Category Archives: News

Academic Visitor: Professor Ruth Evans


It is a great pleasure to welcome Professor Ruth Evans to the English Faculty this term.

Ruth Evans is Professor of English at Saint Louis University, Missouri, and Executive Director of the New Chaucer Society. She works on medieval literature of the period 1300-1580, with particular focuses on gender and sexuality, memory, and translation. Her most recent book is a coedited collection Roadworks: Medieval Roads, Medieval Britain (with Valerie Allen; Manchester University Press, 2016), and she is currently working on a monograph, Chaucerian Fictions of Memory. She is an Academic Visitor to the Faculty of English for the period October-December 2016.  

Medieval Graduate Seminars, Michaelmas 2016

The Medieval Graduate Research Seminar will meet on the following dates in the Board Room at the English Faculty, 9 West Road. Papers will begin promptly at 5.15, followed by drinks and questions.

October 12th, Dr Mishtooni Bose, ‘“Piers Plowman” and God’s Thought Experiment’

October 26th, Prof John Arnold, ‘Sexuality and Dishonour: Punishing Adultery & other Crimes in southern France (c.1150-1320)’

November 9th, Johannes Wolf, ‘Idolography: Saints and Idols in the Katherine Group vitae’ and Richard Dance and Brittany Schorn, ‘Buried Treasure: In Search of the Old Norse Influence on Middle English Vocabulary’

History of the Liturgy Seminar Series (IHR, University of London)

Seminars will take place at the IHR, John S Cohen Room (N203), starting at 17:30. For more information see  All Welcome.


10 October 2016     Round Table: New Directions in the Study of Liturgy.  Helen Gittos (Kent), Eyal Poleg (QMUL) and Tessa Webber (Cambridge), chaired by Sarah Hamilton (Exeter)

27th October 2016     Cecilia Gaposchkin (Dartmouth), Liturgy and Devotion in the Aftermath of the Fourth Crusade: Nivelon of Soissons, the Relics of 1204, and the Cathedral of Soissons  (Joint session with European History 1150-1550)

*** Note – this seminar will take place on a Thursday, IHR Wolfson II Room***

5 December 2016     Kati Ihnat (Nijmegen), Can We Speak of a National Liturgy?  The Methodological Challenges of Studying the Old Hispanic Rite


30 January 2017  Julia Exarchos (Ghent) & Sarah Hamilton (Exeter), Tracing Political, Social and Cultural Transformations through the Liturgy

13 March 2017    John Harper (Bangor) Evidence for the Use of Salisbury in the Twelfth Century (provisional title)

Convenors: Nicolas Bell (Cambridge), Matthew Champion (Birkbeck), Helen Gittos (Kent), Sarah Hamilton (Exeter), Kati Ihnat (Nijmegen), Eyal Poleg (QMUL),  Matthew Cheung Salisbury (Oxford), Elizabeth Solopova (Oxford)

Contact: Helen Gittos ( & Eyal Poleg (

Colloquium on Medieval Drama (7 May)

Tamara Haddad, London Medieval Society cyber secretary, has organised a terrific Colloquium on aspects of medieval drama on Saturday 7th May at the Joseph Rotblat Building in Charterhouse Square. The speakers will be Meg Twycross from Lancaster University, Clare Wright and Helen Gittos from Kent, Eleanor Rycroft  from Bristol, and Charlotte Steenbrugge from Sheffield.  John McGavin of Southampton University will sum up the day before the roundtable discussion.

The Colloquium is only £5 for students (and concessions) and £10 for waged people and includes tea and coffee and a wine reception afterwards – please do bring your own lunch – there are mini-supermarkets and cafes close by.

You can reserve a seat via Eventbrite:

If you have any problems booking or would like to join other attendees for supper please contact Dr Diane Heath, the Colloquium Secretary via this email address:

Workshop for MA and PhD students on Medieval Magic (Jul 7)

There will be a workshop for MA and PhD students on Medieval Magic organised by the Warburg Institute and The European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE). The workshop will take place on July 7 at the Warburg Institute in London, and will focus on the topic of “Magical Traditions and Medieval Religions of the Book”. Please see the attached programme for details.

