Welcome to the webpages for the English Faculty’s research community in Medieval Studies.  This site contains information about the research interests and activities of medievalists in the English Faculty, as well as information about current seminars.

A particular welcome if you’re a visiting scholar! We hope you will get involved with our research community while you’re here, and would very much like to know about your visit, so please get in touch (email pk453[at] and we can add your information to the site.

Manuscript images copyright: The Master and Fellows of Emmanuel College, Cambridge

Dr Scott Annett: “I generally work on the interconnections between Italian and English literature. I am currently working on the relationships between literature, rhetoric, and both expressions of, and responses to, emotion in the Medieval period. More specifically, this work is structured around the intersections between Virgilian ‘pietas’, Dantean ‘pietà’ and Chaucerian ‘pitee’, in turn exploring the role of the vernacular (and translation) in the formation of community.”

Professor Richard Beadle: “Since retiring from teaching in the English Faculty I have continued to pursue my research interests in early drama and in the history of the book, adding to them a new line of enquiry into 19th-century developments in medieval English scholarship, with a focus on the work of Henry Bradshaw, and his little-known but revolutionary contributions to codicology, and to the study of Chaucer.  Recent publications include: ‘Macro MS 5: A Historical Reconstruction’, Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, 16 (1) (2016), 35–77; Henry Bradshaw and the Foundations of Codicology (Cambridge, 2017); ‘The Children of the York Plays’, in Anita Auer et al., Revisiting the Medieval North of England: Interdisciplinary Approaches (Cardiff, 2019), pp. 91-107; and ‘Bradshaw’s Chaucer: Some Preliminary Observations’, in ‘Particles of Light’: The Legacy of Henry Bradshaw, Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, 16 (4) (2019), 557–74.”

Dr Joanna Bellis: “I am interested in the people who wrote the history of the Middle Ages, the chroniclers and poets narrating their own times or their recent past. My first book was on the Hundred Years War, and following that it was a complete delight to edit John Page’s poetic eyewitness account of Henry V’s siege of Rouen in 1418-19. The next project, taking shape slowly, will be about eyewitness writing. My latest article was in Reading Medieval Studies last year, called ‘An Anglo-Danish Naval Encounter in Two Fourteenth-Century Chronicles’, exploring a really odd (most likely entirely made-up) naval skirmish and ensuing graffiti war in 1367.”

Dr Jessica L. Berenbeim: “My research concerns the manifold intersections of literary and visual culture. I’ve written about manuscripts and archives in a number of publications, including: Art of Documentation: Documents and Visual Culture in Medieval England (2015); ‘Medieval Treaties and the Diplomatic Aesthetic’, The Medieval Globe 4 (2018); and ‘Fictions of the Archive’, RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics 73–74 (forthcoming 2021). At the moment, my main research projects are about inscriptions, museum studies, and philosophy of history; the last of these themes is the subject of a recent article called ‘The Past of the Past: Historical Distance and the Medieval Image’, which I wrote for the 2021 issue of New Medieval Literatures.”

Dr Hannah Bower: “My research focuses on the intersections between different discourses, particularly the poetic and the practical. For instance, my PhD, funded by the Wellcome Trust, explored the interconnections between late medieval medical recipes, literary works, and devotional writings; it investigated overlaps in style, organisation, presentation, and modes of interpretation. I am currently turning it into a monograph. At the same time, I am working on a new monograph, provisionally entitled Forming and Performing Human Marvels, which explores how various kinds of spectacle – engineered in some way by human artifice – were represented, commemorated, and re- or de-constructed in language.  I have also recently contributed to a companion on the medical writer Henry Daniel, organised by the Henry Daniel Project. My chapter explores the shifting relationship between narrative, sound, and sight in the different versions of Daniel’s uroscopy, the Liber Uricrisiarum.”

Professor Helen Cooper: “I have been commissioned recently to pick up on all the main lines of research across my career, on Chaucer (especially the Canterbury Tales), and on medieval/Renaissance crossovers in pastoral, romance, and drama – so those are keeping me busy, and will produce publications from next year forwards. I am also co-editing the high medieval volume of the Oxford History of Poetry in English, for which we have several contributors who are currently members of the Faculty or who did their doctoral research here. I also have a long-standing hope for writing a book on the afterlife of the CanterburyTales, though it keeps getting displaced by other things.”

Dr Alex da Costa: My research frequently focuses on incunabula and early printed books meant for an English readership. Much of my work has focused on the Reformation and religious tracts, but I’m currently particularly interested in books which went through multiple editions and what they suggest about less learned and more “popular” reading practices and tastes. I’ve just finished a book, Marketing English Books 1476-1550: How Printers Changed Reading (OUP, out November 2020) about how the earliest printers moulded demand and created new markets.”

Dr Orietta Da Rold: I’m interested in medieval texts c. 1100-1500, Chaucer and the digital humanities. I work on the social and cultural context of the circulation and transmission of medieval texts and books, and research the codicology and palaeography of medieval manuscripts. I have recently published Paper in Medieval England: From Pulp to Fictions (CUP, 2020), and I am the editor, with E. Treharne (Stanford), of the Companion to British Manuscript Studies (CUP, 2020). I am now working on a monograph length project entitled Paper in Time and Space, the sequel to Paper in Medieval England.”

