Lieke Stelling studied English literature at the University of Utrecht and University College London and comparative literature at the University of Utrecht. She completed her PhD at the University of Leiden in 2013 before returning to Utrecht in 2015. Her research interests include sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature, Shakespeare, religious conversion, humour and religion, and early modern conceptions of Europe.
Lieke’s first monograph, Religious Conversion in Early Modern English Drama (Cambridge University Press, 2019), was runner-up for the Shakespeare's Globe Book Award 2020. Her current book is tentatively titled, “Faith in Jest: Humour and the Literature of the English Reformation,” and focuses on inclusive and tension-relieving aspects of humour in relation to religious conflict and anxiety. It was awarded a Veni grant by The Dutch Research Council (NWO), in 2017-2021. A related project, on jest books, was supported by a fellowship from the Huntington Library in 2019.
Her new project, "Discovering Europe in the Early Modern Period: How Literary Bestsellers Shaped a Diverse Community, 1517-1713," is supported by an NWO Vidi grant (2022-2026) and examines how works of fiction from across renaissance Europe contributed to conceptions of European identity, in a material as well as a literary sense.
She is co-editor of The Turn of the Soul: Representations of Religious Conversion in Early Modern Art and Literature (Brill, 2012), and her articles have appeared in English Literary Renaissance and Shakespeare Jahrbuch. Lieke was a research affiliate with the Early Modern Conversions project at McGill, and is a member of the Utrecht Young Academy.
Lieke is currently the head of the English Language and Culture Division at the Department of Languages, Literature and Communication.