Dr Helen Hopkins

PhD student Helen Hopkins

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

School of English

Helen completed her collaborative PhD at Birmingham City University/the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) in 2021. The AHRC Midlands4Cities funded project, entitled “‘Gifts of the World’?: Creating and Contextualising the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s International Collection”, represents the first scholarly account of the SBT’s international collection.

Helen’s research broadly encompasses contemporary and historical uses of Shakespeare, especially in terms of diplomatic responses to his cultural capital and uses for soft power. Helen’s work explores the potential in Shakespeare’s cultural capital and texts for a generative, inclusive, decolonial form of diplomacy that works toward redressing Shakespeare’s ongoing use as a tool of cultural supremacy. Helen is also interested in maternity in Early Modern drama, in particular how it manifests in Shakespeare’s plays as an insidious threat to the patriarchal order.

Helen is currently adapting her doctoral thesis for publication as a monograph and developing a research project exploring how cultural institutions around the world approach Shakespeare’s cultural capital and the specificities of their relationship to it.