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 Elizabeth Archibald: “I have recently retired from Durham and am delighted to have returned to Cambridge.  My main research areas are romance and Arthurian literature, and I am currently working on several essays on Malory I also look forward to getting back to a long-delayed interdisciplinary project on bathing and spa culture in the Middle Ages, in literature and history.”

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: (with Anthony Smith) ‘A Carol by James Ryman in the Holkham Archives’, Review of English Studies, new series, 71 (2020), 1-17; (with Ralph Hanna) ‘Describing and Cataloguing Medieval English Manuscripts: A Checklist’, in Orietta Da Rold & Elaine Treharne (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Medieval British Manuscripts(Cambridge: Cambridge U.P., 2020), pp. 13–38; ‘The Material World of the York Plays’, in S. Brown, S. Rees Jones and T. Ayers (eds.), York: Art, Architecture and Archaeology, British Archaeological Association Conference Transactions 42 (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2022), pp. 239–52; ‘Bradshaw, Durham, and Doyle’, in C. Saunders, R. Lawrie and L. Atkinson (eds.), Middle English Manuscripts and their Legacies: A Volume in Honour of Ian Doyle (Leiden: Brill, 2022), pp. 295–315.”

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 I edited John Page’s remarkable poetic eyewitness account of Henry V’s siege of Rouen in 1418-19 for Middle English Texts. The next project, germinating slowly, will be about eyewitness writing. My latest article was in Reading Medieval Studies in 2019, ‘An Anglo-Danish Naval Encounter in Two Fourteenth-Century Chronicles’. More recently, I have been editing The Prioress’s and The Second Nun’s Tale for the Cambridge Chaucer, and have an article on the manuscript variants of The Prioress coming out in The Chaucer Review, as well as a chapter on ‘Medieval Continuities’ in the Oxford Handbook of Renaissance Poetry.

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: “One big advantage of being retired is that it gives more time for research and writing. 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 are producing a number of publications. With Robert Edwards of Penn State, I am also co-editing volume 2 of the Oxford History of Poetry in English (the high medieval volume, 1100-1400), for which we have several contributors who are currently members of the Faculty or who did their doctoral research here and are now working across the world.”

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 and I’ve just begun working on a new book on the distinctive experience and practices of reading in the early Reformation. I’m also particularly interested in books which went through multiple editions and what they suggest about less learned and more “popular” reading practices and tastes. My most recent 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 Timothy Glover: “I work on medieval religious literature, book history, and medieval Latin. My current book project examines the fourteenth-century hermit and religious author Richard Rolle. Where past research has portrayed Rolle as an eccentric and isolationist figure, my work aims to reposition him as an outward-looking spiritual director whose compositions gather together a wide range of devotional genres and approaches to edify his readers, giving his writing an interestingly synthetic and heterogenous texture. My next project builds on this by examining the spread of contemplative spirituality in Latin books owned by priests and mendicants, attempting to uncover how somebody on the ground in fourteenth-century England, without access to a comprehensive library of auctoritates, would have actually understood contemplative spirituality.”

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 work on Chaucerian afterlives and medieval reception, particularly looking at Chaucerian dream poetry. I’m working on a book about the afterlives of Chaucer’s dream poems, tentatively titled The Abstractionists, which starts in 1490 and finishes in 1995. I am currently happily stuck in the eighteenth century thinking about Alexander Pope and fame poems, and may be there for some time. I’m also working on a chapter for an edited collection about Thomas Gray’s medievalism, with particular reference to Lydgate.”

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: “Having published a new updated edition of my translation of The Book of Margery Kempe (Penguin Classics, 2019), I am now completing a cultural history of medieval East Anglia and a book on body language. I have also published various essays in some of my current research interests, including: ‘The Body Language of Malory’s Le Morte Darthur’, in Medieval Romance, Arthurian Literature: Essays in Honour of Elizabeth Archibald, ed. A.S.G. Edwards (D. S. Brewer, Cambridge, 2021), 143-57; ‘Sounds like God: The Elephant in The Book of Margery Kempe’, in Visions and Voice-Hearing in Medieval and Early Modern Contexts, ed. Hilary Powell and Corinne Saunders (Palgrave; London, 2020), 199-220; ‘Assumptions: The Virgin’s Ends in Medieval English Culture’, in Medieval and Early Modern Religious Cultures: Essays Honouring Vincent Gillespie on his Sixty-Fifth Birthday, ed. Laura Ashe and Ralph Hanna (D. S. Brewer; Cambridge, 2019), 101-23; and ‘True Image? Alternative Veronicas in Late Medieval England’, in Manuscript and Print in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain: Essays in Honour of Professor Julia Boffey, ed. Tamara Atkin and Jaclyn Rajsic (D. S. Brewer; Cambridge, 2019), 219-40.”

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.”

François·e Charmaille: “My doctoral research focuses on the relation between grammar and gender in the literature of 1100-1350. It touches on a wide range of texts in Latin, French, and English, with a particular focus on Alan of Lille’s De planctu Naturae, the Roman de la Rose, the Roman de Silence, and the Harley 2253 manuscript. More broadly, I am interested in theories and practices of trans, intersex, and gay historiography. Forthcoming publications on these topics include “Intersex Between Sex and Gender in Cause et cure” in Exemplaria, and “Queer Strategies of Gay History: Boswell’s ‘Weapons,’ Foucault’s Expérience” in Diacritics.

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 a third year PhD student working on late medieval spiritual pedagogy, with particular focus on the works attributed to the Cloud-author. I am currently working on two articles, one on the Cloud-author’s pedagogic theory, and another on medieval Glastonbury as the location of the mythical Avalon. My research interests include devotional and contemplative literature, medieval letter-writing, material culture, and medieval gardens.”

Joel Lipson: “My PhD thesis, Supernatural Visitation in Medieval Literature, examines a wide range of otherworldly encounter episodes composed between the twelfth and sixteenth centuries, and proposes the model of the Visitation Narrative as a means to elucidate their commonalities and differences. I am especially interested in the context-specific applications of widespread narrative motifs, and in the generic overlap between romances, mirabilia, histories, hagiographies and exempla throughout the Middle Ages. My article ‘The Head of Satalia: A Romance Monstrously Birthed’, which examines the many medieval variants of a macabre twelfth-century legend, has recently been accepted for publication. I have supervised undergraduates for the 1300-1550, 1066-1500 and Practical Criticism papers.”

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.”

Millicent-Rose Newis: “My research is concerned with writing in and about confinement in the Middle Ages. I am interested in the space of the cell in all its forms – whether it be monastic, anchoritic or carceral – and how spatial confinement might have affected writers physically, mentally and emotionally. I am also interested in the ways in which writers describe confinement: in the images and metaphors used to express an experience of cellular space. My research considers individuals who are able to transform confined space into something productive and valuable, as well as those fail to believe in the benefits of the cell. In the case of the latter, acedia – what we might describe as a form of depression – is a major focus.”