Kathleen Lynch is the Executive Director of the Folger Institute. She studied English Literature at John Carroll University and University College Cork before pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh. While at Pitt, she trained and taught extensively in the composition program. She wrote her dissertation on George Herbert’s Temple as a lyric experiment in autobiographical narrative. Moving to Washington, DC, she became a Reader at the Folger Shakespeare Library, and taught continuing education courses at the Shakespeare Theater and Georgetown University. She joined the Folger’s staff as Program Administrator for the Folger Institute, and has been Executive Director of the Folger Institute since 1996. The Folger Institute is a center for advanced study in early modern humanities at the Folger Shakespeare Library. In 2013, the Institute became its own division and expanded to encompass scholarly programs, residential fellowships, and undergraduate initiatives. The Library’s 2013 Strategic Plan also charges the Institute with spearheading collaborative research projects.
The first conference Lynch organized at the Folger was “Mapping the Early Modern World” in spring 1998. More recently, she curated the Folger’s summer 2012 exhibition, “Open City: London 1500-1700,” incorporating mapping as a component. She chaired the organizing committee for a companion conference, “Early Modern Cities in Comparative Perspective.” She has edited a series of Primary Sourcebooks for the College Classroom, collaborative scholarly website projects, the majority of which grew out of NEH-sponsored humanities institutes for College Teachers from 1997 to 2011.
Research Interests: Print culture, including structural tensions and developments within the English book trade and the ideological investments of mid-seventeenth century Stationers; the formation of knowledge communities, including transatlantic networks, the methodologies of association among nonconformists, and the conditioning effects of space; devotional literature and nonconformist culture under regulation, whether by state, church, or Stationers.