Professor Diane Watt

Research Interests


• Old English Literature
• Middle English Literature
• Early Modern Literature
• Women’s Writing
• Feminist Theory
• Lesbian Studies
• Queer Theory

Other Research Activities:


Diane is general editor, with Jacqueline Murray, of the series ‘Gender in the Middle Ages’, published by Boydell and Brewer. Books in the series investigate topics concerned with medieval gender, from a literary or historical perspective. 


Diane is also general editor, with Denis Renevey, of the series ‘Religion and Culture in the Middle Ages’, published by University of Wales Press. The series is interdisciplinary in nature, and is largely concerned with the religious culture of medieval Western Europe.
 

Diane is a member of the founding advisory board for British and Irish Literature for Oxford Bibliographies


Diane is a member of the Programming Committee of the annual International Medieval Congress. She is responsible for the Women’s and Gender Studies Strand.

 She is a member of the Gender and Medieval Studies Steering Group.

Research Collaborations

Diane is the Network Lead of the project Women’s Literary Culture and the Medieval Canon, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The project runs from 2015-2017. The project includes partners from the following universities: Bangor, Bergen, Boston, Durham, Lausanne, Swansea, and Texas A&M.

She is on the Advisory Panel of the project Women’s Poetry in Ireland, Scotland and Wales, 1400-1800, led by Aberystwyth University and funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

She is on the Steering Group of the project Pride of Place: England’s LGBT Heritage commissioned by Historic England & led by Leeds Beckett University.

Departmental Duties

Head of School

She is also chair of the University LGBT Equality Group and sits on the University Equality and Diversity Committee. She coordinates the University LGBT staff network LGBT-network@list.surrey.ac.uk .

Teaching & Supervision

Diane’s main teaching and supervision interests are:
Medieval Literature,
Women’s Writing,
Feminist and Queer Theory

Please see Diane's virtual lecture on manuscript to print culture.

She welcomes applications from students interested in studying for PhDs in these fields. She is interested in exploring innovative ways of communicating her teaching and research interests. For example, she has taken part in Bright Club Guildford, the thinking person’s stand-up. She is also interested in exploring virtual lecture technology.

Contact Me

E-mail:
Phone: 01483 68 3779

Find me on campus
Room: 01 LC 03

View Larger Map

Publications

Highlights

  • Watt D. (2016) 'A Fragmentary Archive: Migratory Feelings in Early Anglo-Saxon Women’s Letters'. Journal of Homosexuality,
  • Watt D. (2016) 'Small Consolation: Goscelin of Saint-Bertin's Liber confortatorius and Pearl'. Chaucer Review: a journal of medieval studies and literary criticism, 51 (1), pp. 31-48.

    Abstract

    Goscelin of Saint-Bertin wrote the Liber confortatorius for Eve of Wilton sometime shortly after 1080, following Eve’s decision to leave England and become a recluse in Angers. It takes the form of an extended letter ostensibly offering guidance to the recluse in her new spiritual life. The Liber confortatorius is significant because it is the earliest surviving guide for a female recluse in the English literary tradition. Other famous later examples of such works include Ælred of Rievaulx’s De institutione inclusarum, and the Middle English Ancrene Wisse. Yet Goscelin’s text is very different from these later examples, not least because, despite its form and avowed intention, its emphasis is far less on giving advice and on regulating the conduct of the recluse than on describing the author’s sense of abandonment and loss. As a book of consolation, it seems to be directed more to the needs of the author-narrator than to those of the reader, whether Eve or any other recluse or individual seeking spiritual comfort. In this respect, I suggest that the Liber confortatorius is closer to the Middle-English poem Pearl than to other later anchoritic works. Within the Liber, Goscelin develops to its fullest extent the metaphor of the recluse as dead to the world, a metaphor which was to become a commonplace in later anchoritic literature. Even though she is still alive at the time of writing, Eve, as Goscelin conjures her, resembles a spirit reanimated, who, from the afterlife brings to the bereaved writer consolation, and perhaps some spiritual guidance. The Liber thus seems to anticipate Pearl, in which the dreamer encounters the spirit of one he has lost, and indeed there are rather striking similarities between the two texts, both of which focus on the ambiguous, troubling, relationship between an adult man stricken by grief, and an idealized and virginal girl or young woman. Yet, thinking through fully the connections between the Liber confortatorius and Pearl, forces to confront the differences between the two texts.

