(Trans)forming Knowledge

This stream links a critical mass of scholars who study ways in which knowledge – or perceived knowledge – is established, contested, appropriated, adapted and transformed in a variety of foreign language contexts and across different types of text and media. 

As such, we are often concerned with questions of communicative method and cultural translation; but we come to these questions from a rich variety of specialisms and disciplinary backgrounds. We make every effort to encourage a research environment in which serious intellectual inquiry into knowledge in its multifarious forms is conducted in an open, collaborative, mutually supportive and genuinely cross-disciplinary way. 



  • Caroline Ardrey specialises in nineteenth-century French poetry and its interaction with other art forms and media, in particular music and fashion.
  • Paolo De Ventura looks at early Italian literature and the historical evolution of the Italian language.
  • Elystan Griffiths' interests include social and political writing of the 18th and 19th centuries, women’s writing and the pastoral.
  • Nigel Harris focuses on three sometimes related interests: allegorical and symbolic uses of animals in medieval literature; late medieval didactic literature (in Latin and German), and its methods of conveying religious and ethical ideas to an increasingly wide audience
  • Frank Lough specialises in 20th century Hispanic narrative, in particular the avant-garde novel of the 1920's, the social novel of the 1930's, and the literature of the Republican exiles.
  • Emma Wagstaff looks at French poetry, and the relationship between literature and the visual arts, both underpinned by investigation of literary forms and their relationship to time.
  • Aengus Ward works in the fields of medieval Spanish history and historiography, textual editing, diachronic phonology and syntax.
  • Andrew Watts is a specialist in nineteenth-century French prose fiction, especially the work of Honoré de Balzac. His current research focuses on adaptations of classic novels from this period in a variety of different media including silent film, graphic novels, and stage musicals.

Doctoral researchers:

  • information to follow

Major publications

  • information to follow


Distinguished visiting speakers

Our deliberations are informed and enriched by relevant contributions from a range of distinguished guest speakers. Recent seminars and discussions have focused on questions of cognition (Terence Cave), the digital Humanities (Julianne Nyhan), philology (John T. Hamilton) and the relationship between adaptation and theory (Kamilla Elliott). The Stream has also established links with creative practitioners, and in May 2018 hosted an event with BBC radio dramatist Adrian Penketh. In 2018/19 these activities will be carried forward not least by talks on the ground-breaking project to digitize the Exeter Book (Emma Cayley), and by Deirdre Wilson on relevance theory – which we anticipate will provide a valuable undergirding of our future work on adaptation.

Find out more



19th century French poetry and popular culture - Caroline Ardrey

Dr Nigel Harris discusses his research