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Dr Cassie Gorman

Associate Professor
Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Humanities and Social Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
Renaissance and Early Modern Literature , Literature and Science
Research Supervision:
Courses taught:

Dr Cassie Gorman is an Associate Professor of Early Modern Literature and Philosophy and Course Leader for ARU's BA (Hons) English Literature, and BA (Hons) Philosophy and English Literature. She teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate modules in English Literature. Her research focuses on early modern literature and philosophy.

[email protected]


Prior to joining ARU, Cassie was a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Birmingham and held lectureships in English at Oriel College, Oxford and Trinity College, Cambridge. She completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2014.

Her research explores ways in which English imaginative literature of the seventeenth century was not only responsive to but a part of scientific progress, with particular interests in early modern women’s writing and the reciprocal influence between corpuscular philosophy and theological thought.

Cassie's first monograph, The Atom in Seventeenth-Century Poetry (D.S. Brewer, 2021), investigates a remarkable ‘poetics of the atom’ in the early modern period, through which poets and philosophers sought positive, spiritual motivation in the concept of material indivisibility. She has also published papers on Henry More, Lucy Hutchinson and Thomas Traherne, and co-edited a volume of essays on the latter with the theologian Elizabeth Dodd: Thomas Traherne and Seventeenth Century Thought (D.S. Brewer, 2016). Cassie is beginning a new research project on early modern women’s alchemical writing. She is a member of the Executive Committee for the international research group Scientiae: Disciplines of Knowing in the Early Modern World.

Research interests
  • Seventeenth-century literature and natural philosophy
  • Atomism and poetry
  • Alchemy
  • Early modern literature and medicine
  • Devotional poetry
  • Early modern women writers (especially the writings of Margaret Cavendish, Lucy Hutchinson and Hester Pulter)
  • Thomas Traherne
  • John Milton
Areas of research supervision

Cassie would be pleased to hear from potential students with interests in early modern literature, especially in relation to the following:

  • Early modern literature and science
  • Early modern literature and philosophy
  • Early modern literature and the occult
  • Early modern devotional poetry
  • John Milton
  • Thomas Traherne
  • Margaret Cavendish
  • Level 4:  History of English Literature 2: Reading Literature and Theory
  • Level 4: Literature of the Fens
  • Level 5: Dialogue and Debate: More to Milton
  • Level 5: Reading Beyond Britain
  • Level 6: Spectacle and Representation in Renaissance Drama
  • Level 6: Renaissance Magic
  • Level 7: Shakespeare and Society
  • Level 7: Research Methods

PhD English, University of Cambridge
MPhil Renaissance Literature, University of Cambridge
BA English, University of Cambridge

Memberships, editorial boards
  • From 2018 to 2022 Cassie served on the Executive Committee for the international research group Scientiae: Disciplines of Knowing in the Early Modern World
  • Book series editor, Scientiae: Disciplines of Knowing in the Early Modern World (Amsterdam University Press)
  • Member of the Society for Renaissance Studies
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy, UK
Selected recent publications

Gorman, C., 2023. Atomies of Love: Materialist Cupids in Elizabethan Poetry. In Luis-Martínez, Z. Poetic Theory and Practice in English Renaissance Verse: Unwritten Arts. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 74-100.

Gorman, C., 2021.The Atom in Seventeenth-Century Poetry. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer.

Gorman, C., 2017. Allegorical Analogies: Henry More’s Poetical Cosmology. Studies in Philology, 114 (1). pp. 148-70.

Gorman, C., 2016. Poetry and Atomism in the Civil War and Restoration. Literature Compass, 13 (9). pp. 560-71.

Dodd, E., and Gorman, C., 2016. Thomas Traherne and Seventeenth Century Thought. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer.

Gorman, C., 2016. Feeling Inside the Atom. In: Dodd, E., and Gorman, C., Thomas Traherne and Seventeenth Century Thought. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer. pp. 98-119.

Gorman, C., 2013. Lucy Hutchinson, Lucretius and Soteriological Materialism. The Seventeenth Century, 28 (3). pp. 293-309.

Gorman, C., 2013. Thomas Traherne’s intuitive knowledge of “ALL THINGS” in the Commentaries of Heaven. In: Brocking, I., Caradec, J., and Parc, C. (Eds.), Poetry and Religion: Figures of the Sacred. Bern: Peter Lang. pp. 35-54

Recent presentations and conferences

(2022) “Wax Balls and Wings: The Cosmological Poetics of Anne Southwell”. Down to Earth: Literary Form, Didactics, and the Natural World, c.1550-1750, University of Bayreuth, 29-20 September 2022.

(2022) “Mythographic Matter and Metaphysics: Atoms and Cupids in Elizabethan Love Poetry”. Renaissance Society of America Conference, Dublin, 30 March – 2 April 2022.

(2021) “Alchemical Melting and Compassion in Lucy Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder”. Scientiae: Disciplines of Knowing in the Early Modern World, online, 9-12 June 2021.

(2019) “Atomies of Love: Renaissance Lyric and the Poetics of Small Things”. Speaking Pictures: A Symposium on English Renaissance Poetics, University of Huelva, 29-30 October 2019.

(2019) “Atomic Congruity: ‘Atom-lives’ in the Poetry of Henry More”. Scientiae: Disciplines of Knowing in the Early Modern World, Queen’s University Belfast, 12-15 June 2019.

(2018) “Alchemy and Poetic Form: The Chymical-Devotional Lyrics of Hester Pulter”. International conference Scientiae: Disciplines of Knowing in the Early World, University of Minnesota, 16-19 May 2018

(2017) “Material Spirits: Thomas Traherne’s Atoms and Souls”. Renaissance Society of America Conference, Chicago, 30 March – 1 April 2017

(2017) “Hester Pulter’s Atom Worlds”. Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Cambridge, 4 March 2017

(2016) “In Indivisibles I’ll Trust: Hester Pulter’s Devotional Atomism”. Early Modern Works by and about Women, conference at the Department of Philosophy, McGill University, 4-6 November 2016

(2015) “Allegorical Analogies: The Poetical Construction of Henry More’s Cosmology”. Renaissance Society of America Conference, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, 26-28 March 2015 

(2014) “Feeling Inside the Atom in Seventeenth-century Literature”. EMPHASIS, School of Advanced Study, University of London, 6 December 2014 

(2014) “Reading Between the Lines: John Dee’s Mysteriorum Libri”. Centre for Editing Lives and Letters, University College London, 27 November 2014 

(2014) “Atomism in Seventeenth-century Culture”.  Cabinet of Natural History Seminar, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, 27 January 2014