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Gašper Jakovac

Email: g.jakovac@ucl.ac.uk


Gasper Jakovac photo

Education and Experience

Gašper was educated at the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Durham University where he completed his interdisciplinary MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies and PhD in English Literature. At Durham, he was a member of the Records of Early English Drama North-East project (2014-2018); his studies were supported by the AHRC and Gerda Henkel Foundation Stiftung. Since finishing his doctorate, he held many fellowships, including at the Bodleian Library (Oxford), European University Institute (Florence), and Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (University of Edinburgh). He has taught at Durham University, Edinburgh Napier University, and the University of York.

Research Interests

Gašper is a cultural and literary historian of the early modern period. His research focuses on drama, performance, popular culture, and religious politics in Protestant England and beyond. As Marie Curie Global Fellow at UCL and University of Toronto (Department of History), he is working on a project entitled 'Catholic Performance Culture in Early Modern England’ (CaPer)'. The project investigates how Catholics used theatre, dance, music, sports, and ceremonies to form communal bonds, negotiate their place in a hostile society, and advance Catholic Reformation in the period between Elizabeth I’s accession to the throne in 1558 and the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. Relying on a variety of archival and literary sources, CaPer will rethink the cultural history of English Catholics, introduce to historiography previously neglected historical actors and practices, and expand our knowledge of religious coexistence in early modern Europe.

As part of CaPer, Gašper is currently preparing a scholarly edition of Robert Owen’s manuscript play The History of Purgatory (BL, Add. MS 11427), a unique example of Catholic vernacular drama from the early seventeenth century, which is to be published by the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (University of Toronto).

Gašper also has interest in public history. In 2020-2021, he co-run an EUI-funded podcast series Experiencing Epidemics, which considered pre-modern experiences of deadly infectious disease and how the past might help us better understand the social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


‘Northern Catholics, Equestrian Sports, and the Gunpowder Plot’, John McKinnell and Diana Wyatt (eds.), Early Performers and Performance in the North East of England (ARC Humanities Press, 2021), 63–75.

‘The Catholic Country House in Early Modern England: Motion, Piety and Hospitality, c.1580–1640’, in Kimberley Skelton (ed.), Early Modern Spaces in Motion: Design, Experience and Rhetoric (Amsterdam University Press, 2020), 81–110.

Co-authored with Mark Chambers, ‘Welcoming James VI & I in the North-East: Civic Performance and Conflict in Durham and Newcastle’, Medieval English Theatre, vol. 41 (2020), 84–133.

‘A Dancer Made a Recusant: Dance and Evangelization in the Jacobean North East of England’, British Catholic History, 34/2 (2018), 273–303.

Kar bog zahteva to naj kralj ukrene. Ideologija absolutizma v Shakespearovi trilogiji Henrik VI. [What God Will, That Let Your King Perform: Ideology of Absolutism in Shakespeare’s Trilogy Henry VI] (Ljubljana: LUD Literatura, 2015).