Dr Hannah Bower, Trinity Hall




Biographical Information

I am a College Teaching Associate and acting Director of English Studies for Part 1A at Trinity Hall College. I am a medievalist - with lots of interests in the early modern period too! - and I am particularly interested in relationships between literature, bodies, and emotions.

My PhD was funded by the Wellcome Trust and completed at the University of Oxford; it explored the linguistic and imaginative connections between medieval medical recipes and more canonical literary writings. The monograph based on this research was published (open access) with Oxford University Press and shortlisted for the 2022 British Society for Literature and Science Book Prize. Through the Wellcome Trust, I also completed a six-month secondment fellowship at the London Science Museum during which I explored the editorial history and reader reception of eighteenth-century medical pamphlets.

My current research projects continue this interdisciplinary approach. I have produced a series of articles investigating how human-engineered spectacles—performed by bodies and formed (or re-formed) in text—might function as fecund sites within medieval writings for intersections between different written and dramatic genres, literary forms and inhabited spaces. This recently led to the organisation of a conference called The Multimedia Craft of Wonder.

At the same time, I am working on a second book project entitled 'Representing Rupture in Domestic Literature, 1300–1700: Tearing, Splitting, Cutting'. It explores acts of tearing, fragmenting, and dividing in different kinds of writing connected to medieval and early modern households, tracking the way that this recurring imagery changed across manuscript and print versions of works. I explore how this imagery is used to ask fundamental questions about the relationship between family and fragmentation. My research so far suggests that, rather than simply being sensational or conventional, such imagery was a lively cognitive tool in many different genres for thinking about the precarities and strengths of domestic relationships, as well as a means of expressing what domestic connection and disconnection felt like.

Research Interests

Medieval medicine and science; emotions; embodiment; wonder; imagination; genre and form