Dr Jane Hughes: “For the past three years I have been Pepys Librarian at Magdalene, in addition to my teaching and research post in English.  My book on the Pepys Library and Historic Collections was published in September (Scala, 2015) and I have recently contributed to a new collection of essays on Pepys (Thames and Hudson, 2015).  Over the summer, I have been working on developing an on-line catalogue of the medieval manuscripts in the Old Library: this is a small but very interesting collection, which has been somewhat overshadowed by the spectacular holdings of the Pepys Library, and I’d very much like it to receive more scholarly attention. I have a long-term project to write on the application of contemporary literary theory to Latin and English texts of the 12th to the 14-centuries, thinking about the methods and critical assumptions of this approach as well as explicating medieval writings. I am currently completing a piece on politeness theory, which is (predictably) mostly about rudeness.”

Dr Philip Knox: “I work on late-medieval English and European literature (especially the points of contact and overlaps between English and French); how medieval literature relates to other kinds of writing and cultural practice (especially intellectual culture); medieval lyric (especially how it interacts with medieval narrative). My big project at the moment is a study of the Roman de la rose and fourteenth-century English literature. Spinning out from this recently has been reading and thinking about law, philosophy, and histories of sexuality, culminating in a chapter on the Rose  and natural law in the new volume, The Roman de la Rose and Thirteenth-Century Thought, ed. Morton and Nievergelt w/ Marenbon (Cambridge: CUP, 2020).”

Dr Charles Moseley: “King Charles’ Head, once found, remains one of those topics that always crops up. So Mandeville’s Travels, my own KCH, is still a continuing area of research, though my interest is moving more in the direction of later reception, reading and publishing  than it once did. I have recently published an overview  essay, ‘‘The Travels of Sir John Mandeville’, in the Routledge Encyclopaedia of Medieval Studies (2018), and  ‘Mandeville’s Travels and the Moral Geography of the Medieval World’, in Portal: Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, Vol 11 n°2, (2015). In addition, I have published essays and articles on emblems and theatre; on cultural memory; and guest-edited  and introduced two issues of Critical Survey devoted to Chaucer. These issues have become the basis for a book, Engaging with Chaucer (Berghahn Books, Oxford and New York, September 2020) which I have edited and to which I have contributed an introductory essay as well as a chapter.  In addition to a couple of other essays on early modern topics, I have also recently published three non-academic books, Latitude North (2015), Coming to Terms: Cambridge In and Out (2017) and Hungry Heart Roaming: an Odyssey of Sorts (2020).” 

Lotte Reinbold: “I’m a Fellow, College Teaching Officer, Tutor, and Director of Studies at Selwyn College, Cambridge. I teach for papers 3, 4 and 5 at Part I, and Papers 5 and 6 at Part II, and supervise undergraduate dissertations relating to my areas of interest. Research-wise, I’m interested in dream poetry from the late Middle Ages to the late Early Modern period. I’m also interested in Chaucerian afterlives and reception, medievalism, and the children’s fantasy writer Diana Wynne Jones. I’m currently working on a book project on the afterlives of dream poetry, which will involve Chaucer, Pope, Douglas Oliver, Pre-Raphaelites, and everything in between, and at the moment I’m particularly fascinated by responses to Chaucer’s ‘House of Fame’.”

Dr Jacqueline Tasioulas: “I am currently completing the Canon’s Yeoman’s Tale for the forthcoming Cambridge University Press edition of the complete works of Chaucer. This follows on from my recent book, Chaucer: the Basics in the Routledge series. I’ve also just completed an article on ‘Poetry and the Bible’ for the Oxford History of Poetry in English, Volume 2, and my article on the problematic nature of angelic voices as explored in medieval theology and English drama, is about to come out in Visions and Voice Hearing in Medieval and Early Modern Contexts (Palgrave Macmillan).  My research next year will see me return to medieval Scots, as I will be contributing a chapter on ‘The Makars’ to the Cambridge History of Scottish Literature.”

Dr James Wade: “I work on medieval romance. I’ve written on fairies and the supernatural, on Malory, and on the manuscript and early print contexts of romances. My edition of Sir Torrent of Portingale came out in 2017. I have an article forthcoming on the history of Malory’s Morte Darthur in print, and I am currently working on a larger project related to romance, folklore, and minstrelsy.”

Dr Edward Wilson-Lee: “I have for some years been working on one of the greatest libraries of the late-fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, intended by its founder Hernando Colón to be a universal library to complement the universalising ambitions of his father, Christopher Columbus. Hernando also wrote the first biography of his father, amassed the largest collection of images Europe had known, started a dictionary and a geographical encyclopaedia, created world maps and started Europe’s first botanical garden. So far this project has resulted in a biography and a co-authored study of the library, and I am part of a team editing Hernando’s ‘Libro de los Epítomes’, in which he aimed to summarize all the books in the library and which was rediscovered in 2019 after going missing for 400 years. I am also working on new projects on the role of archives in mediating global knowledge in the medieval and early modern world.”

