I am a medievalist, particularly interested in the interplay between history and literature. This includes historiography, the history of Christianity (especially mysticism), cultural history as well as palaeography, but also reception studies and the question of how history is told in the present, i.e. books, movies and popular culture.
British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow in Portuguese
André Penafiel was a Clarendon Scholar; his doctoral thesis (2016) focuses on arguably the most important genre within medieval Galician-Portuguese lyric, the cantigas d’amor. He is currently a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow working on Camões’s Os Lusíadas, the Portuguese national poem.
Stipendiary Lecturer in French, Lady Margaret Hall and University College
My main research interests lie in medieval and early modern French literature, and in challenging the conventional distinction between them. As my postgraduate training was in Comparative Literature (French, Classics and Italian), I have a keen enthusiasm for working across national boundaries as well as chronological ones. My areas of specialty are literature and gender, courtly and erotic literature, and the influence of classical antiquity on medieval and early modern Europe.
Mary Boyle is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow and Junior Research Fellow at Linacre College, working on cross-cultural Anglo-German medievalism in the long nineteenth century. Mary also works on medieval German and English comparative literature more broadly, and particularly on medieval religious writing.
Professor of Medieval French, Fellow of St Peter’s College
My specialism is medieval French and Anglo-Norman language and literature. I have a particular interest in text editing and manuscript studies, and have worked in areas including comic and satirical literature, hagiography, and Apocalypse translations and commentaries.
The Renaissance; Stylistics and poetics; poetry; autobiographical fiction; translation from Latin and Greek, and from English. I am currently working on a book exploring lacuna and omission in the construction of literary sense.
Medieval Hispanic studies, with particular emphasis on literary and manuscript studies and the history of the book. Publications include articles on aspects of the texts and manuscripts of epic, balladry, chronicles, popular religious legends and other works, and the manuscript collector Sir Thomas Phillipps and his circle.
Marc Lauxtermann is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation – Bywater and Sotheby Professor of Byzantine and Modern Greek Language and Literature and Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford University. He hails from Amsterdam. He has written extensively on Byzantine poetry and metre, and is the co-editor of a recent book on the letters of Psellos. Further research interests include translations of oriental tales in Byzantium and the earliest grammars and dictionaries of vernacular Greek.
Starting from my doctoral dissertation on the history of Bulgarian syntax, my research has focused primarily on the delimitation and interaction of various Slavonic vernaculars and the medieval literary language, Church Slavonic. My primary data are drawn from the various translations of the Psalter produced up to the fifteenth century, and my investigations touch on the origins of Old Church Slavonic, medieval translation technique, evidence for prosodic and morphosyntactic developments (e.g. in clitic use, word division, tense distinctions, mood and verbal aspect), the principles and practice of textual criticism in application to Church Slavonic material, the palaeography of Cyrillic and Glagolitic manuscripts, and Church Slavonic hymnographical traditions.
Sophie Marnette’s research offers a linguistic and philological approach of literary issues such as the origins and evolution of medieval literary genres, the expression of narrative voice and point of view, the relationship between history and fiction, female expression and literary genres, especially in 12th and 13th medieval French and Occitan literatures. She is particularly active in the field of Speech and Thought Presentation.
Italian Renaissance Literature; Renaissance Humanism; Renaissance Literary Theory; Renaissance Biography; Alberti; Petrarch; Poliziano; Tasso; The Classical Legacy in Italian Literature; Translation in the Renaissance; Contemporary Italian Fiction; Italo Calvino; Andrea De Carlo; Translation and Translation Studies.
Emeritus Professor of German Medieval and Linguistic Studies, Fellow of St Edmund Hall
Nigel Palmer’s research interests were in Medieval German language and literature. He is engaged in a collaborative research project, together with a group of colleagues in Germany, Switzerland and the US, on the ‘Literary topography of SW Germany in the later Middle Ages’, which is an attempt to establish a literary history of this region on the basis of the manuscript sources and library history (Latin and German). The project concentrates on Baden-Württemberg, Switzerland and the Alsace. One area of particular interest is the manuscripts from the Cistercian abbeys and nunneries in the region. His principal research project for the moment is an edition and commentary on an illustrated prayer book, the ‘Begerin-Gebetbuch’ from Strasbourg (now in Berne). Other areas of special interest are blockbooks and their place in early printing history, the interface between Latin literature and German literature in the Middle Ages, and palaeography and codicology of the period 1100-1550. He is editor of Oxford German Studies (together with Jim Reed) and of Medium Aevum (together with Corinne Saunders and Sylvia Huot). He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a corresponding fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen. In 2007 he was awarded the Research Prize of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In 2013 he was awarded a honorary doctorate by the University of Bern. His work as editor of Oxford German Studies was featured in the celebratory volume 50/4. In 2022, he was awarded the inaugural Meister-Eckhart-Forschungspreis.
Stephen Parkinson retired in 2015, and retains a research interest in medieval Portuguese literature and Portuguese Linguistics. His post-retirement research project is the edition of the 13th-century collection of songs in praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Cantigas de Santa Maria. He is Director of the Centre for the Study of the Cantigas de Santa Maria (http://csm.mml.ox.ac.uk) which has developed a web database on the sources and manuscript collections of the Cantigas. He was General Editor of The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies from 1988 to 2015. He was one of the editors of the groundbreaking Companion to Portuguese Literature and Reading Literature in Portuguese. He is also involved in a research project (with Professor Aditi Lahiri) on Portuguese loanwords in Bengali.
Faculty Chair; Associate Professor in German, Fellow of Somerville
Research interests focus on the dialogue between vernacular and Latin culture, and on dialogue as a literary form. Recent publications include studies on the use of song in mystical writing, and collaborations with colleagues from musicology on the interplay between music and text in the ‘Jenaer Liederhandschrift’ (conference May 2014) and the ‘Carmina Burana’ manuscript.
Professor of Medieval French Studies, Fellow of St Hilda's College
Helen Swift’s research interests straddle the late medieval and early modern periods, looking at the poetics of vernacular literature between 1330 and 1550. Her work is interdisciplinary, in that it often involves visual studies of text-image relationships, as well as studying the history of the book in this period of transition between manuscript and print cultures. She also integrates critical theory into her work as a tool for opening up new perspectives on earlier literature to modern readers. Her first book examined the literary and rhetorical structures of literary defences of women written by men in the period after Christine de Pizan. Her second book looked at questions of identity construction and narrative voice in late medieval France through the lens of literary epitaphs in response to the question: who am I when I am dead?
Annette Volfing is a medievalist with particular interest in later medieval religious, mysical, philosophical or allegorical writing. She has written monographs on Heinrich von Mügeln, on medieval uses of the figure of John the Evangelist, on literacy and textuality in Albrecht’s ‘Jüngerer Titurel’, and on bridal mysticism in the medieval Daughter Zion allegory. She has co-edited volumes of essays on medieval notions of inner space, on the concept of friendship in medieval culture and on the figure of Dorothea von Montau. She has written articles on the “classic” narrative texts by Heinrich von Veldeke, Wolfram von Eschenbach and Gottfried von Straßburg, and on orientalism in Middle High German literature, and on medieval German religious writing. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and was appointed to the Council from September 2019.