Academic Profile

I am an interdisciplinary early modernist scholar with a specialism in gender and sexuality. At present, I am a Lecturer (maternity cover) in Early Modern English Literature at King’s College London. My institutional profile can be found here.

Research | Publications | Teaching | Public engagement


I am an interdisciplinary scholar whose research interests concern medieval and early modern gender and sexuality literature and culture, particularly the representation of transgressive gendered and sexual behaviour.

My doctoral thesis investigated Edward II’s developing historiographical reputation in the period 1305-1700, and revealed the means by which a consensus was reached concerning the nature of Edward’s relationships with his male favourites and the manner of his murder.

My current research project investigates the history of reading, writing and printing sexual content in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, illuminating the way in which readers approached – or were encouraged to approach – everyday encounters with sexual content in books that were not primarily framed as titillation.

More broadly, having worked extensively within the LGBT History Month movement, I am interested in diversifying the scope of queer and trans histories, and particularly in developing methodological approaches to past gender nonconformity where motivations for this behaviour are unknown or heterogeneous.


My first monograph, The Reputation of Edward II, 1305-1695: A Literary Transformation of History, is currently under contract.

‘Gender nonconformity and military internment: curating the Knockaloe slides’, Critical Military Studies: Special Issue, ‘Curating Conflict’ (2019) DOI:10.1080/23337486.2019.1651045

‘Paratexts and pornographic potential in seventeenth-century anatomy books’, The Seventeenth Century (2018) DOI:10.1080/0268117X.2018.1506355

‘Creating trans-inclusive libraries: the UX perspective’, in User Experience in Libraries: Yearbook 2018, ed. by Andy Priestner (UX In Libraries, 2018), pp. 36-51.

Book review: ‘Unperfect histories: the Mirror for Magistrates, 1559-1610 by Harriet Archer’, The Seventeenth Century 34:1 (2018) DOI:10.1080/0268117X.2018.1475251

Book review: ‘Barbara Gribling, ‘The image of Edward the Black Prince in Georgian and Victorian England: negotiating the late medieval past’’, Royal Studies Journal 5:1 (2018), pp. 191-193

Book review: ‘John S. Garrison, Friendship and queer theory in the Renaissance: gender and sexuality in early modern England’, The Seventeenth Century 30:4 (2015), pp. 486-488 DOI:DOI:10.1080/0268117X.2015.1082078

‘York Lesbian Arts Festival, 2000-2008: “It was like we took over the city…”’, Queer Beyond London (24/05/2017)

‘Maleficent favourites: seductive bewitchment at the English court’, NOTCHES: remarks on the history of sexuality (29/11/2016)

‘Rainbow plaques: mapping York’s LGBT history’, NOTCHES: remarks on the history of sexuality (23/07/2015)

‘Beyond penetration: rethinking the murder of Edward II’, NOTCHES: remarks on the history of sexuality (24/03/2015)

Teaching experience

Student feedback

  • “Kit is a really great seminar tutor. I get so much from the seminars – interactive, engaging, well thought through.”
    “Kit was very good at making us think about wider reading and his marking was excellent.”
    “Kit Heyam was a fantastic seminar tutor. I genuinely appreciated the way in which he manages discussion between us.”

School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, Newcastle University

  • 2018: Module co-leader, ‘Other Renaissances: Gender, Sexuality and Race in Early Modern Culture’ (Level 3)
  • 2019: Lecturer and seminar tutor, ‘Writing the Renaissance’ (Level 2)

School of English, University of Leeds

  • 2014-18: Seminar tutor, ‘Medieval Literature’ and ‘Renaissance Literature’ (Level 2); ‘The Plays of Shakespeare’ (Level 1)
  • 2015-17: Lecturer, ‘Narratives of Witchcraft and Magic’ (Level 1)
  • 2015-16: Workshop leader, ‘Study Skills for Final Year Project in Medieval and Early Modern Literature’ (Level 3)

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds

  • 2018: Lecturer/workshop leader, ‘Placement in Context’ (MA)

Lifelong Learning Centre, University of Leeds

  • 2017-18: Guest lecturer, ‘The Renaissance’ (Level 0)

School of Humanities, York St John University

  • 2015: Visiting lecturer, ‘Shakespeare and his Contemporaries’ (Level 2)

Public engagement

For past media appearances, please see my media page.

In 2015-16, I curated the exhibition For All Time: Shakespeare In Yorkshire at the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery. Showcasing the Brotherton’s English Literature collection, the exhibition explored Shakespeare’s engagement with English (particularly Yorkshire) history, and the ways in which directors and actors continue to use his work to ask questions about regional identity.

In 2016-17, I led the curatorial team on York Out of the Closet: 50 Years of LGBT History at York Castle Museum. The exhibition combined oral histories, loaned objects and photographs to tell the story of LGBT life in York – focusing on social life, activism, crime, health and the history of York Pride – from 1967-2017.

I am an assistant coordinator of the charity York LGBT History Month. I was the lead coordinator from 2016-17, and was the school outreach coordinator from 2014-16. I also coordinate Rainbow Plaques, a  participatory public history project which invites members of the public to  make DIY cardboard plaques marking places significant to local, national or personal LGBT history.