  • Watt D. (2013) 'The Earliest Women's Writing? Anglo-Saxon Literary Cultures and Communities'. Taylor & Francis Women's Writing, 20 (4), pp. 537-554.

    Abstract

    Who were the first women writers in the English literary tradition? This question continues to preoccupy feminist scholars in the twenty-first century, but very few would look back to the centuries before the Norman invasions in order to find the answer. Focusing on the religious houses of Ely and Whitby in the seventh and early eighth centuries this article reviews some of the surviving evidence of the first monastic women’s writing. Looking for traces of early texts by women, it re-examines the lives of the Abbesses Æthelthryth of Ely and Hild of Whitby found in the fourth book of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, alongside the account of Hild found in the Old English Martyrology, and, more speculatively, it reconsiders the case for women’s involvement in the production of the anonymous first Life of Gregory the Great. This article argues that texts by women were ‘overwritten’ by the earliest male monastic writers, a process reinforced by later scholarship. By focusing on texts associated with religious houses ruled by women, and by seeing them as the productions not of individuals but of communities, it is possible to get a fuller and more balanced understanding of women’s writing in this earliest period of English literary history.

  • Watt D. (2012) 'Lost Books: Abbess Hildelith and the Literary Culture of Barking Abbey.'. Department of English, University of English Philological Quarterly, 91 (1), pp. 1-22.

    Abstract

    This article explores the literary culture of Barking Abbey, a vital centre of Anglo-Saxon learning, when it was under the rule of its second abbess, Hildelith, in the late seventh and early eighth century. Particular attention is given to the intersection of lived practice at Barking and the literary record, focusing on three pieces of evidence: Bede’s account of the early history of Barking in his Ecclesiastical History, written in 731; Aldhelm’s De Virginitate (c.675-680), which was written for Hildelith and her fellow nuns; and a letter written by Boniface around 716 in which he relates the vision of the monk of Much Wenlock. Taken together, the three texts reveal that, under the rule of the academically-minded Abbess Hildelith, Barking Abbey was at the centre of a vibrant network of textual exchange between the abbess and nuns and prominent churchmen and other religious communities.

  • McAvoy LH, Watt D. (2012) The History of British Women's Writing, 700-1500. Great Britain : Palgrave Macmillan 1

    Abstract

    This volume focuses on a period of literary history that is often marginalized in accounts of women’s writing in English. It argues that the picture of women’s writing in Britain in the period before 1500 is a very complex one. Britain was, then as now, multicultural and multilingual. At the same time, Britain enjoyed close links to the continent. These factors have to be taken into account in looking at the earliest women’s writing. Works in Latin and French need to be considered alongside works translated into English and/or circulated in England. Furthermore a wide range of genres of writing not normally thought of as ‘literary’ has to be examined. Equally important in considering women’s writing in this period are the dismantling of the boundaries between translation and authorship; a widening of focus to include anonymous and collaborative authorship; and a wider consideration of women’s engagement with literary production and culture.

  • Giffney N, Sauer MM, Watt D. (2011) The Lesbian Premodern. New York : Palgrave MacMillan

    Abstract

    When has using the term “lesbian” not been considered an anachronistic gesture? This question lies at the heart of this important new collection of essays. The Lesbian Premodern engages key scholars in the field of lesbian studies and queer theory in an innovative conversation in print. Transgressing traditional period boundaries The Lesbian Premodern challenges those interested primarily in contemporary lesbian theory, history and literature to pay full attention to significant and often overlooked theoretical, empirical and textual work on female same-sex desire and identity in premodern cultures. This provocative and innovative collective book offers a radical new methodology for writing lesbian history, geography, literary criticism and theory.

  • Watt D. (2007) Medieval women's writing: Works by and for Women in England, 1100-1500. Cambridge : Polity Press

    Abstract

    Medieval Women's Writing is a major new contribution to our understanding of women's writing in England, 1100-1500. The most comprehensive account to date, it includes writings in Latin and French as well as English, and works for as well as by women. Marie de France, Clemence of Barking, Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, and the Paston women are discussed alongside the Old English lives of women saints, The Life of Christina of Markyate, the St Albans Psalter, and the legends of women saints by Osbern Bokenham. Medieval Women's Writing addresses these key questions: Who were the first women authors in the English canon? What do we mean by women's writing in the Middle Ages? What do we mean by authorship? How can studying medieval writing contribute to our understanding of women's literary history? Diane Watt argues that female patrons, audiences, readers, and even subjects contributed to the production of texts and their meanings, whether written by men or women. Only an understanding of textual production as collaborative enables us to grasp fully women's engagement with literary culture. This radical rethinking of early womens literary history has major implications for all scholars working on medieval literature, on ideas of authorship, and on women's writing in later periods.

