Dr Hannah Ryley


My research interests include manuscript studies, material culture, ecocriticism, postcolonial literature and theory, and early print culture.

My monograph, Re-Using Manuscripts in Late Medieval England, came out in August 2022. In that book, I argue that fifteenth-century reuse and recycling of book materials were customary aspects of production and symptomatic of more widespread sustainable practices in manuscript culture. This book is published by York Medieval Press, an imprint of Boydell & Brewer: https://boydellandbrewer.com/9781914049064/re-using-manuscripts-in-late-...

Currently, I am co-editing a volume of essays entitled ‘Recipes and Book Culture in England 1350-1600’, with Dr Carrie Griffin (University of Limerick, Ireland). This is contracted for publication with Liverpool University Press, due out in 2023. The book highlights the most exciting new research into the contents and contexts of a diverse range of late medieval recipes.

I am currently co-organising the ‘Cultures of Use and Reuse’ network with JProf. Julia von Ditfurth and Carolin Gluchowski, for which we organised a conference in Oxford in April 2023 https://medieval.ox.ac.uk/2022/09/26/workshop-cultures-of-use-and-reuse-...

I have co-organised several panels for conferences, most recently ‘How to Look at Lots of Books’, organised with Dr J. R. Mattison for the New Chaucer Society Congress (Durham, summer 2022), from which we are producing a special issue of 'Digital Philology' focussing on big data and manuscript studies. With Dr J. D. Sargan, I am co-editing a new Routledge handbook on medieval book history.

Previously, I contributed to the ‘Material Evidence in Incunabula’ database (part of the 15cBOOKTRADE database), and I was the Research Support Officer for the new ‘Oxford Centre for Textual Editing and Theory’ (known as OCTET), based in the English Faculty. 

I am delighted to have co-organised an AHRC-funded programme, entitled ‘Medieval Storytelling: Engaging the Next Generation’, with Dr Gareth Evans: https://medievalstorytelling.co.uk I also co-organised a seminar series: ‘Literature and Material Culture’, with Dr Claire Johnstone: https://literaturematerial.wordpress.com.



At Balliol, I teach medieval papers in the first and second years, and an introductory language paper in the first year. Beyond my tutoring, I continue to support Balliol students throughout their degree as part of the English team in college – especially any students who choose the Course II route through the second and third years.

I have a range of teaching experience, including tutoring Oxford undergraduate papers in: English language (Prelims Paper 1), Old English (Prelims Paper 2), Middle English (Final Honours School Paper 2), and specialist papers in Old English and lyric for the Course II pathway. I co-taught with Dr Nick Perkins a third-year option: 'Seeing through texts: the visual and material in late-medieval literature' (Final Honours School, Paper 6). I also enjoy teaching visiting students and have supervised undergraduate dissertations on a variety of topics.

For the English Faculty in Oxford, I co-convene a final-year undergraduate paper 'Seeing Through Texts: the Visual and Material in Late Medieval Literature' with Dr Nick Perkins (Final Honours School Paper 6), and I have delivered lectures on material texts and ecocriticism. I particularly enjoy incorporating material culture and manuscripts into my teaching.

During Trinity term 2018 I was an Ashmolean Junior Teaching Fellow. In 2019, following the ‘Enhancing Teaching Programme’ at the Oxford Learning Institute, I was delighted to be awarded a qualification for ‘Learning Teaching and Assessing’.


Alongside my research and teaching, I am a Fellow of the Royal History Society, and one of the Executive Officers of the Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature. I read English at Durham, then came to Oxford for the MSt in English 650-1550. I completed my DPhil in 2017, supervised by Professor Daniel Wakelin. During my doctoral studies at Worcester College here in Oxford I was awarded the Martin Senior Scholarship and the Wilkinson Junior Research Fellowship.