Dr. Michael Durrant

Dr. Michael Durrant
Room 312, New Arts


I studied for my BA in English here at Bangor University (2006), before completing an MA in medieval and early modern literary studies (2007) and then a PhD (2015), both at the University of Manchester. I have previously worked as a teaching assistant at the University of Manchester, and as a part-time lecturer at Staffordshire University and Salford University. Before returning to Bangor, I worked as a full-time lecturer in Hong Kong. So far, my teaching experience has centred primarily on literatures of the early modern period, but I also have experience teaching modules on criticism and theory, as well as on literatures of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.



Year 1

  • QXE1013 Studying Literature

Year 2

  • QXE2013 Renaissance and Reformation
  • OXE2003 Jonson to Johnson

Year 3

  • QXE3107 Early Modern Literature
  • QXE3099 The English Dissertation



  • QXE4050 Material Texts and Editing


My PhD thesis, which I am currently adapting into a monograph, focuses on the figure of Henry Hills, who was one of the most infamous English printers of the seventeenth century. This work unpacks the ways in which Henry Hills was represented both during and after his lifetime, and it considers the full range of literary genres in which Hills’ thoughts, motivations, and actions are narrativised, including spiritual autobiography, biography, verse satire, secret history narratives, conspiracy accounts, and legal documents, such as Hills’ last will and testament. My research makes a study of these representational embodiments, and I posit that Hills can be read as a cultural emblem imbued with cultural meaning. This argument intervenes in broader scholarly debates about the usefulness of biography in contemporary understandings of early print culture, and the ways in which we write the history of the book.

Upcoming research plans and publications extend my current research around Hills, linking history and literature to further explore representations of printing and printers, and the effects this has had on our understandings of publishing history, but also those works of fiction in which printing or printers figure. To this end, I am currently working on two journal articles: one examines representations of book-trade piracy in the late seventeenth century, connecting themes of copyright and generational conflict; the other examines the role of print in Shakespeare’s dramaturgy, and the ways in which the lives of book-trade professionals have come to matter in our understandings of the Shakespearean canon. I have also recently completed a chapter contribution for a collection of essays focusing on the theme of hypocrisy, in which I explore the role of print in the construction of hypocritical narratives.

Research themes

  • The printer as cultural emblem
  • Politics of auto/biography
  • Textual ‘lives’
  • Constructions of history in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
  • Literary afterlives and posthumous reputations
  • Religious identity and the politics of conversion



  • Writing and Rewriting Henry Hills, Printer (c. 1625-1688/9)(submitted to Manchester University Press).

Chapter Contribution

  • ‘Henry Hills and the Tailor’s Wife: Adultery, Hypocrisy, and the Archive’, in Lucia Nigri and Naya Tsentourou (eds.), Forms of Hypocrisy in Early Modern England (Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture, forthcoming 2017).

Articles in Preparation

  • ‘Pirates, Parents, and Print in Late Seventeenth Century England.’ To be submitted to Seventeenth Century.
  • ‘Print in Shakespeare’. To be submitted to Literature Compass.

Recent Papers

‘“A forward and confiding man”: Henry Hills, Eikon Basilike, and the Pamela Prayer Conspiracy,’ Department of English Research Seminar Series, The

Chinese University of Hong Kong (2016).  ‘Henry Hills and the Tailor’s Wife: Fabricating Biography,’ Making Knowledge in the Renaissance

Conference, University of Liverpool (2015).‘“Once upon a time”: Biographical Encounters with Henry Hills, Printer,’ Invited speaker at The John

Rylands Seminar on Print and Materiality in the Early Modern World, University of Manchester (2014).‘“That Direful Echo”: Ghosts of the

Revolutionary Past,’ at the Society of Renaissance Studies 5th Biennial Conference, Manchester (2012).

Conference Organisation

  • Historicizing Performance in the Early Modern Period (The John Rylands Library, Manchester, 2012).
  • History of the Book: Culture, Community, and Criticism (Chetham’s Library, Manchester, 2010).

Panel Organisation

  • ‘Print after 1660’, The Bangor Conference on the Restoration 2017: Turning Points in Britain and Ireland, 1658-1715, 25th-27th July 2017.