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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)


The list below shows Durham University research staff who are members of IMEMS. Click the member's name to see a more detailed biography and department.

We also welcome anyone from outside the University with an interest in our work to join. Membership is free of charge. You will receive invitations to our programme of events, with a weekly emails digest about what is happening in the Insitute and further afield. To join IMEMS contact:

Dr Sara L. Uckelman, B.A., B.A., MA., Ph.D.

Personal web page

Departmental Rep (Philosophy) in the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies

(email at


I joined the department in 2014, having previously held research posts in Heidelberg, Tilburg, and Amsterdam. As an undergrad I started off as an English major, but quickly got hooked on logic and philosophy and that's where I've made my career. After completing an MA in philosophy at University of Wisconsin, I did my Ph.D. in logic at University of Amsterdam. My dissertation, Modalities in Medieval Logic, combined two of my biggest academic and non-academic interests: logic and medieval history. In 2017 I co-founded the Durham centre for Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, of which I am currently a co-director.

Outside of logic, I have been doing research in medieval onomastics (the study of names) since I was in high school, and a culmination of that interest is the Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources project, of which I am the Editor-in-Chief.

When not doing logic or names, I can generally be found watching sci fi and drinking beer with my husband, hanging out with my young daughter, doing medieval re-creation/re-enactment, or writing speculative fiction. I am also the head instigator of the site, a review site for short science fiction and fantasy.

Current PhD Students

  • Zekiye Goz, linguistic creativity and artificial intelligence
  • Susan Notess, a philosophical account of listening
  • Andrew Thomas, metaphysics and ontology of non-existent objects

Office Hours

Term time 2019-2020: Thursdays 14:00-16:30, and by appointment
Out of term time: By appointment.

Research Supervision

I am available for, and interested in, supervising students, at any level, in any of the following areas:

  • Logic (mathematical, philosophical, modal, etc.)
  • Philosophy of language, esp. philosophy of fiction
  • Philosophy of logic
  • Philosophy of mathematics
  • Medieval philosophy, esp. logic/philosophy of language
  • Informal argumentation
  • Human and machine reasoning

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2015: Magazine Interview: Interview in 3:AM magazine's "End Times" series of philosopher interviews; now available at
  • 2017: Podcast Interview: Interview on "Philosophobia" podcast series.
  • 2017: Radio Interview: Interview on "Hannah Kate's Bookshelf", North Manchester Radio FM.

Research Interests

  • Mathematical Logic
  • Medieval Logic
  • Modal Logic
  • Onomastics
  • Philosophical Logic
  • Philosophy of Fiction
  • Philosophy of Language

Teaching Areas

  • Formal & Philosophical Logic
  • Introduction to Logic
  • Issues in Medieval and Early Modern Studies
  • Language & Mind
  • Language, Logic, & Reality
  • Philosophical Logic


Book review

Chapter in book

  • Uckelman, Sara L. (2018). Bathsua Makin and Anna Maria van Schurman: Education and the Metaphysics of Being a Woman. In Early Modern Women on Metaphysics. Thomas, Emily Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 95-110.
  • Uckelman, Sara L. (2017). Medieval Logic. In The History of Philosophical and Formal Logic: from Aristotle to Tarski. Malpass, Alex & Marfori, Marianna Antonutti London: Bloomsbury. 71-99.
  • Uckelman, Sara L., Murphey, Sonia & Percer, Joseph (2017). What's in a Name? History and Fantasy in Game of Thrones. In Game of Thrones versus History: Written in Blood. Pavlac, Brian A. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell. 241-250.
  • Dutilh Novaes, Catarina & Uckelman, Sara L. (2016). Obligationes. In Cambridge Companion to Medieval Logic. Dutilh Novaes, Catarina & Read, Stephen Cambridge Cambridge University Press. 370-395.
  • Uckelman, Sara L. & Lagerlund, Henrik (2016). Logic in the 13th Century. In Cambridge Companion to Medieval Logic. Read, Stephen & Dutilh Novaes, Catarina Cambridge Cambridge University Press. 119-141.
  • Uckelman, Sara L. (2016). William of Sherwood. In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Zalta, Edward N.
  • Kellner, Birgit & Uckelman, Sara L. (2015). Dialectical Self-Refutation and Nāgārjuna's Discussion in Six Points (ṣaṭkoṭiko vādaḥ). In Logic In Buddhist Scholasticism: From Philosophical, Philological, Historical and Comparative Perspectives. Paul, G. Lumbini International Research Institute. 101-134.
  • Uckelman, Sara L. (2014). A Medieval Epistemic Puzzle. In LIRa Yearbook. Christoff, Zoé, Galeazzi, Paolo, Gierasimczuk, Nina, Marcoci, Alexandru & Smets, Sonja Institute for Logic, Language, and Computation. 301-316.
  • Uckelman, Sara L. (2012). Making Logic Explicit. In Humanities Perspectives. Jan Jans Tilburg University. 25-27.
  • Alama, Jesse & Uckelman, Sara L. (2012). What is Dialogical About Dialogical Logic? In Inside Arguments: Logic and the Study of Argumentation. Jales Ribeiro, H. Cambridge Scholars Publication. 207-222.
  • Uckelman, Sara L. (2011). A Dynamic Epistemic Logic Approach to Modeling Obligationes. In LIRa Yearbook. Grossi, D., Minica, S., Rodenhäuser, B. & Smets, S. Institute for Logic, Language & Computation. 147-172.
  • Uckelman, Sara L. (2011). The Ontological Argument. In Just the Argument: 100 of the Most Important Arguments in Western Philosophy. Bruce, M. & Barbone, S. Wiley-Blackwell. 25-27.
  • Uckelman, Sara L. (2010). Dynamic Logic. In Key Terms in Logic. Williamson, J. & Russo, F. Continuum Publishers.
  • Uckelman, Sara L. (2010). Jean Buridan. In Key Terms in Logic. Williamson, J. & Russo, F. Continuum Publishers.
  • Uckelman, Sara L. (2010). Reasoning About the Trinity: A Modern Formalization of a Medieval System of Trinitarian Logic. In Logic in Religious Discourse. Schumann, Andrew Ontos. 216-239.

