Old English and Late Medieval

Master of René I, Duke of Anjou (1409-80), Le Livre du cueur d’amour espris, Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Ms 2597, fol. 15 c. (1465-70, Anjou/Provence)

Medieval studies in English currently draws on the resources of several full-time members of staff with international reputations in Old and Middle English language and literature, palaeography and manuscript based research, whom, along with graduate students form a dynamic and inclusive, interdisciplinary community.

Variety of subjects

The subjects taught and researched by members of English is extremely wide-ranging, from the vestigial traces of paganism in Old English literature to the early medieval framework of Finnegans Wake, by way of Old Norse and the manuscript culture of later medieval England.

This diversity is not only reflected in our individual special subjects and supervisions at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, which provide for a vibrant synergy between our research and teaching, but also in a number of team-taught modules at undergraduate level, most notably History of the Language in the first year, and Old English, Chaucer, and Medieval Literature in the second year.

We also contribute to postgraduate modules on editing and textual criticism; and the new MA degree in English Studies. A new interdisciplinary Medieval Studies MA programme is under development under the auspices of the Medieval Research Centre, located within the School.

Medieval Research Centre

All members of staff and graduate students contribute to the Medieval Research Centre, which provides a framework under which various joint, interdisciplinary, and collaborative activities can be formally located within the university.

The Medieval Research Centre hosts a well-established annual series of public lectures on topics of interest to students and staff, which continues to attract a series of eminent scholars to Leicester. This series is organized to complement undergraduate and postgraduate courses in medieval studies, primarily in English and Historical Studies, and History of Art and Film, and consistently attracts considerable audiences of staff and students.

The Medieval Research Centre also organizes an annual series of research-led, postgraduate seminars, and the wide range of topics aired reflect the genuine commitment to interdisciplinary across the university.

Wider community

Our participation in the two largest and most prestigious general conferences in the field, the Kalamazoo Conference at the University of Western Michigan and the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds, introduces the work of University of Leicester postgraduates to the widest possible audience, along with that of more established scholars with international reputations who are happy to take part in Medieval Research Centre sessions.

Projects and publications

All of our medievalists have an established record of independent publication in major peer-reviewed journals and with international academic publishers.  David Clark, Anne Marie D’Arcy, and Takako Kato have all recently published monographs on medieval topics, and all members of staff are currently working on further major works.

Several projects undertaken by our medievalists have attracted both national and international media interest which have led to collaborations with Channel 4, the Discovery Channel and research profiles in the Guardian and the Times Higher Education.

Colleagues take an active role on the Viking Society, New Chaucer Society, and the International Arthurian Society.

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