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Medieval and Renaissance

Cherub detail, image courtesy of University of St Andrews Special CollectionsThe Medieval and Renaissance research group supports scholars and postgraduate researchers in the School of English working on literature from the Anglo-Saxon period through to the eighteenth century. The group has its own budget, and 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.

Postgraduate students working in the fields of Medieval and/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 offer 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.

Renaissance titlepage, image courtesy of University of St Andrews Special CollectionsRecent and current staff research projects include the mapping of English vernacular lives of Christ in the Geographies of Orthodoxy project, conducted in collaboration with Queen's University, Belfast; Professor Neil Rhodes' and Professor Andrew Hadfield's MHRA Tudor and Stuart Translations series; Professor Lorna Hutson's series of critical monographs, Edinburgh Critical Studies in Renaissance Culture. Dr Chris Jones is a commissioning editor for Boydell and Brewer's Medievalism series, Dr Rhiannon Purdie for their Studies in Medieval Romance series. Dr Purdie is also the Editorial Secretary for the Scottish Text Society, and Dr 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.

Primarily, however, staff research 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 eighteenth century. Recent and current PhD topics include:

  • 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 sixteenth century
  • legal bonds in English and Spanish Renaissance drama
  • the reception of Shakespeare's Sonnets, 1609-1790
  • seventeenth-century English devotional poetry
  • Ben Jonson and 'character'
  • sovereignty and lawmaking violence on the Renaissance stage.


Dr Harriet Archer, Dr Matthew Augustine, Dr Margaret ConnollyDr Alex Davis, Dr Ian Johnson, Dr Chris Jones, Dr Jane PettegreeDr Rhiannon Purdie, Dr Christine Rauer, Prof Neil Rhodes


Abe Davies, Chris Eddington, John Gallagher, Jon Gardner, Rachel Horrocks, Charlotte Kennedy, Roberta Marangi, Elena Spinelli, Zoe Sutherland, Peter Sutton, Miui Watanabe

Illustrations on this page:

Floriated Border, Book of Hours, University of St Andrews Special Collections

Title page, In Omnes M. Tulli Ciceronis Orationes (Lyons, 1554), given to St Leonard's College, University of St Andrews, by James, Earl of Moray (1531-1570)

Cherub (detail from title page of Megale Chymia, vel Magna Alchymia, 1583)