Management Group


Dr Arezou Azad

Lecturer in Medieval History
Chair, Centre for the Study of the Middle Ages

Department of History

I am a historian of medieval Central Asia, Afghanistan and Iran, with a particular interest in cities, religious practices, social diversity and historiography.

Dr Paolo De Ventura


Department of Modern Languages

I study early Italian literature and the historical evolution of the Italian language. I love Dante and his world, which is the fascinating and complex universe of the art and thought of the European Middle Ages.

Dr Elizabeth L'Estrange

Dr Elizabeth L'Estrange

Lecturer in History of Art

Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies

My work focuses on the art and culture of the late medieval and early modern period, especially illuminated manuscripts, French and Burgundian court art, text-image relations, and women as subjects and consumers of visual cultures.

Dr Mary O'Neill

Department of Music

To work in a subject about which one is passionate is special, but to have the opportunity to design the ideal working environment, is a rare privilege indeed. This has been precisely my experience at The University of Birmingham, having sat down with the architects at the design stage of Birmingham’s stunning new Bramall Music Building, and been asked to assist in the design of what the ...

Dr William Purkis

Senior Lecturer in Medieval History

Department of History

I am a historian of medieval religious cultures (c.1000–c.1300), with particular interests in crusading, pilgrimage and monasticism.

Dr Philippa Semper

Lecturer in English

Department of English Literature

Research and supervision areas

  • Old English literature;
  • Modern fantasy literature;
  • J. R. R. Tolkien;
  • Medievalism;
  • Anglo-Saxon manuscripts.

Professor Naomi Standen

Professor of Medieval History

Department of History

I am a medieval historian who works on northern Eurasia in global contexts, with a primary focus on regions that lie within what is now China, North Korea and Mongolia. I work with texts, with archaeologists and with medievalists studying all parts of the globe, and have been particularly interested in borders, frontiers and borderlands and the people who live in and around such places.

At ...

Dr Aengus Ward

Reader in Hispanic Studies

Department of Modern Languages

I have been a lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages (Hispanic Studies) since 1994. I teach medieval Spanish literature and Spanish language and linguistics. My research interests lie in the fields of medieval Spanish history and historiography, textual editing, diachronic phonology and syntax.

Dr Simon Yarrow

Dr Simon Yarrow

Senior Lecturer in Medieval History

School of History and Cultures

I teach the history of religion and society in the early and central middle ages, and research on the cult of saints’ relics, miracles and religious cultures from the tenth to the thirteenth century in England.

Postgraduate representative and EMREM liaison

As well as the Committee, CeSMA is made up of a number of affiliates and doctoral students.