Philology 9.2 (2020), 177-98.

'Newly Discovered Shakespeare Passages in Bel-vedére or The Garden of the Muses (1600)', Shakespeare 16.1  (2020) [with Lukas Erne], 14-22.

Bel-vedére (1600) and the Dates of Thomas Combe’s Theater of Fine Devices and Dunstan Gale’s Pyramus and Thisbe’,  Notes and Queries 66.3 (2019), 467-69 [with Lukas Erne].

“Caxton and his Readers: Histories of Book Use in a copy of The Canterbury Tales (c. 1483)”, Journal of the Early Book Society 20 (2017), 233-49.

“‘in his old dress’: Packaging Thomas Speght’s Chaucer for Renaissance Readers.” Chaucer Review 51.4 (2016), 478-502.

“‘alle his fetures folȝande, in forme þat he hade’: Recovering the Body and Saving the Soul in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” The Lancaster Luminary: Textual Bodies 2  (2010), 47-55.

Short Articles and Reviews

‘Presses and Printshops’, in The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Early Modern Women’s Writing, ed. Patricia Pender and Rosalind Smith, series eds. Helen Smith and Ben Wilkinson-Turnbull (Palgrave Macmillan; forthcoming).

‘John Rastell (printer)’, in The Chaucer Encyclopedia, eds. Richard Newhauser, Vincent Gillespie, Jessica Rosenfeld, and Katie Walter (Wiley-Blackwell, 2023).

‘John Speed’, in The Chaucer Encyclopedia, eds. Richard Newhauser, Vincent Gillespie, Jessica Rosenfeld, and Katie Walter (Wiley-Blackwell, 2023).

‘Manuscript anthologies’, in The Chaucer Encyclopedia, eds. Richard Newhauser, Vincent Gillespie, Jessica Rosenfeld, and Katie Walter (Wiley-Blackwell, 2023).

“Trading in 'Shakespeare'”, Cambridge Quarterly 43.1 (2014), 80-85.

“Imagining the World of Early Print.” JHIBlog: The Blog of the Journal of the History of Ideas. March 23, 2015. Online at:


Devani Singh has designed and delivered undergraduate and graduate courses in medieval and early modern literature (including Shakespeare) at the Universities of Cambridge and Geneva.

She has also delivered guest lectures on the history of the book and on the Digital Humanities, and has taught Chaucer and Shakespeare modules to secondary school students for the Sutton Trust, an educational charity.

Her past and current courses include:

Strange New Worlds (Geneva)
Early Modern Domestic Tragedy (Geneva)
Drama at the Court of Henry VIII (Geneva)
English Renaissance Tragedy (Geneva)
Paratexts, Prefaces, and the Early Modern Dramatic Playbook (guest lecture, Zurich)
Old Books and Digital Approaches (guest lecture, Geneva)
Histories of Reading in Medieval and Early Modern England (guest lecture, Geneva)
Medieval Dreams and Visions (Cambridge)
English Literature and its Contexts, 1300-1550 (Cambridge)


Modern English Literature (16th - 18th Centuries)