Dr Grant Ferguson's research is in the field of early modern English literature and its afterlives, especially Shakespeare in performance and cultural contexts, literary commemoration and early modern women’s writing.
Dr Ailsa Grant Ferguson works in the field of early modern English literature and its afterlives, especially Shakespeare in performance and cultural contexts (particularly the First World War, counter-cultural Shakespeare, all-female Shakespeare performance, Shakespeare and women's suffrage), literary commemoration and the posthumous, particularly in relation to early modern women’s writing.
She joined the University of Brighton in 2014, previously having worked as the National Theatre's first academic in residence, at King’s College London and at the University of Bristol, and has taught a range of topics specialising in Shakespeare, Early Modern Literature and performance in context. She is also a PGCE qualified teacher with keen interests in pedagogy and widening participation.
After receiving the Society for Theatre Research Award in 2013, her monograph, Shakespeare, Cinema, Counterculture was published by Routledge in 2016 and her second monograph, The Shakespeare Hut, as well as a teaching book, Shakespeare and Gender (with Kate Aughterson), will be published in 2018 by the Arden Shakespeare (Bloomsbury).
With a particular experience and interest in public engagement and media communication, her recent engagement and consultation includes work with the National Theatre, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the Royal Shakespeare Company, YMCA, Chawton House Library, BBC Radio 3 & 4 and the National Trust. She speaks regularly on Shakespeare and early modern literature in the media.
‘A dumme thynge: The posthumous voice as rhetoric in the mothers’ legacies of Dorothy Leigh and Elizabeth Joscelin’ in Berit Åström (ed) (2017) The Absent Mother in the Cultural Imagination: Missing, Presumed Dead, London: Palgrave.
Antipodal Shakespeare: Remembering and Forgetting in Britain, Australia and New Zealand, 1916-2016, co-author with Kate Flaherty, Mark Houlahan, Gordon McMullan, Philip Mead (2017) London: Bloomsbury, the Arden Shakespeare.
Shakespeare, Cinema, Counter-culture, London/New York: Routledge.
‘Performing commemoration in wartime: Shakespeare galas in London, 1916-19’ in Clara Calvo and Coppélia Kahn (ed.s), Celebrating Shakespeare: Commemoration and Cultural Memory, Cambridge: CUP.
‘Entertaining the Anzacs: Performance for Australian and New Zealand troops on leave in London, 1916-1919’ in Andrew Maunder (ed.) British Theatre and the First World War, London: Palgrave.
‘“When wasteful war shall statues overturn”: Forgetting the Shakespeare Hut inShakespeare: the Journal of the British Shakespeare Association.
‘Lady Forbes-Robertson’s war work: Gertrude Elliott and the Shakespeare Hut performances, 1916-1919’ in Gordon McMullan and Lena Orlin (ed.s), Women Making Shakespeare, London: Bloomsbury, The Arden Shakespeare.
‘“Every tongue brings in a several tale”: The Filth and the Fury’s counterhistorical transgressions’ in Halligan, B. and Sanjek, D. (ed.s) The Music Documentary: Acid Rock to Electro Pop, New York/London: Routledge.
‘“’Tis now the very witching time of night”: Halloween horror and the memento moriin Hamlet’ in Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, Vol 5, issue 2, October.
‘“An anagram of the body”: Shakespeare’s body/text commodified in My Own Private Idaho’ Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation, Volume VI no.2, Fall/Winter.
‘Shakespeare and the Lover’s Blazon’, Emagazine, December.
Mark Houlahan writes of "Ailsa Grant Ferguson's path-breaking work on the Shakespeare Hut", in Christa Jansohn and Dieter Mehl (ed.s) (2015) Shakespeare's Jubilees: 1769-2014, Studien zur englischen Literatur - Vol. 27.
“Grant Ferguson argues convincingly that the Hut’s role in the NT movement has been unfairly neglected; if only for a short time, it helped to unite the NT/memorial movement…The Hut had ‘aligned Shakespeare much more with the ‘fighting man’, its user, and the ‘caring woman’, its volunteer, than with the powers that be’”. Daniel Rosenthal (2013) The National Theatre Story, London: Oberon.
“One important story that runs parallel to my narrative and should be borne in mind is beginning to be told by Thomas Cartelli and Katherine Rowe and Ailsa Grant Ferguson: they tell us of the challenges to the Shakespeare industry’s perceived conservatism originating from within the world of Shakespearean filmmaking. Blurring the boundaries between ‘conservative’ Shakespeare and ‘Radical’ contemporary Jacobean, the low-budget independent filmmakers of the ‘new wave Shakespeare on screen’ use many of the aesthetic and formal approaches and share the political radicalism of contemporary Jacobean films.” Pascale Aebischer (2012) Screening Early Modern Drama: Beyond Shakespeare, Cambridge, CUP, pii.
Dr Ailsa Grant Ferguson on Dorothy Leigh's A Mother's Blessing on BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b074vtvm