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Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Staff and Governance

To contact the IMEMS administrative office please use the following details:

For the Administrator (maternity cover)


T: 0191 334 6574

For the Administrative Assistant


T: 0191 334 42974


Associate Director (World Heritage): Professor Robin Coningham - view profile

Associate Director: Professor Barbara Ravelhofer - view profile

Core Staff

The day-to-day running of IMEMS is the responsibility of the Core Executive Committee, comprising the Director and Associate Directors and the Administrator. 

Dr John-Henry Clay

Departmental Rep (History) in the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Associate Professor (Early Medieval History) in the Department of History
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41074
Room number: ER261

Contact Dr John-Henry Clay (email at


Research interests

My main research interests are in Frankish and Anglo-Saxon history and archaeology, particularly concerning themes of conversion and religious identity, landscape perception and the transition from the late Roman to the early medieval period both in Britain and on the Continent.


After obtaining BA in Archaeology (2001) and MA in Early Medieval Studies (2002) from the University of York, I worked for two years as a commercial archaeologist in the Republic of Ireland. I returned to the Centre for Medieval Studies at York in 2004 to start my PhD, a study of Christian missionaries in eighth-century Germany. A book based on my thesis, the melodramatically titled In the Shadow of Death, was published in 2010.

After completing my PhD I conducted fieldwork in Germany (2009), and spent six months as a visiting researcher at the Institute for Medieval Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna (2009-2010). I was appointed Lecturer at Durham University in October 2010, and made Associate Professor in 2017.

From September 2015 to May 2016 I was a visiting Solmsen Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Historical fiction

I am also a published historical novelist. I see fiction as a way of exploring the past in a more imaginative and emotive (not to say entertaining) fashion, and also a way of secretly teaching people about history without them realising it...

The Lion and the Lamb (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2013)

At the Ruin of the World (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2015)

Research Groups

Department of History

Research Interests

  • Anglo-Saxon history and archaeology
  • Early medieval missionaries and conversion
  • Post-Roman western Europe


Authored book

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Full Executive Committee

Our Full Executive Committee is made up of the Core Executive Committee, listed above, plus a number of executive members including:

International Advisory Board

We are extremely fortunate to have be able to call on the help and guidance of colleagues from around the world who help to shape and guide our direction, strategy and international reach. Our current Advisory Board members are: