R9K607 Medieval and Renaissance Studies MA Postgraduate Taught 2012
Durham University is proud to offer its interdisciplinary taught MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Durham has one of the most dynamic and successful concentrations of medievalists and Renaissance scholars in the whole of the United Kingdom, and in the world; it has superb collections of manuscripts and incunabula, and a wonderful Cathedral archive; its magnificent Cathedral and its Castle make it a World Heritage Site. And the University's Colleges create a particularly welcoming environment for cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural exchanges.
Medieval and Renaissance Studies is a very wide-ranging programme, covering topics and material from late Antiquity until the end of the Renaissance - that is, until c.1620 - and taking advantage of an almost unrivalled cluster of subject-specialists in Durham University across a wide range of departments and disciplines. This period is defined by a turbulent and complex history, and by huge developments in society, culture and art. Durham's long-standing and vigorous Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and its unusually large staff of medievalists and Renaissance specialists, provides the opportunity for students at postgraduate level to approach these complexities from a distinctively interdisciplinary perspective. Students will develop an advanced level of understanding of the concepts and methods appropriate to their field of study within Medieval and Renaissance studies, and will acquire a knowledge of research methods and sources sufficient to equip them to undertake extended independent research at PhD level.
The programme consists of two core modules covering essential research skills and key historical and critical issues of the Medieval and Renaissance period, a choice of optional modules offering more detailed, close study of texts and periods of interest to individual students, and a 15,000 word dissertation involving detailed study of a particular aspect of Medieval or Renaissance history, literature, society or culture.
Teaching and assessment details
Core Module 1: Research Methods & Resources
This module, which is run by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, aims to provide a rigorous introduction to the essential research skills required in the first instance for the successful completion of the MA programme and, in the second instance, for future research at doctoral and postdoctoral level. Students follow a series of seminars aimed at giving detailed, practical, and subject-specific advice concerning information retrieval and literature searches, the preparation of bibliographies, the completion of research grant applications, and the preparation and presentation of conference papers. The module will consist of seminars on the following issues:
- Using on-line and printed bibliographies to conduct literature searches.
- Presenting bibliographies according to specified citation conventions.
- Completing research proposals in a format typically required by funding bodies (i.e. using the headings 'Aims and Objectives', 'Research Questions', 'Research Context' and 'Methodology')
- Preparing and delivering conference papers, including speaking, body-language, eye-contact, the preparation and use of visual aids, and approaches to dealing with hostile post-paper questioning.
Additional sessions may be organised for students of Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
Core Module 2: Issues in Medieval and Renaissance Studies
This module is designed to make students familiar with a range of approaches, including interdisciplinary approaches, to the study of the Medieval and Renaissance period, and to equip them with the ability critically to evaluate advanced, specialist literature in at least two fields of Medieval and Renaissance studies. A student having followed this module should have the capacity to understand and evaluate complex debates which relate to defined topics or areas of Medieval or Renaissance studies, and to appreciate the boundaries of thought and argument on such debates. Current topics explored in this module include the following:
- Problems of periodisation
- The Bible
- Medieval and Renaissance Art
- Classical inheritances
- Embedded masculinities
- Editing texts
Seminars will be based on material drawn from at least two disciplines, and student presentations are expected similarly to draw upon material drawn from more than one disciplinary tradition. Students will be directed at the start of the course to literature and other sources on the subjects of the designated seminars. This module is assessed on the basis of an essay/work of textual criticism of up to 5,000 words. Students will also complete an unexamined bibliography as a preparation for their assessed essay.
Each student will, in the course of the MA, be expected to complete a dissertation of some 12,000-15,000 words, which will involve detailed study of a particular aspect of Medieval or Renaissance history, literature, society or culture, and will preferably, though not necessarily, adopt an interdisciplinary approach. Each student will be assigned a supervisor who will help the student to choose a topic, and who will advise on existing literature relevant to it, and on the primary sources most appropriate.
As the following list of available modules shows, Durham's rich libraries, its excellent archives, and its unusually large staff of medievalists and Renaissance specialists provide the opportunity for students at postgraduate level to approach the study of the Middle Ages and Renaissance from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Important note: We cannot guarantee that all modules will run in any given session. The list of modules below are expected to run in 2011-12; some modules will only run if a minimum number of students register for them.
Following the decline of Roman rule in North West Europe, a new culture and political identity emerged in Britain. The Anglo-Saxons left a cultural legacy of language, documents, metalwork, manuscripts and artefacts which attest to an extraordinary period of history, artistic expression and political and social development within which the English identity was forged, the language created and the landscape we see today was moulded. Drawing on the expertise of four specialists in the period from different areas of research, this module aims to capture the remarkable essence of the Anglo-Saxon achievement by means of interdisciplinary teaching using a wide range of sources. It comprises eight two-hour seminars across two terms. Each specialist will lead two seminars focused on their particular area of expertise.
We begin the first term by laying the historical foundations, considering the problems that beset researchers studying the very outset of the Anglo-Saxon era, and exploring the early development of Anglo-Saxon kingship and religious faith. This is followed by a foray into the world of Anglo-Saxon literature, focusing first on the heroic poem Beowulf, and then on the figure of Archbishop Wulfstan, a giant of the late Anglo-Saxon church and state.In the second term students examine the remarkable artistic achievements of the Anglo-Saxons in metalwork, wood- and stone-carving, and manuscript illumination, gaining insight into their visual imagination and technical genius. The term also includes two archaeological field trips to nearby churches at Escomb and Jarrow, where students will consider the surviving architectural and sculptural evidence, as well using the knowledge acquired over the previous seminars to consider the sites in their broader historical and physical context.
THEO57630 Christian Northumbria 600-800
Within a relatively brief period Northumbria went from being a missionfield to becoming one of the major religious and cultural centres in Europe. This module, which will be based on a study of the original sources, will include such topics as the christianisation of Northumbria, the different influences which met and mingled there (Irish, Gallic, Roman), the interaction between Christianity and heroic Germanic society, the relationship between monasticism, the contemplative ideal, and pastoral care, the work of Bede, and the artistic, cultural and scholarly achievements of the Northumbrian church. The literary sources will be studied in English translation, and will include both works originally written in Latin, such as Bede's Ecclesiastical History , and also the early form of an Old English poem, 'The Dream of the Rood', which is engraved in runes on the Ruthwell Cross. It will also involve consideration of artifacts produced at this time, especially carved stone crosses and manuscripts, several of which are in the collections owned and housed by the Dean and Chapter of Durham Cathedral.
ENGL53030 Old Norse
The object of this module is to enable students to acquire or deepen a knowledge of the grammar and vocabulary of the Old Norse language, and an ability to read both prose and poetry in Old Norse. An introduction to the historical culture of Iceland and Norway in the period c. 900-1300 is also offered. No previous knowledge of Old Norse is required; students who have already studied the subject, however, will be given ample opportunity to increase their understanding. The module will normally be taught in the Michaelmas term, so that students may use it as a preparation for the module Warrior Poets in Heroic Societies, or for dissertation work requiring a knowledge of Old Norse language, literature or mythology; alternatively, it may be taken in its own right, as a useful accomplishment for students whose primary expertise is in other areas.
ENGL41330 Warrior Poets in Heroic Societies
This module examines the role, craft and representation of warrior poets in Anglo-Saxon England and medieval Iceland, two related but distinct societies that inherited Germanic heroic values. It will normally run in Epiphany term so that students can already have taken the Old Norse (Icelandic) module if they wish. It begins with the Old English poems 'Widsith', 'Deor' and the sections of Beowulf that represent poets in action, and then moves on to the Old Icelandic Egils saga, with its portrayal of Egill Skallagrimsson in his cultural context as warrior poet, worshipper of Odin and worker of magic. Particular poems composed by Egill and others for the Norwegian king Erik Bloodaxe are studied. Possible romance influences on the depiction of the poet as warrior and lover are then investigated in the saga of Kormak and of Gunnlaug Snake-tongue. Finally it examines the roles of warrior poets in the context of early Scandinavian Christianity through discussion of the figures and work of the Icelanders Sighvat Thordarson and Thormod Kolbrunarskald, both of whom were associated with King Olaf the Saint.
This module explores the history, literature and society of north-western Europe in the period 1066-1300, with particular attention to England and northern France. Topics to be considered may include: the creation of Arthurian literature and the importance of origin myths, Anglo-Norman romance, Hagiography, especially the Lives of Christina of Markyate and Thomas Becket, Crusades and the life and career of Richard Coeur de Lion, Theological writing, for example Anselm of Canterbury, Ailred of Rievaulx and Robert Grosseteste, the political challenges of the Barons' Revolt and the production of the Song of Lewes, the survival of Old English, historical writing in England, the world of the court and court satire.
HIST41430 The Archaeology of the Book: Codicology and Culture from Antiquity to the Renaissance
The book, in its evolving forms, was fundamental to medieval and renaissance culture. Not only was it central to the preservation and transmission of knowledge, it was the vehicle for an incomparable range of craft and artwork. Changes in the circumstances of production (e.g. from monastic scriptorium to urban atelier) and in technology (most famously the invention of movable type and hence printing) dramatically affected the presentation and spread of learning. Accordingly, the study of the book is central to understanding western society. This course is a systematic exploration of the medieval and renaissance book, from its basic materials, through the various conditions of production and decorations, to evidence of use. It provides focused and stimulating training in understanding the forms and utilising the physical evidence of manuscripts and early printed books in relation to cultural and literary history which is a sine qua non of most advanced work in medieval and renaissance studies. Simultaneously, it opens up the history of the book, and illumination, as fields of study in their own right. Extensive use is made of slides and reproductions to show particlarly revealing examples of features and phenomena; one or more sessions examining medieval manuscripts and early printed books in Durham collections will provide a structured and carefully supervised opportunity for putting the skills into practice, paving the way for exploration of material relevant to each individual's particular interests.
HIST42530 Palaeography: Scribes, Script and History from Antiquity to the Renaissance
The major script types practised during this long period of European history will be examined in chronological order; the forms of writing will be studied in relation to their contexts and functions, and practice will be given in learning how to read them.
ENGL41130 Middle English Manuscripts and Texts
This module will encourage participants to look beyond the modern printed editions in which Middle English texts are now most often read, to the medieval manuscripts on which those editions are based. On the one hand, these manuscripts provide a great deal of information - for example, about the relationships between texts, the generic expectations of medieval readers and even the geographical origins of their scribes; on the other hand, they make very problematic many of the concepts on which students of literature are used to relying - concepts like ‘the text', ‘the book', ‘authenticity' and even ‘literature'. Accordingly, the emphases of this module will be both pragmatic (providing opportunities for participants to develop palaeographical, codicological and editing skills) and theoretical (providing scope for discussion of various critical and methodological problems). The module will be focused on the textual histories of works by Chaucer and Hoccleve (i.e. two fifteenth-century traditions), and on some particular late-thirteenth and early-fourteenth-century manuscripts.
ENGL53630 Narrative Transformations: Medieval Romance to Renaissance Epic
The dominance of fiction in the modern world is rooted in the narrative transformations of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. This module will explore the theory and practice of fiction from Antiquity onwards and the ways in which some of the great story-matters have been refashioned through the interplay between various genres - epic and romance, history, fable, and novel. Texts will be drawn from a wide range of material but will be read in selection. Seminar topics will include: The Art of Lying: Homer's Odyssey and Plato's Republic ; First Fictions: Roman Novels, Greek Romances; Unity and Closure: The Structure of Romance; Romancing Troy; Arthurian Romance; Writing Women; ‘Open Manslaughter and Bold Bawdry': Humanist Responses to Medieval Romance; Protestant Romance/Humanist Epic: Spenser's Faerie Queene and Sidney's Arcadia.
MELA40930 Saints and Sinners: Praise and Blame of Women in Medieval and Renaissance Literature
This module aims to introduce students to the multiplicity of discourses used to praise or blame women in western Europe from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries through study of the works of both male and female writers. There will be ample opportunity for cross-cultural comparisons, and for critical re-evaluation of pro- and anti-feminine writings from a wide variety of sources.
MELA40830 From Roland to Orlando: The European Epic in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Roland, Siegfried, El Cid: the heroes of medieval epic are an integral part of the western cultural tradition. This module aims to subject the medieval epic to critical scrutiny and to relate its changing forms to the transformations of medieval and Renaissance society. There will be ample opportunity for cross-cultural and intertextual comparisons.
HIST 42430 Power and Society in the Late Middle Ages
What were the sources of power in the late middle ages? And how and by whom was power exercised? This module focuses on political power and explores the interaction of power, authority, institutions and structures of rule with ideas, assumptions, and discourses within a range of political and constitutional settings, such as kingdoms, lordships, regions, cities and city-states. One of the principal themes of the module is the way in which power was communicated, legitimised, negotiated, and (and on occasion, violently) contested and challenged. It will examine the interaction between power and society; structures of authority; channels of power; the lineaments of political community and the vocabularies and modes of political discourse. There will also be the opportunity to examine the development and character of various types of ‘political public' and the role of ‘public opinion'.
ENGL53130 Renaissance Humanism
This module aims to introduce students to the broader literary and intellectual contexts from which English Literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries emerged. We will begin with the revival of classical learning in Italy at the start of the fourteenth century (Petrarch, Boccaccio et al.), tracing its spread to the north and the emergence of a ‘Republic of Letters' (Respublica litterarum) which, by the sixteenth century, covered the whole of Europe. A wide range of texts and excerpts will be dealt with, including Petrarch's Canzoniere, Boccaccio's Decameron , Pico's On the Dignity of Man , Machiavelli's The Prince, Erasmus' The Praise of Folly, Sir Thomas More's Utopia, Castiglione's The Courtier, the love poems of Johannes Secundus, and Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophil and Stella. Texts will be chosen both for their intrinsic richness and for the light they can cast on the particular achievements of Renaissance English literature.
ENGL53530 Renaissance Tragedy
The module will give participants the opportunity to look in detail at genres such as neo-Senecan drama, comitragedy, tragic histories, or revenge tragedy. Individual sessions will examine the work of the best-known playwrights of the period (e.g. Marlowe, Webster, Middleton, Jonson or Ford), as well as lesser-known but fascinating tragic writers such as Chapman, Shirley or Marston. Examples of tragic theatre will range from the later sixteenth to the early seventeenth century. We will consider, as appropriate:
- Classical and contemporary theories of tragedy
- Notions of tragedy present in non-dramatic genres
- Continental European analogues
It is expected that course participants familiarise themselves with a demanding reading list and prepare for one or two literary texts per week during the course.
THEO41530 Worship and Reform in Britain 1530-1662
The Reformation was a political, theological, social and cultural event: but it was also a lived experience. This module asks what that experience meant to the people who made it and who were made by it, by examining the worship and spiritual life of English-speaking Protestants of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. At the heart of the module is that most enduring of English devotional texts, the Book of Common Prayer: its formation, the bitter disputes surrounding it, and its rivals and alternatives in England, Scotland, Ireland and New England, up to and including the period of the British Civil Wars. We will also consider the use of music in Protestantism; the nature of private devotion and household piety; the cult of martyrs; radical Puritan pieties such as fasting and prophesyings; and the ceremonial revival and the beginning of 'Anglicanism'. Throughout we will keep theology and worship in its political context, and British events in their European context: in order to ask why questions of worship and Christian living were so politically and socially explosive in the early modern period.
HIST42630 Courts and Power in Early-Modern Europe and the New World
This module is taught comparatively and with an emphasis on the New World as well as Britain and Continental Europe. The range of topics studied will include: Monarchical government; Nobilities; Empire; Political culture and the Public Sphere; Elite culture and patronage; International diplomacy. Students will be able to focus on one of these topics in their written work, but will be expected to engage with the full range through oral presentations and discussion.
HIST42730 Negotiating Life in the Early-Modern World
This module introduces students to the historical literatures about a range of problems and topics including: Social structures and social stratification; Patriarchy; Identity; Sex, Bodies and Reproduction; Disease and mortality; Food and Famine; the Learned Professions; Crime and Punishment, Housing; Material Culture and Consumerism. Students will be able to focus on one of these topics in their written work, but will be expected to engage with the full range through oral presentations and discussion.
Subjects required, level and grade
Typical entry requirements for taught programmes:
A good 2:1 degree or equivalent at undergraduate (BA) level.
English Language Requirements:
Students for who are non-native speakers of English are required to demonstrate that they have proficiency in the language (IELTS score of 7 overall, with a score of no less than 6.5 in each component).
We welcome applications from holders of international qualifications. For advice on the equivalency of international qualifications and further information on English language requirements, please contact our International Office or visit our website.
Requirements and Admissions
You can apply to our postgraduate programmes via our online application process.
Fees and Funding
Fees have not been set for this academic year.
For information on funding available for this course, please see our Postgraduate Funding Database.
Modern Languages & Cultures, School of
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Modern Languages & Cultures, School of
We currently have over 120 postgraduate students studying for taught and research postgraduate degrees, working on topics as diverse as translation, literature, theatre, cinema and photography. As a student in the School you will participate in a variety of postgraduate activities including dialogue days and research seminars. Our research encompasses all the traditional areas of Modern Languages and Cultures, as well as a number of less orthodox topics, and is internationally recognised for its excellence.
Interdisciplinary research is central to our research. Within the School, research activity is co-ordinated by four research groups: Literature, History, Theory; Culture and Difference; Visual and Performance; and Translation, Linguistics and Pedagogy.
We also play a major role in the University's Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (IMRS), as well as three of its research centres: the Centre for Seventeenth Century Studies, the Durham Centre for Advanced Photography Studies (DCAPS), and the Centre for the Study of the Classical Tradition. All provide research opportunities and contacts across a range of disciplines.
The School has an excellent success rate in our postgraduates finding employment on completion of their studies, with many working either in universities or in the culture industries, such as media and publishing.
Department of Archaeology
Dr Sarah Semple has research interests in death and burial in early medieval Britain; religion, belief and popular practices in pre-Christian and Conversion Period Europe; the archaeology of governance and administration in North West Europe; and landscape archaeology.
Department of English
Dr David Ashurst's main field of research is Old Norse-Icelandic literature, particularly translations from Latin and works associated with the royal court in thirteenth-century Norway. His book on imperialist ethics in Alexanders saga, an Old Norse account of Alexander the Great, is to be published shortly. Currently he is writing on Alexander literature in Old and Middle English and Middle Scots.
Dr Neil Cartlidge's primary field of research is medieval literature of the period 1100-1500, especially works in English, French, Latin or German. His publications include two books: a study of the literary evidence for attitudes to marriage in the Middle Ages and a critical edition of the Middle English comic poem known as The Owl and the Nightingale. Current projects include a book about medieval romance and a study of medieval debate-poetry.
Dr Robert Carver's main research is in the Renaissance, particularly its relations with the literature and thought of the ancient world. His publications include articles on Sir Philip Sidney and the ancient novel, and he is currently completing a book on the medieval and Renaissance reception of the only work of Latin prose fiction to survive intact from antiquity - The Golden Ass (or Metamorphoses) of Apuleius.
Dr Barbara Ravelhofer is Reader in English Literature at Durham and Research Associate at the Centre for History and Economics, Cambridge. Apart from her general interest in early modern English literature, Dr Ravelhofer has written on European spectacle of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, virtual theatre, dance, costume, and stage design, early modern attitudes to animals, Byron, editorial questions, and plagiarism. Her most recent book, The Early Stuart Masque: Dance, Costume, and Music (2006), studies illusionistic theatre of the Renaissance. Drawing on a massive amount of documentary evidence relating to English productions as well as spectacle in France, Italy, Germany and the Ottoman Empire, the book elucidates professional ballet, theatre management, and dramatic performance at the early Stuart court.
Professor Corinne Saunders specialises in medieval literature and the history of ideas, and has particular interests in romance writing. She is also interested in gender studies and the history of medicine. She is currently completing a book about magic and the supernatural in medieval romance and culture, and was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for this in 2005-6. She is the author of The Forest of Medieval Romance (1993) and Rape and Ravishment in the Literature of Medieval England (2001). She has edited a Blackwell Critical Guide to Chaucer (2001); A Blackwell Companion to Romance (2004); Cultural Encounters in Medieval Romance (2005); (with Françoise le Saux and Neil Thomas) Writing War: Medieval Literary Responses (2004); (with Jane Macnaughton), Madness and Creativity in Literature and Culture (2005); (with David Fuller) Pearl: A Modernised Version by Victor Watts (2005); and A Concise Companion to Chaucer (2006). She is also the English editor of the international journal of medieval studies, Medium Ævum. She teaches across the range of Old and Middle English language and literature, as well as History of the English Language, Old French, and some Renaissance topics, at both B.A. and M.A. level. She plays an active role in the University of Durham's Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and has also co-organised two Public Lecture Series in the University, ‘Madness and Creativity: The Mind, Medicine and Literature' and ‘Flesh and Blood: The Body and the Arts'. She currently supervises a number of Ph.D. students working on later medieval literary topics.
Dr Alison Shell's research interests are 16C - 18C English Literature, especially drama, religious verse, Catholic writing; the interface between literature and religious polemic; connections between literature; antiquarianism; architectural history; book trade history. She is currently working on a study of Catholicism and early modern oral culture.
Department of History
Professor Christopher Brooks has wide-ranging research interests in the history of early-modern England, with a particular focus on the law and its social and cultural implications.
Dr Alejandro Cañeque is a specialist in the history of colonial Latin America and the Spanish empire. His main area of research is the political and religious cultures of colonial Spanish America. He is the author of The King's Living Image: The Culture and Politics of Viceregal Power in Colonial Mexico (2004), a study of the discourses and practices of colonial viceregal rule. He is currently working on a study of the politics of martyrdom in the Spanish empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Dr Ben Dodds is a specialist in Medieval British and European Economic History, whose interests range broadly within those areas. He has pioneered new research tools within his discipline.
Professor Richard Gameson specialises in the History of the Book from late Antiquity to the early Renaissance, in medieval art, and in the cultural history of England, Normandy and Flanders from the tenth to twelfth centuries.
Dr Giles E. M. Gasper specialises in the cultural and intellectual history of the eleventh to thirteenth centuries. The development of theology and theologians from Anselm to Aquinas, as well as the Crusades and cultural interchange are areas of particular interest.
Dr Christian Liddy, though originally trained as an urban historian at the University of York, has extended his interest in privileged spaces in late medieval England through the study of perhaps the most powerful example of an English 'liberty', the Palatinate of Durham.
Dr Cathy McClive specializes in early modern European, and particularly French, social and cultural history, gender and women's history, the history of the body, sexuality and medicine. She is currently revising her doctoral dissertation on perceptions of menstruation in early modern France for publication and developing her new research into legal medicine.
