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Medieval and Renaissance

The Medieval and Renaissance (MedRen) research group supports scholars and postgraduate researchers in the School of English working on literature from the Anglo-Saxon period through to the 18th century. The group hosts a number of staff and postgraduate seminars and reading groups. It also provides research infrastructure and culture for two period-based MLitt programmes, the MLitt in Medieval English and the MLitt in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literary Culture.

Medieval and Renaissance book covers

MedRen opportunities

Postgraduate students working in the fields of Medieval or Renaissance literature automatically become associate members of the MedRen group, taking advantage of its many research resources and opportunities. These include:

Both the speakers' programme and RemNet offers opportunities for staff and postgraduates to share work-in-progress. Staff and students in the MedRen group are strong supporters of the development of the University of St Andrews Special Collections of early printed books and manuscripts.

Research projects

Staff research primarily takes the form of writing high-quality monographs and articles; of scholarly editing; and of the editing of critical collections on literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 18th century.

Dr Chris Jones is a commissioning editor for Boydell and Brewer's Medievalism series, and Dr Rhiannon Purdie is a commissioning editor for their Studies in Medieval Romance series. Dr Purdie is also the Editorial Secretary for the Scottish Text Society, and Dr Margaret Connolly is General Editor of Middle English Texts (published by Winter, Heidelberg) and Chair of the Advisory Board of the Index of Middle English Prose.

Recent and current staff research projects include:

Recent and current PhD topics include:

  • wolves in Anglo-Saxon literature and culture
  • textual criticism and exegesis of the Anglo-Saxon Bible
  • textual history of Anglo-Saxon genealogy, its religious influences and uses
  • the reception of King Arthur in late-medieval Scotland
  • the grotesque in late-medieval English and Scottish literature
  • the translation of Villon into English literary culture
  • penance and confession in psalmic poetry and prose of the 16th century
  • legal bonds in English and Spanish Renaissance drama
  • the reception of Shakespeare's Sonnets, 1609-1790
  • 17th century English devotional poetry
  • Ben Jonson and 'character'
  • sovereignty and lawmaking violence on the Renaissance stage.