Title: Wendy Scase discusses postgraduate supervision in Medieval English
I'm Wendy Scase and I'm Geoffrey Shepherd Professor of Medieval Literature at the University of Birmingham.
My specialist area is the late medieval period from the Norman Conquest through to about the 16th century and the Reformation.
I'm particularly interested in the way that medieval literature has survived to the modern day. I'm particularly interested in the material that medieval literature is written on.
I've been working on everything from scrappy little documents like this one which is a vellum deed - very ephemeral kinds of material - and I wrote a book about this sort of material which was published recently.
And then I've moved to huge projects looking at enormous materials, focussing on the Vernon Manuscript which is the largest surviving Middle English manuscript. It weighs 22 kilos, I can't show you it because it's in the Bodleian Library in Oxford but shortly the whole world will be able to see it because I'm creating an electronic edition of the manuscript with the full transcription and a page by page description.
It's a very beautiful object and very little known. So one of the things I'm going to do next is to work out ways to make it much better known in the world and in the region in which it was made which is our region - the West Midlands of England.
I've supervised postgraduates across a whole range of projects. I'm interested in the ways that literature relates to society, to politics, to religion. I've supervised in those areas. I've also supervised postgraduates that want to work on manuscripts and material culture. I've supervised postgraduates who want to work on English in relation to other literatures.
For example, one of my postgraduates worked on Langland's 'Piers Plowman' in relation to De Gilleville - a French poet. Another one worked on literatures in lots of languages that focused on cockerels.