The University of Newcastle, Australia

Dr Gabriella Edelstein awarded the S. Sprott Fellowship

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Dr Edelstein has won a prestigious fellowship that will allow her to conduct research at the British Library.

Gabriella Edelstein

Early modern literature scholar within the School of Humanities and Social ScienceDr Gabriella Edelstein has been awarded the prestigious S. Ernest Sprott Fellowship.

The $46,000 S. Ernest Sprott Fellowship is awarded annually to an outstanding scholar, who must be an Australian citizen of no more than 45 years of age at the time of the award. The Fellowship is for scholarly study outside of Australia, intended to lead to a book relating to dramatic or non-dramatic English literature of the 16th or 17th centuries.

Dr Edelstein will use the funds to work in the British Library in London for 4 months from August 2019. While there her research will focus on how the censoring of plays operated as a mode of collaborative writing and how censorship affected authorship.

Head of the School of Humanities and Social Science, Professor Catharine Coleborne said the fellowship would be a great boost to Dr Edelstein’s career.

“Gabriella is a fantastic scholar and very deserving of this fellowship. It will be exciting to see the research she produces while in the United Kingdom,” Professor Coleborne said.

Dr Edelstein says her research project aims to consider authorship through two different aspects.

“Firstly, I wish to demonstrate that when confronted by the ire of the state, playwrights installed themselves within the protective carapace of collaboration. That is, playwrights used collaborative writing as a rhetorical defence when accused of committing seditious libel,” Dr Edelstein proposed.

“Secondly, my project aims to show how those playhouse agents usually considered ‘theatrical functionaries’ took on authorial roles in the textual transmission of censored plays.”

Her research will result in a single authored monograph which aims to redefine the field’s concepts of collaboration, censorship and authorship, tentatively titled "Censorship, Collaboration and the Construction of Authorship in Early Modern Theatre".

Dr Edelstein’s research suggests that by reading censorship as destructive rather than generative, we fail to understand how dramatic regulation created previously unaccounted for styles of authorship.

“This project aims to show how plays were affected by censorship and how authorship was modulated in turn, by paying close attention to the kinds of authorial, censorial, and scribal collaborations that play out in dramatic texts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries,” Dr Edelstein said.

“Funding by the Sprott Fellowship will provide me with the means to spend a more considerable amount of time consulting manuscripts and plays than I would otherwise be able, leading to a book which, I hope, will recast understandings of early modern dramatic collaboration and censorship.”

Dr Edelstein is the second Sprott Fellow for the Faculty of Education and Arts – A/Prof Trisha Pender was also awarded the fellowship in 2013.

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