Dr Natalie Mears is a specialist in Elizabethan politics and political culture. She completed a PhD on the Anjou marriage negotiations (c. 1578-52), under John Guy at St Andrews, and is currently working on a monograph, entitled Counselling Elizabeth I, to be published by Cambridge University Press.
Dr Toby Osborne is interested in early-modern court history and diplomatic culture.
Professor David Rollason is an expert in Anglo-Saxon history, especially religion and society, and Northumbria and also in the history of northern England in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
Dr Len Scales is a specialist in the political, social, cultural and intellectual history of Germany between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. His particular interests are: concepts of ethnicity, community and political identity in medieval Europe, particularly Germany; the Holy Roman Empire, particularly during the later Middle Ages; views of the past in medieval Europe, and the role of historical ideas in political culture and discourse; and the political culture of medieval European towns.
School of Modern Languages & Cultures
Dr Kathryn Banks works on sixteenth-century French literature, especially the poetry of Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, Maurice Scève, and Jacques Peletier Du Mans. She is particularly interested in poetic depictions of the cosmos, and in the relationship between poetry and thought.
Dr Andrew M. Beresford is a specialist in early Castilian hagiography and other popular traditions. He works mainly on sexuality and gender issues in the legends of female saints.
Professor Carlo Caruso has research interests in classical culture in the Italian literary tradition; comparative literature, with special attention to Anglo-Italian relationships; the history of scholarship; the history of verse forms; literature and myth; literature and the arts, from Humanism to Neo-Classicism; poetry and music in the 18th century; and travel literature.
Professor David Cowling works on French literature of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and has particular interests in the works of George Chastelain, Jean Lemaire de Belges and the Rhétoriqueurs, Henri Estienne and the politics of linguistic borrowing from Italian into French, and applications of cognitivist models of metaphor to the study of late medieval and early modern French political and polemical texts more generally.
Dr Stefano Cracolici has research interests in medieval and Renaissance Italian culture; the history of the emotions (especially love, anger, and melancholy); Humanism, medicine, and physiognomy; and visual culture (art, cinema, architecture).
Dr Manuel Hijano specialises in the historiography of the Iberian Peninsula from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, as well as the theory and practice of textual criticism. He is interested in narrative, and the way it ideologically shapes the historian's accounts of the past. He is currently preparing an edition of Estoria del fecho de los godos, a fifteenth-century Castilian chronicle.
Dr Peter Macardle has research and teaching interests in late medieval and 16th-century German theatre (vernacular and Latin), music and ritual; Cologne Humanism, especially the work of Hermann Schotten (c. 1504-43); images of Martin Luther, and Neo-Latin writing.
Dr Dario Tessicini's research focuses on Renaissance and early modern history of science and philosophy. He is particularly interested in the history of astronomy, geography and cosmography, the relations between Renaissance science and classical sources, and patronage. Current projects include a book on the Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno and sixteenth-century astronomy.
Dr Neil Thomas has published a number of books on romances of the medieval Arthurian/Tristan cycle and on the heroic epic (Nibelungenlied), and edited further volumes on themes as diverse as myth in European literature and the state of modern German studies in the UK. His monograph on Wirnt von Gravenberg's Wigalois was published in 2005. His teaching includes courses involving the study of medieval literature in reception (with special reference to Wagner).
Department of Theology and Religion
Dr Alec Ryrie is a specialist on the history of the Reformation in England and in Scotland, in particular its earliest years. He is interested in the fluidity of religious identity in the early Reformation, in religious moderation and compromise, and the processes by which moderation was eclipsed by violence. He has also worked on the social history of magic. His current research project is on the history of English and Scottish Protestant piety and spirituality in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Dr C.E. Stancliffe has research interests in Christianity in medieval Ireland and Northumbria, Christian interaction between Ireland, Britain and the Continent in the early middle ages and early western saints' Lives and their interpretation. Forthcoming publications include Seventh Century Irish Saints' Lives in a European Perspective, to be published by the Oxford University Press.