Professor Barry Windeatt: “My parallel-text edition of the  of Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love is due to be published by Oxford University Press in March 2016 and my translation of Julian for Oxford World’s Classics came out in 2015.  I’ve also contributed an essay on ‘Julian of Norwich and Medieval English Visual Culture’ to a recently published Festschrift for A.V.C.Schmidt.”

Dr Laura Wright: “I am a historical sociolinguist.  My research is based on codeswitched Anglo-Norman/Medieval Latin/Middle English non-fiction writing, mainly accounts, wills and testaments.  My most recent relevant publications are The Multilingual Origins of Standard English (ed.), Mouton de Gruyter, 2020 (, which rewrites the history of standardisation, and Sunnyside: A Sociolinguistic History of British House Names, British Academy/OUP, 2020 (, chapter 1 of which is about medieval house names, with a Gazetteer of all the pre-1400 London house names I could find.  The final chapter is about historic North British/Scottish steadings named Sunnyside and Old Norse influence.”

Professor Nicolette Zeeman: “I have just published the Arts of disruption. Allegory and Piers Plowman (CUP). This book looks at the ‘disruptive’ allegorical traditions that lie behind the poem, but also attempts to lay out something of an alternative history of allegory. I continue to work on the narrative forms and spirituality of Piers Plowman. Currently I am also working on the hybrid figure of personification/prosopopoeia in later medieval texts: I am trying to think about why a figure so little used today (at least explicitly) was so imaginatively productive in the Middle Ages. I have two longer term projects, one on philosophical relativism and the other on how the medieval theories of idol shape understandings of the body and selfhood in the Middle Ages; this last will involve visual and sculptural materials. Other research interests include allegory, the subject, religious and devotional writing, the lyric, theories of image-use and idolatry, and medieval literary theory, as well the French tradition and Chaucer.”

PhD students.

Carlotta Barranu: “My work revolves around the use of quantitative codicology to study medieval multilingualism. Currently, I am writing up my PhD thesis, which demonstrates that multilingualism was a foundational aspect of the literate society of medieval England, rather than representing an exceptional skill of few learned individuals. One of the outcomes of this research is an article that reframes the knowledge of Greek across English religious houses, which is now under peer review. I am also interested in the digital humanities and the potential they pose for future research. As a specialist in manuscript studies, I teach palaeography and codicology at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I also have experience supervising medieval English literature and Italian literature for the Faculty of English.”

Françoise Charmaille: “My doctoral research focuses on the relation between gender and grammar in medieval literature. I study medieval writers’ views on language, bodies, and sexuality, together with modern theories on the same topics. In doing so, I engage closely with works and writers such as the Harley 2253 manuscript, Alain de Lille, Michel Foucault, Hildegard von Bingen, Louis Althusser, Frantz Fanon, and Jean-Luc Nancy.”

Katherine Dixon: “I’m a final-year PhD student working on Mirk’s Festial. My research examines the religious education of the laity and the intersections of pastoral and devotional literature. Previously my research has considered medieval mysticism, affective piety and the religious lyric. I also have a growing interest in the digital humanities.  I teach for Part 1, Paper 3 and Part 2, Paper 5 and previously have coordinated Marginalia and served as Graduate Faculty Rep.”

Rebecca Field: “I am going into the second year of my PhD, funded by the AHRC OOC DTP. My current research focuses on the relationship between rhetoric and pedagogy in the treatises attributed to the Cloud-author, and traces the reception of these treatises through to the sixteenth century. I have been working with the CUDL to digitize the manuscript copies of the Cloud corpus held in the University Library, and I am also making plans for a book on medieval herbal medicine, in collaboration with my fellow PhD candidate, Alexis Statz.”

Joel Lipson: “I am in the third year of my PhD on Supernatural Visitation in Medieval Literature. This thesis examines a wide range of otherworldly encounter episodes composed between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries, and proposes the model of the Visitation Narrative as a means to elucidate their commonalities and differences. I am interested in the recurrence of supernatural narrative motifs and structures across multiple genres, particularly romance, mirabilia and history texts. I am currently working on an article in which I compare the many medieval variants of the twelfth-century Head of Satalia legend, and examine its engagement with chivalric romance conventions.”

Patrick Loveday: “My research is focused on Chaucer. Broadly, I will be looking at his use of spaces, perspectives, and architectures. My approach is geocritical, which means I will be looking at how the medieval spaces and geographies Chaucer encountered can inform our reading of him. I am also interested in looking at how, in a more insular sense, the physical and mental spaces of a text imbricate and collide with one another. Spaces provide the boundaries of narrative, and I think (and hope!) that in looking at them we are offered an exciting means of adding to current critical discourse.”

Conor McKee

Millicent-Rose Newis: “My main area of research concerns medieval prison writing. I am interested in the ways in which people thought about the space of the cell in the Middle Ages; especially in the overlap – be it physical, philosophical, spiritual or literary – between anchoritic, monastic and prison cells. I am currently thinking about the differences between early and late-medieval prison writing, and the impact of the Black Death upon cellular space. Work (and the lack of fruitful work) in the cell is an area of focus.”

Alexis Statz