  • Watt D. (2003) Amoral Gower. Language, Sex, and Politics. Mineapolis / London : University of Minnesota Press 38

    Abstract

    “Moral Gower” he was called by friend and sometime rival Geoffrey Chaucer, and his “Confessio Amantis” has been viewed as an uncomplicated analysis of the universe, combining erotic narratives with ethical guidance and political commentary. Diane Watt offers the first sustained reading of John Gower’s “Confessio” to argue that this early vernacular text offers no real solutions to the ethical problems it raises—and in fact actively encourages perverse readings. Drawing on a combination of queer and feminist theory, ethical criticism, and psychoanalytic, historicist, and textual criticism, Watt focuses on the language, sex, and politics in Gower’s writing. How, she asks, is Gower’s “Confessio” related to contemporary controversies over vernacular translation and debates about language politics? How is Gower’s treatment of rhetoric and language gendered and sexualized, and what bearing does this have on the ethical and political structure of the text? What is the relationship between the erotic, ethical, and political sections of “Confessio Amantis”? Watt demonstrates that Gower engaged in the sort of critical thinking more commonly associated with Chaucer and William Langland at the same time that she contributes to modern debates about the ethics of criticism.

  • Watt D. (1997) Secretaries of God.. Suffolk : D.S. Brewer

Journal articles

  • Watt D. (2016) 'A Fragmentary Archive: Migratory Feelings in Early Anglo-Saxon Women’s Letters'. Journal of Homosexuality,
  • Watt D. (2016) 'Small Consolation: Goscelin of Saint-Bertin's Liber confortatorius and Pearl'. Chaucer Review: a journal of medieval studies and literary criticism, 51 (1), pp. 31-48.

    Abstract

    Goscelin of Saint-Bertin wrote the Liber confortatorius for Eve of Wilton sometime shortly after 1080, following Eve’s decision to leave England and become a recluse in Angers. It takes the form of an extended letter ostensibly offering guidance to the recluse in her new spiritual life. The Liber confortatorius is significant because it is the earliest surviving guide for a female recluse in the English literary tradition. Other famous later examples of such works include Ælred of Rievaulx’s De institutione inclusarum, and the Middle English Ancrene Wisse. Yet Goscelin’s text is very different from these later examples, not least because, despite its form and avowed intention, its emphasis is far less on giving advice and on regulating the conduct of the recluse than on describing the author’s sense of abandonment and loss. As a book of consolation, it seems to be directed more to the needs of the author-narrator than to those of the reader, whether Eve or any other recluse or individual seeking spiritual comfort. In this respect, I suggest that the Liber confortatorius is closer to the Middle-English poem Pearl than to other later anchoritic works. Within the Liber, Goscelin develops to its fullest extent the metaphor of the recluse as dead to the world, a metaphor which was to become a commonplace in later anchoritic literature. Even though she is still alive at the time of writing, Eve, as Goscelin conjures her, resembles a spirit reanimated, who, from the afterlife brings to the bereaved writer consolation, and perhaps some spiritual guidance. The Liber thus seems to anticipate Pearl, in which the dreamer encounters the spirit of one he has lost, and indeed there are rather striking similarities between the two texts, both of which focus on the ambiguous, troubling, relationship between an adult man stricken by grief, and an idealized and virginal girl or young woman. Yet, thinking through fully the connections between the Liber confortatorius and Pearl, forces to confront the differences between the two texts.

  • Watt D, McAvoy EH. (2016) 'Women's Literary Culture and Late Medieval English Writing'. Penn State University Press The Chaucer Review, 51 (1) Article number 1 , pp. 3-10.
  • Mahn C, Watt D. (2014) 'Relighting the Fire: Visualizing the Lesbian in Contemporary India'. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Journal of Lesbian Studies, 18 (3), pp. 223-236.

