New Medieval Literatures


New Medieval Literatures is an annual of work on medieval textual cultures. Its scope is inclusive of work across the theoretical, archival, philological, and historicist methodologies associated with medieval literary studies. The title announces an interest both in new writing about medieval culture and in new academic writing. The editors aim to engage with intellectual and cultural pluralism in the Middle Ages and now. Within this generous brief, they recognize only two criteria: excellence and originality.

NEWS: The editors are pleased to announce the outcome of the inaugural New Medieval Literatures Scholars of Colour Essay Prize. The prize is jointly awarded to Bernardo Hinojosa and Misho Sarah Ishikawa, whose hugely impressive essays will be published in NML 23 and NML 24 respectively.

Bernardo Hinojosa’s 'The Shapes of the Speculum Christiani: Scribal Technique and Literary Aesthetics in Fifteenth-Century England’ masterfully examines the complex manuscript history of a neglected text, in order make some bold new arguments about the category of the aesthetic in the later Middle Ages.

Misho Sarah Ishikawa’s wide-ranging and compelling 'Obscured by Smoke: Occluded Sight as Epistemological Crisis in Eyewitness Narratives of the 1241-1242 Mongol Invasions’ examines medieval theories of optics alongside western Christian accounts of the thirteenth-century Mongol invasions, to reveal the epistemological crisis produced by encounters with cultural difference.

NML 23 is newly published (March 2023), NML 24 is in progress, and we are currently accepting submissions for consideration for NML 25 and beyond.

Current volume: NML 23Essays in this volume engage with widely varied themes: law and literature; manuscript production, patronage, and aesthetics; real and imagined geographies; gender and its connections to narrative theory and to psychoanalysis. Investigations range from the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries, from England to the eastern Mediterranean. New arguments are put forward about the dating, context, and occasion of Geoffrey Chaucer's Boece, while the narrative dynamics of Chaucer's Franklin's Tale and Tale of Melibee are examined from new perspectives. The topography of the Holy Lands appears both as a set of emotional sites, depicted in the Prick of Conscience in its account of the end of the world, and as co-ordinates in the cultural imaginary of medieval the wine-trade. Grendel's mother emerges as the invisible and unavowable centre of male heroic culture in Beowulf, and the fourteenth-century St Erkenwald is brought into contact with the community-building project of the medieval death investigation. Finally, the late medieval Speculum Christiani is revealed to be a work with deep aesthetic investments when read through the framework of how its medieval scribes encountered and shaped that work.

NML 22

Prof Laura Ashe, University of Oxford

Dr Philip Knox, University of Cambridge 

Prof Wendy Scase, University of Birmingham


Former editors:

Prof Kellie Robertson, University of Maryland      

Prof David Lawton, Washington University, St Louis

Prof Rita Copeland, University of Pennsylvania 

Contributions should be submitted by email as attachments to the current coordinating editor, Wendy Scase.

The Style Guide for submissions may be downloaded here. Submissions pre-written in a different format need not be edited to NML format prior to peer review and acceptance, but that editing is the author's work once an essay is accepted.

NML is open to publishing essays of significant length, but this should not discourage contributions on a smaller scale: anything from c.7,000 to c.20,000 words will be considered.

The prize is designed to recognize work that contributes to a more inclusive discipline of Medieval Studies, and is specifically intended to highlight the work of early career scholars of colour, working in the fields of premodern literature, history, art, and culture. The prize will be awarded biennially.

Entries are now being welcomed for the next iteration of the prize, with a closing date of 6 January 2024.

New Medieval Literatures 23 (2023)

  1. A Paradox, (Un)Identified: Grendel's Mother and the Lacanian Real - Ann Hubert
  2. What Christ Might Say: Adapting the Last Judgment in the Prick of Conscience and Humbert's De Dono Timoris - Ellen Ketels Rentz
  3. 'At Jherusalem hyt ys goyd wyne': The English Taste for the Sweet Blood of the Holy Land - Eleanor Myerson
  4. The Bright Body: St. Erkenwald's Death Investigation - Elise Wang
  5. The Occasion of Chaucer's Boece - Alastair J. Minnis and Tim William Machan
  6. 'We axen leyser and espace': Narrative Grace in Chaucer's Franklin's Tale and Melibee - Rebecca Davis
  7. The Shapes of the Speculum Christiani: Scribal Technique and Literary Aesthetics in Fifteenth-Century England - Bernardo S. Hinojosa

