Many of our projects investigate the cultural and material contexts of texts, with much of our of work in progress focusing on the material dimensions of the medieval text: the physical page, the manuscript, and verbal and non-verbal `physical texts' (for example, clothing, household objects, inscriptions, stained glass, and rood screens).
Philippa Semper's project Reading Spaces: Word, Text and Image in Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts approaches problems in understanding Anglo-Saxon reading practices by focusing on the manuscript page.
David Griffith's book in progress Words Beyond Books: Vernacular Inscriptions in the Late Middle Ages seeks to contribute to understanding of the changing status of English in the period by analysing vernacular texts displayed in domestic and public settings.
Wendy Scase's new book Literature and Complaint in England 1272 - 1553 seeks to reveal the ways in which literary production is related to the discourses, institutions, and infrastructure developed for petition and legal complaint.
Catherine Richardson's Clothing Culture 1350-1650, Ashgate, 2004, is a multidisciplinary study of the meanings of clothing that draws on a variety of documentary and literary sources.
Our interests range from neglected texts to writings by major authors: four members of the group are contributors to Chaucer: An Oxford Guide, edited by Steve Ellis, Oxford University Press, 2005. Steve Ellis has a particular interest in the modern reception and translation of Dante and Chaucer.
Research students in the group pursue a wide variety of projects, applying diverse approaches (for example, historicism, narratology, queer theory) to a wide range of texts (Beowulf , Chaucer, Langland, mystic texts, romance, letters by women, to name just a few), while several study visual materials alongside texts, and many focus on manuscripts.
Two large team projects, Manuscripts of the West Midlands and The Vernon Manuscript Project, aim to provide new kinds of resource for research on medieval manuscripts and their contexts.