Senior Vice-Principal (Education)
James Knowles joined Royal Holloway in August 2017 having previously been Professor of Renaissance Literature and Culture and Vice-Dean (Research) at Brunel University, London, and Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Head of the School of English at University College, Cork.
His research has focused on the masque and its political, theatrical, and social contexts; on Ben Jonson's masques and entertainments; on sexuality and gender in the early modern period and in contemporary writing; on space, spatiality and cultural geography; and on the new histories of the book, including the queer history of the book, and manuscript studies and codicology. He has held grants fellowships from the AHRC, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, the Huntington Library, and the Ransom Library, Texas, as well as being P.I. for six EU funded Marie Curie Sklodowska fellowships, most recently mentoring Dr Jemma Field's work on Anna of Denmark and cultural patronage.
James oversees the overall strategic direction of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, covering both research and teaching, and chairing key faculty committees, such as Faculty Board. He currently chairs the university Exhibitions Committee and is leading on the development of foundation degrees and the creation of new JYA programmes and partnerships. He is leading on the development of the new Music Media building and the Centre for Digital Creativity and he chairs the TECHNE training group for the National Productivity Investment Fund studentships.
Externally, he is a Strategic Reviewer, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and a Member of the AHRC Peer Review College (2016- ); an External examiner, UG English programme, University of Buckingham (2016 onwards); a member of the TEF Subject Pilot panel (2018); and has reviewed Rutherford Fellowship grants for RCUK. Until 2017, James was a School Governor, Sir William Ramsay School, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Other advisory roles include as consultant curator at the Rubenshuis, Antwerp, for the Royalist Refugees Exhibition (2005-6); as a historical and literary consultant for English Heritage for the redisplay of Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire (2012-14); and as an advisory board member for virtual reality, new technologies, and performance project for the Banqueting House, Whitehall, 2016 (AHRC funded).