Rebecca Field, Corpus Christi

Degree: PhD
Course: English
Supervisor: Prof Nicolette Zeeman
Dissertation Title: The Cloud of Unknowing: a rhetorical 'how-to' manual for contemplative practice

Biographical Information

I completed my BA in English (Medieval) at Oxford in 2016. I came to Cambridge for an MPhil in Medieval and Renaissance Literature in 2018, and I am now working on a PhD on the rhetoric and pedagogy of the Cloud-author.

Research Interests

My thesis focuses on the Cloud-author's reinvention of a range of pedagogical techniques and formats to fit his particular contemplative context. I cover Classical and medieval theories of pedagogy; teaching techniques such as dialogue and debate; epistolary form and rhetoric; and the reception history of the Cloud texts. I have also worked with the Cambridge Digital Library to digitize and describe CUL MS Ii.6.31, a fifteenth-century copy of The Book of Privy Counselling, one of six texts attributed to to the Cloud-author.

Further research interests include: medieval devotional writing, material culture, digital humanities, heritage studies, and medieval gardens. I am currently working on a 'medieval monastic soundscape', which aims to recreate sound and silence as it would have been experienced at various monastic sites across the UK.

Selected Publications

Cambridge Digital Library: MS Ii.6.31