Dr Kylie Murray, Christ's



Biographical Information

I am a Fellow and Lecturer in Medieval English and Scottish Literature at Christ’s College. Before moving to Cambridge, I held a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Balliol College, Oxford. I gained my degrees at St Andrews (MA, first class with Lorimer Prize for Scottish Literature from the 13th to 20th centuries) and Oxford (MSt, with Distinction, and DPhil: both of my graduate degrees were funded by the AHRC and SIET).

Teaching and Lecturing

I offer teaching for the papers covering the literature and languages of Medieval and Renaissance Britain. I supervise a range of undergraduate and graduate dissertations in these areas.

Research Interests

My research specialism is the literature of Medieval and Early-Modern Scotland, c.1100-c.1625 in Scots, French, and Latin. My principal research interests concern Scottish cultural and literary distinctiveness: how do these intersect with identities in Scotland, Britain, and Europe? I am particularly interested in the dream-vision, chronicles, romance, and prophetic writing.

Archival work, material culture, and book history underpin my approach to research. The study of manuscript and early printed books forms a vital part of both my research and teaching. 

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 was produced in the Scottish kingdom proper during the reign of David I (1124-53). This research received national and international media interest, with UK coverage from the Times, the BBC, the Guardian, the Scotsman,  the Herald, and others. 

Areas of Graduate Supervision

I am currently supervising graduate work on the visitation motif in the literature of Medieval England and Scotland and in English and Continental romance. I warmly welcome queries about graduate supervision on Medieval Literature.

Media Work and Public Engagement

I am committed to sharing the excitement, energy, and relevance of Medieval and Early-Modern Britain with audiences within and beyond academia, which led me to become an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker in 2015. I continue to broadcast about various aspects of Medieval culture, literature, and books on BBC Radio 3. Some broadcasts to date include: 

  • BBC 2015 Free Thinking Lecture, on The Medieval Scottish Dream State (November 2015)
  • BBC Free Thinking, on Medieval Manuscripts at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (September 2016)
  • BBC Arts and Ideas, on the literary and intellectual history of Tayside and central Scotland on the eve of the Dundee V&A opening (September 2018).
  • BBC Free Thinking, on walls as a site for imagination and creativity in the Middle Ages, in conversation with John Lanchester (January 2019).
  • BBC Time Travellers, on a variety of Medieval thinkers and writers, including the first king of Scots and Picts; Macbeth's weird sisters, and Bridget of Sweden (March 2019).

In 2016, I gave the British Academy Chatterton Lecture on Poetry, titled ‘Elizabeth Melville and the Poetics of Desire in Early-Modern Britain'. Mine was the first lecture in this 60 year series to cover a pre-Union Scottish poet, or a Scottish woman poet of any period.

Selected Publications

(i) Books

  • The Making of the Scottish Dream-Vision (under contract with OUP and the British Academy Monographs Series - forthcoming)
  • The Scottish Boethius 1100-1600 (in preparation for the St Andrews Studies in Scottish History Series [Boydell]).    

(ii) Essays, Chapters, Articles, and Shorter Pieces

  • 'Thomas Hoccleve, The Dream-Vision, and Fifteenth-Century Scotland: New Insights', Notes and Queries, 61 (March, 2019), 31-5.   
  • ‘Appetite, Desire, and Excess in Bower’s Scotichronicon and Older Scots Poetry’, in J. Martin and E. Wingfield (eds), Premodern Scotland: Literature and Governance 1420-1587. Essays for Sally Mapstone (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 31-44.
  • ‘The European History of Medieval and Renaissance Scotland: 
a Post-Brexit Reflection’, 
in P. Lewis and A. Amin (eds), European Union
 and Disunion: What has held Europeans Together and What is Dividing Them (London: British Academy, 2017), 74-9.
  • ‘Visions of Royal Authority in the Courts of James I (1424-37) and James II (1437-60) of Scotland’, in K. Buchanan and L. Dean (eds), Medieval and Early-Modern Representations of Authority in Scotland and the British Isles (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016), 214-34.
  • ‘Books Beyond Borders: Fresh Findings on Boethius’s Reception in Twelfth-Century Scotland’, Medievalia et Humanistica, 41 (2015), 7-43.
  • ‘A newly identified Scottish Boethius manuscript: Rethinking Scotland’s intellectual and literary culture in the Middle Ages’, British Academy Review, 26 (Summer 2015), 58-63.
  • ‘Lady Dervorguilla and Medieval Scotland’s Manuscript Treasures’, Floreat Domus: Balliol College (2015), 26-8.
  • ‘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(NewYork andLondon: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012), 121-39.
  • ‘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 I: Library and Archival Collections(Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011), 120-3.
  • ‘Dream-Vision and Late Medieval Scotland: The Epic Case of William Wallace’, Harvard Celtic Colloquium Proceedings, 29 (2011), 177-98.
  • ‘Rhyme(r) and Reason: Thomas the Rhymer, Prophecy, and Anglo-Scottish Identity’, in J.D. McClure et. (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), 322-39.
  • ‘The Visio Karoli Crassi, Vincent of Beauvais’ Speculum Historiale, and Bower’s Scotichronicon’, Vincent of Beauvais International Newsletter,33 (2008), 3-9.
  • ‘Kingship in Malory’s Morte Darthur and the Older Scots Lancelot of the Laik’, San Francisco Medieval Forum, 6 (2007) [online publication, not paginated].                

(iv) Book Reviews

  • 'P. Philips (ed), The Brill Companion to Boethius', Speculum (October 2018)
  • 'J. Martin (ed.), The Maitland Quarto, STS', Speculum (July 2018)
  • 'M. Brown and K. Stevenson (eds), 'Medieval St Andrews: Church, Cult, City', The Medieval Review (2018)
  • 'R. Purdie, Medieval Scottish Romances, STS', Innes Review (November 2014) 
  • 'J. Smith, Older Scots: A Linguistic Reader, STS', International Review of Scottish Studies (Spring 2014)
  • 'E. Elliott, Remembering Boethius', The Medieval Review (May 2014)

(v) Forthcoming work

Includes completion of my second book, The Scottish Boethius; two pieces on the intellectual contexts of the Declaration of Arbroath, in time for the 700th Anniversary of this monumental event in 2020; a piece on Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose and the Medieval Scriptorium; and short encyclopedia entries on the Kingis Quair, Henryson, and Dunbar.