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Dr Jo Esra

Lecturer in Early Modern Literature (E&S)


01392 724583

I joined the Department at Streatham in 2017 from the University of Exeter’s campus at Penryn in Cornwall.



My main field of research is interdisciplinary, concerned with early modern maritime literature and culture (maritime humanities).


Primary interests:

  • pirates and piracy, particularly so-called 'Barbary' (North African based) piracy and captive-taking
  • the agency, activities, and emotional/religious experiences of 'ordinary' maritime communities 

I can also supervise work on:

  • the supernatural (witches, ghosts)
  • crime/detecting crime 
  • humoral bodies (relationship to the environment, aging, the brain, pathological conditions, grief/fear/anxiety; expressions of compassion)
  • sermons and ballads
  • Shakespeare 

I have been involved/am involved with researching transcontextual aspects of the history and culture of Cornwall and the West Country:

  • maritime history
  • smugglers and smuggling
  • history of Bodmin 'Asylum'/St Lawrence's Hospital
  • folklore, the supernatural, and the Gothic
  • landscapes/seascapes
  • maritime churches 


In addition to being a Lecturer in Early Modern English, I am also First Year Tutor and Lecturer in English and Academic Experience.


You can find me in Room 203 in Queen's Building


My office hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays: please email me to book a time.


I have taught across both History and English in the College of Humanities.

I aim to incorporate inclusivity and active compassion into teaching, and use a student-centred, enquiry based learning approach. My teaching practice has been recommended through peer observation for wider dissemination, and I have been nominated by students in the Student Guild's Teaching Awards every year I have taught for the University.

In 2016/17 I was extremely honoured to have been nominated in 6 categories ('Most Supportive Member of Staff'; 'Best Undergraduate Supervisor'; 'Best Lecturer' 'Innovative Teaching'; 'Best Feedback Provider'; 'Best Postgraduate Research Supervisor'), and  shortlisted for the Awards ceremony as 'Best Feedback Provider'. I also received an Associate Dean for Education Commendation. For the Awards in 2019/20, I was shortlisted for 'Most Supportive Member of Staff', and in 2020/21, shortlisted for a Pastoral Support Award, also receiving a Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Education Commendation. 

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