Dr Ayoush Lazikani

Ayoush specializes in devotional, contemplative, and other spiritual writing from the eleventh to thirteenth centuries. Her research has focused on emotion in English, Arabic, Anglo-Norman, Persian, and Latin texts in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. She has particular interests in literature written for solitary contemplatives, and she is currently developing a project on the medieval moon.

Publications from 2015-present


Emotion in Christian and Islamic Contemplative Texts, 1100-1250: Cry of the Turtledove (New Middle Ages Series, Palgrave Macmillan, 2021)

Cultivating the Heart: Feeling and Emotion in Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century Religious Texts (Religion and Culture in the Middle Ages Series, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2015)

Journal articles:

'A Needful Song: Articulating Need in On Lofsong of ure Louerde', Medium Ævum (forthcoming, 2024)

‘Encompassment in Love: Rabi’a of Basra in Dialogue with Julian of Norwich’, Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures 46.2 (2020), 115-136.

‘The Vagabond Mind: Depression and the Medieval Anchorite’, Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies 6 (2017), 141-68. 

‘Seeking Intimacy in the Wooing Group’, Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures 43.2 (2017), 157-85.

‘The Wounded Beloved: Affective Wounding in Ancrene Wisse and the Wooing Group’, Leeds Studies in English 47 (2016), 115-35.

‘Liminal Performance in Hali Meiðhad’, Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures 42.1 (2016), 28-43. 

Chapters in edited collections:

‘Tear-Language: Weeping as Resistance in Islamic and Christian Contemplative Hagiography’, in Global Medieval Women’s Mysticism, ed. Abir Bazaz and Alexandra Verini (forthcoming).

‘Speaking Across the Stars: Parallel Affective Communities in Islamic and Christian Hagiography’, in Medieval Women’s Writing: Speaking Internationally, ed. Liz Herbert McAvoy and Sue Niebrzydowski, with Vicki Kay and Kathryn Loveridge (forthcoming).

‘Of Loves Both Spoken and Silent: Rābiʿa al-ʿAdawiyya and the Wooing Group’, in Giving Voice to Silence (a volume in memory and celebration of Catherine Innes-Parker), ed. Cate Gunn, Liz Herbert McAvoy, and Naoë Kukita Yoshikawa (forthcoming).

‘Sea-Water in Flame: Compunction in the Lambeth and Trinity Homilies’, in Cultures of Compunction in the Medieval World, ed. Graham Williams and Charlotte Steenbrugge (London: Bloomsbury, 2020).

‘What Grace in Presence: Affective Literacies in The Chastising of God’s Children’, in Late Medieval Devotional Compilations in England, ed. Marleen Cré, Diana Denissen, and Denis Renevey (Turnhout: Brepols, 2020), pp. 411-432.

‘Moving Lights: An Affective Reading of On leome is in this world ilist and Church Wall Paintings’, in Middle English Lyrics: New Readings of Short Poems, ed. Julia Boffey and Christiania Whitehead (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2018), pp. 31-44.

‘Remembrance and Time in the Wooing Group’, in Reconsidering Gender, Time and Memory in Medieval Culture, ed. Elizabeth Cox, Liz Herbert McAvoy and Roberta Magnani (Cambridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2015), pp. 79-94.


Reviewer for Year’s Work in English Studies:

‘Early Middle English’  


‘Middle English Religious Verse’


Review of Medieval Anchorites in their Communities, ed. Liz Herbert McAvoy and Cate Gunn (Cambridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2017): Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies 7 (2018), 329-332.

Review of Speculum Inclusorum: A Mirror for Recluses, ed. E. A. Jones, Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2013):  JEGP 114.4 (2015), 596-99.

Encyclopedic work:

‘Katherine Group’, in the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Medieval Women’s Writing in the Global Middle Ages, ed. Diane Watt, Liz Herbert McAvoy, and Michelle Sauer et al (forthcoming).

Ayoush is a SEDA-accredited tutor.

She teaches and lectures in the following areas for undergraduate students:

  • Old English (Prelims Paper 2; FHS Course II Paper 1)
  • Middle English (FHS Course I Paper 2 and Course II Papers 2 & 3)
  • Andalusian Arabic lyric (Course II Paper 2)
  • Various dissertation topics in Old English and Middle English-- including saints' lives, contemplative literature, medieval drama, Arthurian romance, and 'Beowulf' (Paper 7)

As a tutor for graduate students, Ayoush teaches the Masters course ‘Contemplative Worlds, 700-1450’ (which looks at medieval contemplative writing in Christian and Islamic traditions), and she supervises graduate dissertations in medieval emotion, spirituality, and gender.