New Medieval Literatures 22 (2022)

  1. Touch and Movement in Chrétien de Troyes's Chevalier de la Charrette - Luke Sunderland
  2. Cavernous Charisma: The Caves of the Patriarchs at Hebron - Jamie K. Taylor
  3. Lawman's Vision of History: Sources and Figuration in the Brut - Hannah Weaver
  4. What the Mole Knows: Experience, Exempla, and Interspecies Dialogue in Albert the Great's De animalibus - Aylin Malcolm
  5. Demonic Prosthesis and the Walking Dead: The Materiality of Chaucer's Green Yeoman - Alastair Minnis
  6. Learning to Live in Communities: Household Confession and Medieval Forms of Living - Robyn A. Bartlett
  7. Alain Chartier's Quadrilogue invectif and the Poetics of Political Community - Lucas Wood
  8. Reginald Pecock's moral philosophie and Robert Holcot O.P.: Faith, Probabilism, and 'Conscience' - Kantik Ghosh

New Medieval Literatures 21 (2021)

  1. 'Chevaliers estre deüsiez': Genealogy and Historical Sense in Chrétien de Troyes's Conte du Graal - Geneviève Young
  2. English Vernacular Script in the Thirteenth Century (c.1175-c.1325) - Matthew Aiello
  3. The Manuscript as Agent: The Politics of London, British Library, Additional MS 15268 (Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César) - Johannes Junge Ruhland
  4. Repetition, Craft-Knowledge, and Richard Rolle's Creaturely Sublime - Adin Lears
  5. Truth-telling and Truthiness in the Middle English Popular Romances - Lucy Brookes
  6. Assaying the Deer Drive in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Casey Ireland
  7. The Past of the Past: Historical Distance and the Medieval Image - Jessica Berenbeim

New Medieval Literatures 20 (2020)

  1. Lion-Keu-Coupé: A Missing Link in Yvain or Le Chevalier au Lion - Lukas Ovrom
  2. John of Howden's Rossignos and the Sounds of Francophone Devotion - Terrence Cullen
  3. 'Wereyed on every side:' Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde and the Logic of Siege Warfare - Daniel Davies
  4. 'Ave ave ave [ave]:' The Multilingual Poetics of Exuberance in Bruder Hans - Steven Rozenski
  5. Performative Typology, Jewish Genders, and Jesus's Queer Romance in the York Corpus Christi Plays - Tison Pugh
  6. Locating Charles d'Orléans: In France, in England, and Out of Europe - Rory Critten
  7. Urinals and Hunting Traps: Curating Fifteenth-Century Pragmatic Books - Daniel Wakelin

New Medieval Literatures 19 (2019)

  1. A Scottish or English Saint? The Shifting Sanctity of St Aebbe of Coldingham - Christiania Whitehead
  2. Monastic History-Writing and Memory in Britain and Ireland: A Methodological Reassessment - Thomas O'Donnell
  3. Language, Morality and Wordplay in Thirteenth-Century Anglo-French: The Poetry of Walter de Bibbesworth - Thomas Hinton
  4. Open Form and Canonic Matter in Trecento Song - Jamie L. Reuland
  5. 'Uninhabited': Eco-Colonial Anxieties in Late Medieval Icelandic Saga - Daniel Remein
  6. 'Between tuo stoles': The Western Schism and the English Poetry of John Gower (1378-1414) - Zachary Stone
  7. Cognition and Conversion in Alain Chartier's Livre de l'Esperance - Daisy Delogu

New Medieval Literatures 18 (2018)

  1. Megan Cavell, ‘Arachnophobia and Early English Literature’
  2. Hilary Powell, ‘Demonic Daydreams: Mind-Wandering and Mental Imagery in the Medieval Hagiography of St Dunstan’
  3. Heather Blurton, ‘The Hymns of Godric of Finchale: Vernacular Liturgy and Literary History’
  4. Jenny C. Bledsoe, ‘Sympathy for the Demon: Affective Instruction in the Katherine Group’
  5. Isabella Wheater, ‘Peynte it with Aves: Langland’s Hawks, covetise, and Hugh of Fouilloy’s Aviarium
  6. Hannah Bower, ‘Similes We Cure By: The Poetics of Late Medieval Medical Texts’
  7. Cathy Hume, ‘The Life of Job: Translation, Poem or Play?’

New Medieval Literatures 17 (2017)

  1. Michael Raby, ‘The Lives of Nytenu: Imagining the Animal in the Old English Boethius and Soliloquies
  2. Aaron Hostetter, ‘The Power of the Material in Beowulf
  3. Eliza Zingesser, ‘Pidgin Poetics: Bird Talk in Medieval France and Occitania’
  4. R. Jacob McDonie, ‘Performing Friendship in Richard Rolle’s Incendium Amoris
  5. Diane Cady, ‘Damaged Goods: Merchandise, Stories, and Gender in Chaucer’s Man of Law’s Tale
  6. Joseph Stadolnik, ‘Gower’s Bedside Manner’
  7. Boyda Johnstone’ ‘Vitreous Visions: Stained Glass and Affective Engagement in John Lydgate's The Temple of Glass
  8. Spencer Strub, ‘The Idle Readers of Piers Plowman in Print’

New Medieval Literatures 16 (2016) **SERIES RELAUNCH**

  1. Jonathan Morton, The Book of the World at an Anglo-Norman Court: The Bestiaire de Philippe de Thaon as a Theological Performance
  2. George Younge, Monks, Money, and the End of Old English
  3. Alexis Kellner Becker, Sustainability Romance: Havelok the Dane's Political Ecology
  4. Emily Dolmans, Locating the Border: Britain and the Welsh Marches in Fouke le Fitz Waryn
  5. Marco Nievergelt, From disputatio to predicatio - and back again: Dialectic, Authority and Epistemology between the Roman de la Rose and the Pèlerinage de Vie Humaine
  6. Marcel Elias, Mixed Feelings in the Middle English Charlemagne Romances: Emotional Reconfiguration and the Failures of Crusading Practices in the Otuel Texts
  7. Philip Knox, Circularity and Linearity: The Idea of the Lyric and the Idea of the Book in the Cent Ballades of Jean le Seneschal
  8. Sebastian Langdell, ‘What Shal I Calle Thee? What Is Thy Name?’: Thomas Hoccleve and the making of ‘Chaucer’

New Medieval Literatures 15 (2015 for 2013)

  1. James Paz, Human Flight in Early English Literature, Art and Science
  2. Elizabeth Allen, Sanctuary and Sovereignty: Hubert de Burgh in the Chronica Majora
  3. Shannon Meyer, Margaret’s Choice: Negotiating space, Class Identity and Gender Ideologies in The Paston Letters
  4. Joseph Grossi, A place of “Long-Lasting Evil amd Unhappiness”: Rædwald’s East Anglia in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History
  5. Christopher Taylor, The Once and Future Herod: Vernacular Typology and the Unfolding of Middle English Cycle Drama
  6. Holly Crocker, John Foxe’s Chaucer: Affecting Form in Post-Historicist Criticism
  7. Lucas Wood, The Ethics of Election in the Queste del Saint Graal
  8. Sarah Noonan, “Bycause the redyng shold not turne hem to enoye”: Reading, Selectivity, and Pietatis Affectum in Late Medieval England
  9. James Wade, Romance, Affect and Ethical Thinking in a Fifteenth-Century Household Book: Chetham’s Library MS 8009
  10. Tory V. Pearman, Heterosyncrasy as a Way of Life: Disability and the Heterosyncratic CommTunity in Amis and Amiloun
  11. ANALYTICAL SURVEY: Richard Godden and Jonathan Hsy, Disability Studies

New Medieval Literatures 14 (2012)

  1. Translatio studii and the Emergence of French as a Language of Letters in the Middle Ages - Serge Lusignan
  2. Paratext, Ambiguity, and Interpretive Foreclosure in Manuscripts of Walter of Châtillon’s Alexandreis - David Townsend
  3. Fantasies of Failing Empire in La Belle Hélène de Constantinople - Maud Burnett McInerney
  4. Books and Bodies: Ethics, Exemplarity, and the ‘Boistous’ in Medieval English Writings - Katie Walter
  5. Brevis oratio penetrat celum: Proverbs, Prayers, and Lay Understanding in Late Medieval England - Alastair Bennett
  6. ‘Diversity in setting of words makes diversity in understanding’: Bureaucratic and Political Language in Thomas Usk’s Testament of Love - Rebecca F. McNamara
  7. Analytical Survey: Expanding Horizons: Recent Trends in Old Norse-Icelandic Manuscript Studies - Svanhildur Óskarsdóttir

New Medieval Literatures 13 (2011)

Special Issue: Producing and Using English Manuscripts in the Post-Conquest Period


The Physical Book

  1. Exeter Scribes in Cambridge, University Library, MS Ii. 2. 11+ Exeter Book Folios 0, 1–7 - TAKAKO KATO
  2. The Problem of Grade in English Vernacular Minuscule, c. 1060 to 1220 - PETER A. STOKES
  3. The Addition and Use of Running Titles in Manuscripts Containing Old English - WINFRIED RUDOLF
  4. Miniaturing as Emendation: I–II Cnut in Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 383 - THOMAS GOBBITT

Textual Transmission

  1. The Treatment of Charter Bounds by the Worcester Cartulary Scribes - KATE WILES
  2. Old English Items in London, British Library, MS Cotton Tiberius C. i - HOLLIE MORGAN
  3. Ealde oe, niwoe lahe: Two words for ‘Law’ in the Twelfth Century - RICHARD DANCE
  4. Scribal Geography - BELLA MILLETT

Cultural Contexts

  1. The Objects of Knowledge: Reconstructing Medieval Communities through a Material Analysis of Manuscripts - ERIKA CORRADINI
  2. Computus, Crusade, and Construction: Writing England’s Monastic Past and Future in Oxford, St John’s College, MS 17 - FAITH WALLIS
  3. Childbirth, Chills, and Fever: Manuscript Evidence for Medicine at St Guthlac’s Priory, Hereford - CHRIS TUCKLEY
  4. Individual Practice, Common Endeavour: Making a Manuscript and Community in the Second Half of the Twelfth Century - AIDAN CONTI

Producing a Book: Cambridge, University Library, MS Ii.1.33

  1. Making the Book: Cambridge, University Library, MS Ii. 1. 33 - ORIETTA DA ROLD
  2. Using the Book: Cambridge, University Library, MS Ii. 1. 33 - MARY SWAN
  3. Writing the Book: Cambridge, University Library, MS Ii. 1. 33 - ELAINE TREHARNE

New Medieval Literatures 12 (2010)


  1. Beowulf on Gender - GILLIAN R. OVERING
  2. The Patron and her Clerk: Multilingualism and Cultural Transition - EMMA BÉRAT
  3. Out of Time: the Virgin Mary and the Harper of Rochester - CLAIRE WATERS
  4. You’re Putting Me On: the Old French Fabliaux as Carnival Cross-Dressing - MEAGAN EVANS
  5. Neighbours, Natural and Otherwise, in ‘The Vox and the Wolf’- GEORGE EDMONDSON

Symposium: Animal Theories

  1. Introduction: Animal Discourses and Animal Studies -  SUSAN CRANE
  2. Judicial Violence, Biopolitics, and the Bare Life of Animals - ROBERT MILLS
  3. Parchment Ethics: A Statement of More than Modest Concern - Bruce Holsinger
  4. Lover as Parrot - SARAH KAY
  5. Interspecies Mimicry: Birdsong in Chaucer’s Manciple’s Tale  and The Parliament of Fowls - EMMA GORST
  6. Derrida’s Cat and Nicholas’s Study - SARAH STANBURY
  7. Uxor Noe and the Animal Inventory - SARAH ELLIOTT NOVACICH
  8. Magic, Spectacle and Morality in the Fourteenth Century - TARA WILLIAMS
  9. Discipline and Doctrine: Inculcating Moral Habits in Le livre de éthiques d’Aristote - KATHERINE BREEN
  10. Bureaucratic Verse: William Lyndwood, the Privy Seal and the Form of The Libelle of Englishe Polycye -SEBASTIAN SOBECKI
  11. The Rhetoric of Advancement: Ars dictaminisCursus, and Clerical Careerism in Late Medieval England - IAN CORNELIUS

Analytical Survey: Intellectual Life in Fifteenth-Century England - MISHTOONI BOSE

Prof David Lawton, Washington University, St Louis (Chair)
Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Stanford University
Jeffrey Hamburger, Harvard University
Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris
Alastair Minnis, Yale University
Margaret Clunies Ross, University of Sydney
Miri Rubin, Queen Mary, University of London
Paul Strohm, Columbia University
Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, Fordham University