Dr Kylie Murray, Christ's



Biographical Information

I read English at the University of St Andrews, where I graduated with the Lorimer Prize for Scottish Literature. From there, with funding from the AHRC and Scottish International Education Trust, I completed both a Master’s and DPhil in Medieval English and Scottish Literature at Lincoln College, Oxford, before holding a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Balliol College, Oxford (2013-16). I have also held a number of Visiting Fellowships, including a Knox Fellowship at Harvard, an Honorary Visiting Fellowship at Bristol University's Centre for Medieval Studies, and the Newlands Visitorship in English Language and Scottish Literature at Glasgow University. I moved to Cambridge to become a Fellow and Lecturer in Medieval English, and a Director of Studies at Christ’s College, in September 2016. I am also a Research Associate at the Centre for Scottish Culture, University of Dundee. 

Research Interests

My research specialism is the literature of Medieval and Early-Modern Scotland, c.1100-c.1625. My first book, The Making of the Scottish Dream-Vision, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. I am now completing my second book, The Scottish Boethius, c.1100-c.1600, about the European-inspired literary reception of the philosopher, Boethius, in Medieval and Early-Modern Scotland.

In 2015, I identified Scotland's earliest extant non-biblical book, a manuscript copy of Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, previously thought to be northern English, but which I believe came from the Scottish kingdom proper during the reign of David I (1124-53). This research received considerable national media interest, with coverage from the Times, the BBC, the Guardian, the Scotsman,  the Herald, and others. 

My principal research interests concern political literature in Scots and in Latin; national identities in Scotland, Britain, and Europe; dream-vision; visionary literature; mystical writing; and the reception of Classical literature in Medieval Britain and Europe. Book history is an underpinning interest, which forms a vital part of both my research and teaching. I am currently part of a collaborative British Academy project which catalogues Medieval manuscripts in the British Isles containing Aristotle commentaries, and through my teaching, I encourage students to engage with and make the most of Cambridge's manuscript and early print treasures.

Areas of Graduate Supervision

I welcome queries about graduate supervision on any of the research areas I outline above.

Media Work and Public Engagement

I enjoy engaging with diverse audiences about how our understanding of Medieval and Early-Modern Britain impacts on the twenty-first century world. I became an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker in 2015 and I continue to broadcast about various aspects of Medieval culture, literature, and books on BBC Radio 3. Some broadcasts to date include: 

  • BBC Free Thinking, on Medieval Manuscripts at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (September 2016)

In 2016, I gave the British Academy Chatterton Lecture on Poetry, titled ‘Elizabeth Melville and the Poetics of Desire in Early-Modern Britain,’ at the British Academy in London, and later, at the University of St Andrews. Mine was the first lecture in this entire series - which has been running for over 60 years - to cover a pre-Union Scottish poet, and the first lecture to cover a Scottish woman poet of any period.

In November 2016, I also spoke about Medieval and Renaissance Scotland's European identity at a British Academy Conference, European Union and Dis-Union: What has held Europeans together, and what is dividing them?:


Selected Publications


1. The Making of the Scottish Dream Vision (Oxford: Oxford University Press / British Academy Monographs Series - forthcoming, 2018).

2. The Scottish Boethius, 1100-1600 (100,000 word monograph - in preparation).

3. 'Aristotle Commentary Manuscripts to 1600 in Scotland' (Introduction and catalogue), in P.R. Robinson, R. Gameson, A. Rumble, and K. Murray (eds), Catalogue of Medieval Manuscripts of Latin Commentaries on Aristotle in British Libraries, Volume III. (Turnhout: Brepols - forthcoming, 2018/19).

Recent Articles, Essays, and Chapters

4. 'Scotland's Literature and Book-History, c.1296-c.1560', in C. Etty and A. King (eds), A Companion to Late-Medieval Scotland (Boston, MA and Leiden: Brill - forthcoming, 2018/19).

5. 'Elizabeth Melville, Lady Culross (c.1578-c.1640) and the Poetics of Desire in Early Modern Britain', Journal of the British Academy (under contract for 2017).

6. 'Medieval and Renaissance Scotland's European identity: a Post-Brexit Reflection', in P. Lewis and A. Amin (eds), European Union and Dis-Union: What has held Europeans together, and what is dividing them? London: British Academy (2017), 74-9.

7. 'Visions of Royal Power in the Courts of James I and II, c.1424-60', in M. Penman and L. Dean (eds), Medieval and Early Modern Representations of Authority in Scotland and Northern Europe. (London: Routledge, 2016), 214-34.

8. 'A New Scottish Boethius Manuscript: Rethinking Medieval Scotland's Intellectual and Literary History', The British Academy Review, 26 (Summer 2015).

9. 'Books Beyond the Borders: Fresh Findings on Boethius' Transmission in Earlier Medieval Scotland' Medievalia et Humanistica, 41 (2015), 7-43.

10. 'Lady Dervorguilla and Medieval Scotland's Manuscript Treasures', Floreat Domus: Balliol College (2015), 26-8.

11. 'Passing the Book: the Scottish Shaping of Chaucer’s Dream States in Bodleian Library, MS Arch. Selden. B. 24', in K. Terrell and M. Bruce (eds), The Anglo-Scottish Border and the Shaping of Identity, 1300-1600 (New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 121-39.

12. 'John Vaus, Aberdeen, and Early-Modern Scottish Book Culture', in I. Beavan, J. Stevenson and P. Davidson (eds), The Collections of the University of Aberdeen. Volume 1: Library and Archival Collections (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011), 120-3.

13. 'Dream-Vision and Late Medieval Scotland: the Epic Case of William Wallace', Harvard Celtic Colloquium Proceedings, 29 (2011), 177-98.

14. 'Rhyme(r) and Reason: Thomas the Rhymer, Prophecy, and Anglo-Scottish Identity', in J. D. McClure et. al. (eds), “What Country’s this? And Whither are we Gone?” Papers from the Twelfth International Conference on the Literature of Region and Nation (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars’ Publishing, 2011), 321-39.

I also regularly review for a number of journals, including Speculum and the International Review of Scottish Studies.