Dr Claire Hansen

Lecturer in English
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Ecocriticism 470509
  • Literary Studies 4705
  • British And Irish Literature 470504
  • Performing Arts 3604

Research interests

  • Shakespeare studies - early modern literature and drama, women in early modern drama, Shakespeare and ecocriticism, Shakespeare and pedagogy, Shakespeare and place
  • Ecocriticism, environmental humanities and place-based learning
  • Complexity theory
  • The health humanities and medical humanities 
  • Pedagogy - approaches to teaching and learning Shakespeare, Shakespeare studies in secondary and tertiary environments, complexity theory in education, place-based learning. ecocritical approaches to teaching


Dr Claire Hansen is a Lecturer in English at the Australian National University.

Claire specialises in Shakespeare studies. She is a member of the Shakespeare Reloaded project, an ongoing collaborative project exploring innovative approaches to teaching and learning at secondary and tertiary institutions. She assists in the management of the Shakespeare Reloaded website and writes regularly for the Shakespeare Reloaded blog.

Her first book, Shakespeare and Complexity Theory, was published by Routledge in 2017. Claire has also published on Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, education, early modern dance, and female characters in renaissance literature. 

Claire's current projects include place-based approaches to Shakespeare, Shakespearean blue humanities, and the health humanities (see below for more). 

She is also passionate about theatre, and has published a host of theatre reviews on The Conversation and on the Shakespeare Reloaded blog.

Claire has won multiple teaching awards. In 2020, Claire was the recipient of a university Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, and was also the overall winner of this award. She was also awarded a national Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (2021). In 2022, she was awarded the 2022 CASS Certificate of Recognition for Education Excellence.

Claire completed her PhD at the University of Sydney, where her research focused on the use of complexity theory in Shakespeare studies and in education.

Researcher's projects

Ecocriticism & Place-based Shakespeare

Claire's current research is centred on Shakespeare and place. 

In 2021, she presented her work on place-based Shakespeare pedagogy at Shakespeare's Globe Climate Emergency Symposium, Globe4Globe

She has a book forthcoming with Cambridge Elements on Shakespeare and Place-Based Learning (Cambridge University Press, 2023).

Blue Humanities Lab

Claire is co-chair of the Blue Humanities Lab, a multidisciplinary research initiative centred on the ‘blue’ spaces of our world – reefs, oceans, rivers, and inland bodies of waters. She has several works forthcoming on Shakespeare and the Blue Humanities.

She is the co-editor of the forthcoming collection, Critical Approaches to the Australian Blue Humanities (Routledge).

The Heart of the Matter

Claire is a co-founder of the health humanities project, The Heart of the Matter, a multidisciplinary investigation into figurative and literal representations of the heart. The group launched a podcast in 2021.

In 2021, Claire's co-authored article on Shakespeare, artificial hearts and the pulse was published in Medical Humanities. She co-convened a seminar on Shakespeare and Health at the 2022 Shakespeare Association of America Conference.

Find out more about the health humanities in a podcast available here.

Current student projects

  • Practice-led research in creative writing: exploring the power of nature to alleviate feelings of homesickness through life writing. (PhD, Primary Advisor)
  • Representation of hearts in George Eliot's Middlemarch (ANU Medical School research project)
  • Using Shakespeare to teach empathy to second year medical students (ANU Medical School research project)


Past student projects

  • Sleep, and Extended Cognition in Spenserian Epic and Shakespearean Drama (2021, PhD, Secondary Advisor)
  • Poised to change: dynamic processes and Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon and The.PowerBook by Jeanette Winterson (2023, PhD, Primary Advisor)


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Updated:  26 March 2023 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers