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Durham University

Department of English Studies


Academic Staff

Professor Corinne Saunders

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42575
Room number: Room 001, Hallgarth House
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 48144
Room number: CA128, Caedmon Building, Leazes Road, Durham, DH1 1SZ

(email at


Corinne Saunders is Professor in the Department of English Studies. She specialises in medieval literature and the history of ideas, and has particular interests in romance writing and in medical humanities. Her current research is on mind, body and affect in medieval literature and thought. She is a Co-Investigator on the Wellcome Trust funded project Hearing the Voice and Collaborator on the Wellcome Trust project Life of Breath. She is Co-Director of the Durham University's Centre for Medical Humanities. 

Her most recent monograph is Magic and the Supernatural in Medieval Romance (2010), for which she was awarded AHRC-funded additional leave and a Leverhulme Research Fellowship. She is the author of The Forest of Medieval Romance (1993), Rape and Ravishment in the Literature of Medieval England (2001), and over forty essays and articles on a wide range of literary and cultural topics. She has edited a Blackwell Critical Guide to Chaucer (2001); A Blackwell Companion to Romance: from Classical to Contemporary (2004); Cultural Encounters in Medieval Romance (2005); A Concise Companion to Chaucer (2006); and (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); (with Ulrika Maude and Jane Macnaughton), The Body and the Arts (2009); A Blackwell Companion to Medieval Poetry (2010); (with Jane Macnaughton and David Fuller) The Recovery of Beauty (2015); (with Frank Brandsma and Carolyne Larrington) Emotions in Medieval Arthurian Literature: Body, Mind, Voice (2015); and (with Jamie McKinstry) a special issue of postmedieval: A Journal of Medieval Cultural Studies, 'Medievalism and Medical Humanities'. She is the English editor of the international journal of medieval studies, Medium Ævum. She has co-organised three Public Lecture Series in the University, ‘Madness and Creativity: The Mind, Medicine and Literature’, ‘Flesh and Blood: The Body and the Arts’, and The Recovery of Beauty (all published by Palgrave Macmillan).

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 BA and MA level. She currently supervises a number of PhD students working on later medieval literary topics, particularly romance writing, and welcomes enquiries from postgraduate applicants in these areas.

Research Groups

  • Literature and Medicine
  • Medieval Studies

Research Interests

  • History of ideas
  • History of women and women's writing
  • Medieval and Renaissance Romance
  • Old and middle English literature
  • Old French literature

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Saunders, Corinne (2017). The Mystical Theology of Margery Kempe: Writing the Inner Life. In Mystical Theology and Contemporary Spiritual Practice: Renewing the Contemplative Tradition. McLean, Julienne, Tyler, Peter & Cook, C. C. H. Routledge. 34-57.
  • Saunders, Corinne (2010). Magic and Christianity. In Christianity and Romance in Medieval England. Rosalind Field, Phillipa Hardman & Michelle Sweeney Cambridge: D. S. Brewer. 84-101.
  • Saunders, Corinne (2010). Subtle Crafts: Magic and Exploitation in Medieval English Romance. In The Exploitations of Medieval Romance. Laura Ashe, Ivana Djordjevic & Judith Weiss Cambridge: D. S. Brewer. 108-124.
  • Saunders, Corinne (2010). The Gawain-poet and medieval romance. In The Cambridge History of English Poetry. O'Neill, Michael Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 26-42.
  • Saunders, Corinne (2009). 'Magic and Religion in Arthurian Romance'. In A Companion to Arthurian Legend. Elizabeth Archibald & Ad Putter Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 201-17.
  • Saunders, Corinne (2009). 'Medieval Warfare'. In The Cambridge Companion to War Writing. Kate McLoughlin Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 83-97.
  • Saunders, Corinne (2009). ‘Sorrowful Songs: Chaucer and the Tradition of the Woman's Lament’. In Studi anglo-norreni in onore di John S. McKinnell. ‘He hafað sundorgecynd’. Maria Elena Ruggerini. Cagliari: CUEC Editrice (Cooperativa Universitaria Editrice Cagliaritana ). 132-148.
  • Saunders Corinne (2008). 'Bodily Narratives: Illness, Medicine and Healing in Medieval Romance'. In The Boundaries in Medieval Romance. Neil Cartlidge Cambridge: D. S. Brewer. 175-190.
  • Saunders, Corinne (2008). 'Gender in Sir Beves of Hampton'. In Sir Beves of Hampton in Literary Tradition: the Metamorphoses of a Romance Hero. Jennifer Fellows & Ivana Djordjevic Cambridge: D. S. Brewer. 161-75.
  • Saunders, Corinne (2007). 'Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde; Hoccleve, Letter of Cupid'. In Treasures of Durham University Library. Richard Gameson Third Millennium. 64-65.

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