The keynote paper will be given by Prof. Jean-Patrice Boudet (Orléans) and the workshop will include ‎sessions on PhD and Early Career Advice and a Laboratory with period and regional focus groups led by speakers, chairs and ESSWE board members.

Please note that this is a free event with a limited number of places. To book a place, please contact the organizer, Dr. Sophie Page:

Medieval Encounters: St Catherine’s College (11 May)

An interdisciplinary medieval seminar series. Drinks and biscuits will be provided; please feel free to bring your own lunch.

11 May, Wednesday 1-2pm, Ramsden room

Linda Kaljundi (University of Helsinki)
The Crusades and the Mother of God: The cult of Mary on the Livonian frontier

Medieval Research Seminar: Shirley Zhang and Conor Leahy (Wed 27 Apr)

The first Medieval Graduate Research Seminar will be this Wednesday (27 April)  in the Board Room at the English Faculty, 9 West Road. Papers will begin promptly at 5.15, followed by drinks and questions. Cake or biscuits will be available from 4.45p.m., so please bring along a mug of tea and catch up with fellow medievalists.

27 April:
Shirley Zhang, ‘Reinterpreting justice: judicial combats and rash promises in Malory’s “Book of Tristram”
Conor Leahy, ‘Skelton’s Early Enemies’

We will be going to India House afterwards for dinner. It would be especially nice if graduates came to support and talk further with the speakers, so please do come!

Next Seminar:

11 May:
Brianna Dougher, ‘A Lord of In-between: bridging disjuncture in the legend of Hereward’
Marcel Elias, ‘Blasphemy and the failure of the crusades in middle english romance’

Magdalene Medievalists’ Society: Jordi Sanchez-Marti (17 May)

The next colloquium organized by the Magdalene Medievalists’ Society will take place on Tuesday 17 May at 6 pm at the Parlour, First Court, Magdalene College. We will be addressed by Dr Jordi Sanchez-Marti (University of Alicante) on the subject of:

‘The English Early Printers and Medieval Romance from a Continental Perspective’

The abstract for the talk is as follows:

The first book printed in English is a romance, namely the Recuyell of the histories of Troy, which significantly was published not in England but on the Continent. Originally composed in French by Raoul Lefèvre, the Recuyell was both rendered into English and printed by William Caxton in Flanders in ca. 1473. All the romances printed by Caxton were in prose and, except for Malory’s Morte Darthur, originated on the Continent. The predominance of the printed prose romances in England during the incunabular period can be regarded as an imposition of a
foreign literary fashion and a departure from the English romance tradition in the manuscript period, when verse was preferred to prose. To what extent did Caxton’s residence on the Continent determine the type of romance texts that obtained printed distribution in English?
Were the early English printers following developments on the Continent, or were they instead shaping European romance printing? Did the early English printers participate in the creation of a European canon of romances? Using the tools of enumerative bibliography, this paper hopes
to improve our understanding of romance printing in English by placing this commercial and literary activity in its European context and comparing it to continental printing trends.

Dr Jordi Sánchez-Martí is a senior lecturer in English Literature at the University of Alicante. The main focus of his research has been the study of the romance genre in late medieval England, with a particular interest in the transition of the Middle English verse romances from manuscript to print. His research on this topic has appeared in journals such as Modern Philology, Neuphilologische Mitteilungen, and Word & Image. More recently he has considered the publication of Iberian chivalric romances in early modern England and is currently finishing a critical edition of Anthony Munday’s Palmerin d’Oliva (1588), to be published in the Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies series from the University of Arizona.

As usual, we will be having dinner with the speaker at a local restaurant after the talk. Please let us know if you would like to join via email to