Dr Rebecca Field, Trinity




Biographical Information

I am currently a Junior Research Fellow in English at Trinity College. Prior to this, I completed my PhD and MPhil in Medieval Literature at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and a BA in English at Lincoln College, Oxford. 

Research Interests

The focus of much of my work is the anonymous fourteenth-century contemplative text, The Cloud of Unknowing, and its related treatises. I am currently working on a monograph, based on my PhD research, which investigates the pedagogic theory and practices of this anonymous author as he guides his disciples in a highly specialised method of contemplation. I also work on a variety of writers who may have influenced the Cloud-author, such as Aelred of Rievaulx, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Walter Hilton, as well as later writers and scholars who were influenced by the Cloud-author's work into the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeeth centuries. 

I am also working on a new project, entitled 'Soundscapes of Contemplation', which considers the importance of sound and silence for devotional practice in the Middle Ages. This project is partially practice-led, and involves producing (re-)imagined 'soundscapes' of medieval monastic sites. 

As well as this, I do a variety of practice-led work on medieval manuscript illumination. I make 'mock-up miniatures' with which to test hypotheses about medieval artistic materials and their durability. You can read about my latest experiments below. 

Selected Publications

'From Rhetorical Theory to Spiritual Pedagogy in The Cloud of Unknowing', Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies vol. 53, no. 2 (May 2023)

'Experimenting with the Touch of Medieval Books. Part 2: The Practicalities', with Dr Henry Ravenhall, Cambridge Manuscripts Lab (2022)

'The Epistle of Privy Counsel: MS Ii. 6. 31' (manuscript catalogue entry), Cambridge University Digital Library (2019)