Dr Joanna Bellis, St John's

 

 

Biographical Information

Joanna is a medievalist/early modernist working on historical writing, in particular the genre of eyewitness writing, from c.1250-c.1600. She is the author of The Hundred Years War in Literature, 1337-1600 (Cambridge: Brewer, 2016) and editor of John Page's The Siege of Rouen (Heidelberg: Winter, 2015). Recently she co-edited Representing War and Violence, 12501600 (Cambridge: Brewer, 2016) with art historian Laura Slater. She was Harry F. Guggenheim Research Fellow at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and then Fitzjames Research Fellow in Old and Middle English at Merton College, Oxford. She is now based at St John's College. Her own website is http://www.joannabellis.com/

 

Research Interests

Joanna's research is interested in 'writing history' across from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, especially the transforming genre of eyewitness writing, and the interestingly conflicted ethical ways in which historiography positioned itself. She works with chronicles, political poetry, autobiographies, eulogies and propaganda, translations and tracts. Her first book was about the snowballing legend of the Hundred Years War from its contemporary narrators to its Tudor afterlife, which led to her discovery of the little-known gem, John Page's eyewitness account of Henry V's siege of Rouen in 1418-19. Her next book will be about eyewitness authors. In the longer term, she has plans for a student edition of war writing in the Middle Ages, and a collaborative digital edition of the prose Brut chronicle (one can only dream).

Selected Publications

Books

Joanna Bellis, The Hundred Years War in Literature, 1337-1600 (Cambridge: Brewer, 2016)

Joanna Bellis and Laura Slater, ed. Representing War and Violence, 12501600 (Cambridge: Brewer, 2016)

John Page, The Siege of Rouen, ed. Joanna Bellis, Middle English Texts 51 (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2015)

Articles

  1. The dregs of trembling, the draught of salvation: the dual symbolism of the cup in medieval literature’, in Feasts and Gifts of Food in Medieval Europe: Ritualised Constructions of Hierarchy, Identity and Community, ed. Lars Kjaer and A.J. Watson, special issue of The Journal of Medieval History, 37:1 (March 2011), 47-61.
  2. 'Purity and Pueritia: the anti-theme of childhood innocence in late-medieval English courtesy books’, Leeds Studies in English, 42 (2011), 1-16.
  3. ‘Rymes sette for a remembraunce: memorialization and mimetic language in the war poetry of the late Middle Ages’, Review of English Studies, 64:264 (2013), 183-207 (awarded the Beatrice White Prize 2015 by the English Association, for 'outstanding scholarly work in the field of English Literature before 1590', noted in The Year's Work in English Studies).
  4. ‘“We wanted þe trewe copy þereof”: John Page’s The Siege of Rouen, text and transmission’, Medium Ævum83:2 (2014), 209-233.
  5. With Venetia Bridges: ‘“What shalt thou do when thou hast an english to make into latin?” A study of the proverb collection of Cambridge, St John’s College, MS F.26’, Studies in Philology, 112.1 (2015), 68-92.

Chapters

1. ‘Mapping the national narrative: place-name etymology in Laʒamon’s Brut and its sources’, in Reading Laʒamon’s Brut: Approaches and Explorations, ed. Rosamund Allen, Jane Roberts and Carole Weinberg, DQR Studies in Literature, 52 (Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 2013), pp. 321-42.

2. ‘“The Reader myghte lamente”: The sieges of Calais (1346) and Rouen (1418) in chronicle, poem and play’, in War and Literature, ed. Laura Ashe and Ian Patterson (Cambridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2014), pp. 84-106.

3. ‘“Fresch anamalit termes”: the contradictory celebrity of Chaucer’s aureation’, in Chaucer and Fame: Reputation and Reception, ed. Catherine Nall and Isabel Davis (Cambridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2015), pp. 143-163.

4. ‘“I Was Enforced to Become an Eyed Witnes”: Documenting War in Medieval and Early Modern Literature’, in Emotions and War: Medieval to Romantic Literature, ed. Stephanie Downes, Andrew Lynch and Katrina O’Loughlin, Palgrave Studies in the History of Emotion (Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 133-151.

5. With Laura Slater, ‘Introduction: “Representation” and Medieval Mediations of Violence’, in Representing War and Violence, 12501600, ed. Joanna Bellis and Laura Slater (Cambridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2016), pp. 1-19.

6. ‘Art’s ambiguous object: John Page’s The Siege of Rouen, a romance of the Hundred Years War?’, in Insular Romance: Contexts and Traditions, ed. Ken Rooney (forthcoming).

7. ‘Propaganda or Parody? Latin Abuse Poetry from the Hundred Years War’, in Crossing Borders in the Insular Middle Ages, ed. Victoria Flood and Aisling Byrne (Turnhout: Brepols, forthcoming 2017).

8. With Megan Leitch, ‘Chivalric Literature’, in A Companion to Chivalry, ed. Robert Jones and Peter Coss (Cambridge: Boydell and Brewer, in progress: forthcoming 2018).

9.  ‘King Arthur in the Hundred Years War’, in Littérature Arthurienne Tardive en Europe, ed. Ad Putter, Raluca Radulescu, Christine Ferlampin-Achier and others (forthcoming, 2018).

10. 'Medieval Continuities', in the Oxford Handbook of Renaissance Poetry, ed. Andrew Zurcher and Jason Scott-Warren (Oxford: Oxford University Press, in progress).