Dr Daniel McCann

  • Medieval literature and culture
  • Psychology and literature
  • Affectivity and language
  • Medieval medicine
  • Medieval lyrics

My current research covers the later medieval period, and is concerned with the interconnection and interplay between medical and religious texts. I am especially interested in how texts can evoke emotional responses, belief, doubt, and indeed other complex mental states through their form and style. I am currently completing a monograph on the topic of "soul-health", which will show how certain medieval religious texts aim to treat the soul by evoking specific emotional states within it. This book comes from the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship I was awarded in 2012. In addition to this, I have published a number of articles that explore the relationship between emotion and healing, reading and healing, and medieval grammar and  prayer. ​I am also co-editing a volume of interdisciplinary essays on the subject of fear, which explores how this emotion manifests in the medical and literary imagination from the medieval period to modern times. 

Over the last few years, I have had the fortune to recieve generous funding from the Leverhulme Trust, the Wellcome Trust, and the British Society for the History of Science. 

  • Prelims Paper One
  • Prelims Paper Two
  • FHS Paper Two

I completed my undergraduate degree, master's degree, and PhD at the Queen's University Belfast. In 2012 I came to Oxford for a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, and afterwards held the post of Departmental Lecturer in the Faculty of English and Worcester College. In early 2016, I was delighted to be appointed as the Simon and June Li Fellow in English Literature at Lincoln College.

College website 



  • Medicine of Words: Purgative Reading in Richard Rolle’s Meditations on the Passion

  • Soul Health: Therapeutic Reading in Later Medieval England

  • Dreadful Health: Fear and ‘Sowle-hele’ in The Prickyng of Love”

  • Fear in the Literary and Medical Imagination Medieval to Modern, Dreadful Passions

  • Blood and Chocolate: Affective Layering in Swete Ihesu, now wil I synge

  • Heaven and Health: Middle English Devotion to Christ in its Therapeutic Contexts


  • Feeling Dredeful: Fear and Therapy in The Scale of Perfection

  • More
List of site pages