Vanessa Lim

I am a literary scholar and intellectual historian of the early modern period with a special interest in Shakespeare and classical rhetoric in the Renaissance. I am currently an Institute of English Studies Postdoctoral Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, and from September 2021, a Swiss Government Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Fribourg.

I completed my Ph.D. in History and English at Queen Mary University of London in early 2020. My doctoral thesis, titled Shakespeare’s Strategies of Deliberation, explores how Shakespeare rhetorically depicts and questions the process of moral and political decision-making in what might be called his ‘deliberative’ works. As well as offering new readings of plays such as Julius Caesar and Hamlet, I argue that a particularly rhetorical way of thinking and arguing determines the possibilities of, but also the limits on, ethical reflection and even action. My work has been supported by a full studentship from Queen Mary and a fellowship awarded by the International Society for the History of Rhetoric. I am working on turning this research into my first monograph, tentatively titled Shakespeare’s Deliberative Art. My other research interests include early modern intellectual history, English Renaissance literature, and the history of early modern political thought.

When I am not working on my research, my hobbies include watching classical ballet, learning new languages, and dancing salon-style Argentine tango. I am also a freelance editor and writer, and I am especially proud to have edited a collection of poetry written by migrant workers based in Singapore.