    Abstract

    This article revisits the controversy surrounding Deepa Mehta’s Fire (1996), India’s first publicly-released film depicting female same-sex desire. The film has become a touchstone for discussions of the representation of queer and LGBT lives in India. While the majority of critical accounts of the film have rejected the use of “lesbian” on the basis of its Anglo-American specificity, this article seeks to recast lesbians at the heart of Fire by filtering them through the lens of transnational protest, and by offering a close reading of the film’s own play on religious and cultural symbolism. Viewed almost two decades after its release, in the light of the Delhi rape case of December 2012 and subsequent events, including the upholding of a law criminalizing gay sex in November 2013, the film now more than ever seems to offer a fantasy of the future, rather than a viable reality in the present day. Within Fire, the circumnavigation of heteronormative power and desire is certainly queer, but the film's labelling as “lesbian” subsequent to its release in India opened up an important public forum for a debate about female desire and independence that continues to resonate today. This article does not attempt to offer a conclusive argument about the use of the term “lesbian” to label the relationship between women that is depicted within the film, but it does examine the way in which the film itself visualizes desire between women, and in particular the use of Hindu narratives, imagery and motifs. The film’s interpellation into lesbian politics is facilitated by the strong emphasis on a female-centred desire that is not defined by motherhood, that cannot be contained, and that demands to be seen.

  • Watt D. (2013) 'The Earliest Women's Writing? Anglo-Saxon Literary Cultures and Communities'. Taylor & Francis Women's Writing, 20 (4), pp. 537-554.

    Abstract

    Who were the first women writers in the English literary tradition? This question continues to preoccupy feminist scholars in the twenty-first century, but very few would look back to the centuries before the Norman invasions in order to find the answer. Focusing on the religious houses of Ely and Whitby in the seventh and early eighth centuries this article reviews some of the surviving evidence of the first monastic women’s writing. Looking for traces of early texts by women, it re-examines the lives of the Abbesses Æthelthryth of Ely and Hild of Whitby found in the fourth book of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, alongside the account of Hild found in the Old English Martyrology, and, more speculatively, it reconsiders the case for women’s involvement in the production of the anonymous first Life of Gregory the Great. This article argues that texts by women were ‘overwritten’ by the earliest male monastic writers, a process reinforced by later scholarship. By focusing on texts associated with religious houses ruled by women, and by seeing them as the productions not of individuals but of communities, it is possible to get a fuller and more balanced understanding of women’s writing in this earliest period of English literary history.

  • Watt D. (2012) 'Lost Books: Abbess Hildelith and the Literary Culture of Barking Abbey.'. Department of English, University of English Philological Quarterly, 91 (1), pp. 1-22.

    Abstract

    This article explores the literary culture of Barking Abbey, a vital centre of Anglo-Saxon learning, when it was under the rule of its second abbess, Hildelith, in the late seventh and early eighth century. Particular attention is given to the intersection of lived practice at Barking and the literary record, focusing on three pieces of evidence: Bede’s account of the early history of Barking in his Ecclesiastical History, written in 731; Aldhelm’s De Virginitate (c.675-680), which was written for Hildelith and her fellow nuns; and a letter written by Boniface around 716 in which he relates the vision of the monk of Much Wenlock. Taken together, the three texts reveal that, under the rule of the academically-minded Abbess Hildelith, Barking Abbey was at the centre of a vibrant network of textual exchange between the abbess and nuns and prominent churchmen and other religious communities.

  • Watt D. (2010) 'Why men still aren't enough'. Duke University Press GLQ: a journal of lesbian and gay studies, 16 (3), pp. 451-464.
  • Watt D. (2006) 'Women of God and arms: Female spirituality and political conflict, 1380-1600.'. AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW, 111, pp. 549-549.
  • Watt D. (2002) 'Oedipus, Apollonius, and Richard II: Sex and Politics in Book 8 of John Gower’s Confessio Amantis'. Studies in the Age of Chaucer, 24, pp. 181-208.
  • Watt D. (2001) 'Sins of Omission: Transgressive Genders, Subversive Sexualities, and Confessional Silences in John Gower’s Confessio Amantis'. Maney Publishing Exemplaria: a journal of theory in medieval and Renaissance studies, 13 (2), pp. 529-551.
  • Watt D. (1999) 'A Note on John Dering’s Tract de Duplice Spiritu'. Notes and Queries: for readers and writers, collectors and librarians, 244, pp. 326-328.
  • Watt D. (1999) '‘Literary Genealogy, Virile Rhetoric and John Gower’s Confessio Amantis,’'. Philological Quarterly: devoted to scholarly investigation of the classical and modern languages and literatures, 78, pp. 387-413.
  • Watt D. (1998) 'Religion, Witchcraft and Writing: Women in the Reformation and Renaissance’'. Reformation, 3, pp. 359-369.
  • Watt D. (1998) '‘Behaving Like a Man? Incest, Lesbian Desire and Gender Play in Yde et Olive and its Adaptations’'. Duke University Press on behalf of the University of Oregon Comparative Literature, 50 (4), pp. 265-285.
  • Watt D. (1997) '‘Reconstructing the Word: The Prophecies of Elizabeth Barton,’'. Renaissance Quarterly, 50, pp. 132-159.
  • Watt D. (1996) 'The Posthumous Reputation of the Holy Maid of Kent'. Recusant History, 23, pp. 148-158.
  • Watt D. (1994) '‘Nationalism in Barbour’s Bruce,’'. Parergon, n.s. 12, pp. 89-107.