Conference Paper

  • Uckelman, Sara L. (2017), Beyond Formality: The Role of the Dialectical Context in Medieval Logic, in Cesalli, Laurent, Goubier, Frédéric & De Libera, Alain eds, Textes et études du Moyen Âge (82) European Symposium in Medieval Logic and Semantics. Geneva, Switzerland, Brepols, Turnhout, 471-485.
  • Uckelman, Sara L. (2016), The Logic of Where and While in the 13th and 14th Centuries, in Beklemishev, Lev, Demri, Stéphane & Máté, András eds, 11: Advances in Modal Logic 2016. Budapest, Hungary, College Publications, London, 535-550.
  • Uckelman, Sara L. (2014), Reasoning about Obligations in Obligationes: A Formal Approach, in Goré, Rajeev, Kooi, Barteld & Kurucz, Agi eds, The tenth Advances in Modal Logic conference (AiML-2014). Groningen, Netherlands, College Publications, 553-568.
  • Uckelman, Sara L. (2012), The Reception of St. Anselm's Logic in the 20th and 21st Centuries, in Gasper, Giles & Logan, Ian eds, Saint Anselm of Canterbury and His Legacy. Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 405-426.
  • Uckelman, Sara L. (2011), Obligationes as Formal Dialogue Systems, in Ågotnes, T. eds, STAIRS 2010: Proceedings of the Fifth Starting AI Researchers' Symposium. IOS Press, 341-353.
  • Alama, Jesse, Knoks, Aleks & Uckelman, Sara L. (2011), Dialogue Games for Classical Logic (short paper), in Giese, M. & Kuznets, R. eds, Technical Report IAM-11-002 TABLEAUX 2011: Workshops, Tutorials, and Short Papers. Universität Bern, 82-86.
  • Uckelman, Sara L. & Spencer Johnston (2010), A Simple Semantics for Aristotelian Apodeictic Syllogistics, in Beklemishev, L., Goranko, V. & Shehtman, V. eds, 8: Advances in Modal Logic. Moscow, Russia, College Publications, Moscow, 428-443.
  • Uckelman, Sara L. (2010), Computing with Concepts, Computing with Numbers: Llull, Leibniz, & Boole, in Ferreira, F., Löwe, B., Mayordomo, E. & Gomes, L. M. eds, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 6158: Programs, Proofs, Processes, Proceedings of the 6th Conference on Computability in Europe, 2010, Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal, June 30-July 4, 2010. 427-437.
  • Øhrstrøm, Peter, Schärfe, Henrik & Uckelman, Sara L. (2008), Jacob Lorhard's Ontology: A 17th Century Hypertext on the Reality and Temporality of the World of Intelligibles, in Eklund, P. & Haemmerlé, O. eds, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 5113: Conceptual Structures: Knowledge Visualization and Reasoning, Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Conceptual Structures, ICCS 2008. 74-87.
  • Uckelman, Sara L. (2008), Three 13th-Century Views of Quantified Modal Logic, in Areces, C. & Goldblatt, R. eds, 7: Advances in Modal Logic. 389-406.
  • Øhrstrøm, Peter, Uckelman, Sara L. & Schärfe, Henrik (2007), Historical and conceptual foundations of diagrammatical ontology, in Polovina, S., Hill, R. & Priss, U. eds, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 4604: Conceptual Structures: Knowledge Architectures for Smart Applications: 15th International Conference on Conceptual Structures, ICCS 2007. 374-386.
  • Friedemann, Sara L. (2002), A response to the case against compositionality: Universal sufficient applicability conditions, in Shrader, Douglas W. eds, Philosophical Dreams: Oneonta Undergraduate Philosophy Conference. Oneonta, NY, USA, Oneonta Philosophy Studies.

Doctoral Thesis

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

  • Uckelman, Sara L. (2014). Medieval destinations: Lumbini. Tournaments Illuminated 190: 33.

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Linguistics & Language: Onomastics
  • Philosophy: Logic