MAYER Jean-Christophe

Position : Researcher
Title : CNRS Director of Research
CNU (National Council of Universities) section : English studies
Institutional affiliation : CNRS Montpellier
Accreditation to supervise PhD research (HDR) : Yes

Email : jean-christophe.mayer (at)

Jean-Christophe Mayer is a Research Professor employed by the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). He is also a member and the deputy head of the Institute for Research on the Renaissance, the Neo-Classical Age, and the Enlightenment (IRCL) at the University of Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3. He has published several books and many articles on Shakespeare. His latest monograph is entitled Shakespeare’s Early Readers: A Cultural History from 1590 to 1800 (Cambridge University Press, 2018). His fields of expertise are Shakespeare and Religion, Shakespeare and Literary Theory, the History of Reading, the History of the Book and early modern English palaeography (history of writing). He has supervised many Masters theses and doctorates and always welcomes new proposals from students within his various fields of specialisation.

Research subject areas :

As a Shakespeare specialist with a passion for history, Jean-Christophe has worked on the relationship between literary works and their political and religious contexts. He has directed two collective research programs supported by CNRS (‘The Question of Succession in Elizabethan England’ and ‘Representations of France, the French and the French in English Renaissance Drama’) and has coordinated several collective works: Lectures de Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra (2000); Breaking the Silence on the Succession: A Sourcebook of Manuscripts and Rare Texts (2003); The Succession Struggle in Late Elizabethan England: Politics, Polemics and Cultural Representations (2004) ; Representing France and the French in Early Modern English Drama (2008); Shakespearean Configurations (2012). He is the author of a translation of a play by a contemporary of Shakespeare, Henry Porter (Les deux Mégères d’Abington, Pléiade, Gallimard, 2009), and two books, one on Shakespeare and the religious phenomenon, Shakespeare’s Hybrid Faith: History, Religion and the Stage (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), the other on issues of literary theory, Shakespeare et la postmodernité: essais sur l’Auteur, le Religieux, l’Histoire et le Lecteur (Peter Lang, 2012). His latest monograph is entitled Shakespeare’s Early Readers: A Cultural History from 1590 to 1800 (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Teaching :

English and Anglo-Saxon languages and literature

Academic and administrative endeavours :
  • Deputy Director of IRCL
  • Since 2009, he has served as Co-Editor-in-Chief, with Florence March, Peter J. Smith, and Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin, of Cahiers Élisabéthains.