- 17th Century literature
- Literary, social, and cultural history of early modern England
- The works of George Herbert, John Milton, Shakespeare, and Thomas Pynchon
- The literary and cultural history of Early modern Kent
“Wealth, Weber, and Whig Historiography: Reading George Herbert’s “Business.” Poverty and Prosperity, the Rich and the Poor in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Ed. Anne Scott and Cynthia Kosso. Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance 19. Turnhout: Brepols 2012. 279-92.
"‘Almost Miraculous’: Lord North and The Healing Waters Of Tunbridge Wells. The Nature and Function of Water, Baths, Bathing and Hygiene from Antiquity through the Renaissance. Leiden: Brill, 2009, 501-510.
Cooley, Ronald W., 2008. “Kent and Primogeniture in King Lear. SEL [Studies in English Literature 1500-1900] 48.2 (2008): 327-348.
'Full of all knowledg': George Herbert's Country Parson and Early Modern Social Discourse. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004.
17th Century England Herbert Shakespeare culture
Ronald Cooley specializes in 17th-century literature, and in the literary, social and cultural history of early modern England. He has published articles on George Herbert, John Milton, Shakespeare, and Thomas Pynchon. His book on George Herbert draws on ecclesiastical, economic and social history, to show how Herbert's poetry and prose records, responds to and promotes the emergence of the modern in early modern England, as modernity is expressed in worship, social regulation, agricultural technology and land use, and domestic relations. His current research involves the literary and cultural history of Early modern Kent, and the Kentish spa town or Tunbridge Wells. He is also the supervising editor of Early-Modern Electronic Texts, a series of electronic documentary and critical editions of early-modern texts, prepared by senior undergraduate and graduate students.