Books

  • McAvoy LH, Watt D. (2012) The History of British Women's Writing, 700-1500. Great Britain : Palgrave Macmillan 1

    Abstract

    This volume focuses on a period of literary history that is often marginalized in accounts of women’s writing in English. It argues that the picture of women’s writing in Britain in the period before 1500 is a very complex one. Britain was, then as now, multicultural and multilingual. At the same time, Britain enjoyed close links to the continent. These factors have to be taken into account in looking at the earliest women’s writing. Works in Latin and French need to be considered alongside works translated into English and/or circulated in England. Furthermore a wide range of genres of writing not normally thought of as ‘literary’ has to be examined. Equally important in considering women’s writing in this period are the dismantling of the boundaries between translation and authorship; a widening of focus to include anonymous and collaborative authorship; and a wider consideration of women’s engagement with literary production and culture.

  • Giffney N, Sauer MM, Watt D. (2011) The Lesbian Premodern. New York : Palgrave MacMillan

    Abstract

    When has using the term “lesbian” not been considered an anachronistic gesture? This question lies at the heart of this important new collection of essays. The Lesbian Premodern engages key scholars in the field of lesbian studies and queer theory in an innovative conversation in print. Transgressing traditional period boundaries The Lesbian Premodern challenges those interested primarily in contemporary lesbian theory, history and literature to pay full attention to significant and often overlooked theoretical, empirical and textual work on female same-sex desire and identity in premodern cultures. This provocative and innovative collective book offers a radical new methodology for writing lesbian history, geography, literary criticism and theory.

  • Watt D. (2007) Medieval women's writing: Works by and for Women in England, 1100-1500. Cambridge : Polity Press

    Abstract

    Medieval Women's Writing is a major new contribution to our understanding of women's writing in England, 1100-1500. The most comprehensive account to date, it includes writings in Latin and French as well as English, and works for as well as by women. Marie de France, Clemence of Barking, Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, and the Paston women are discussed alongside the Old English lives of women saints, The Life of Christina of Markyate, the St Albans Psalter, and the legends of women saints by Osbern Bokenham. Medieval Women's Writing addresses these key questions: Who were the first women authors in the English canon? What do we mean by women's writing in the Middle Ages? What do we mean by authorship? How can studying medieval writing contribute to our understanding of women's literary history? Diane Watt argues that female patrons, audiences, readers, and even subjects contributed to the production of texts and their meanings, whether written by men or women. Only an understanding of textual production as collaborative enables us to grasp fully women's engagement with literary culture. This radical rethinking of early womens literary history has major implications for all scholars working on medieval literature, on ideas of authorship, and on women's writing in later periods.

  • Watt D. (2004) The Paston women: Selected letters. Rochester : DS Brewer

    Abstract

    The Paston letters form one of only two surviving collections of fifteenth-century correspondence, in their case especially rich in letters from the women of the family. Clandestine love affairs, secret marriages, violent family rows, bickering with neighbours, battles and sieges, threats of murder and kidnapping, fears of plague: these are just some of the topics discussed in the letters of the Paston women. Diane Watt's introduction seeks to place these letters in the context of medieval women's writing and and medieval letter writing. Her interpretive essay reconstructs the lives of these women by examining what the letters reveal about women's literacy and education, life in the medieval household, religion and piety, health and medicine, and love, marriage, family relationships, and female friendships in the middle ages.

  • Watt D. (2003) Amoral Gower. Language, Sex, and Politics. Mineapolis / London : University of Minnesota Press 38

    Abstract

    “Moral Gower” he was called by friend and sometime rival Geoffrey Chaucer, and his “Confessio Amantis” has been viewed as an uncomplicated analysis of the universe, combining erotic narratives with ethical guidance and political commentary. Diane Watt offers the first sustained reading of John Gower’s “Confessio” to argue that this early vernacular text offers no real solutions to the ethical problems it raises—and in fact actively encourages perverse readings. Drawing on a combination of queer and feminist theory, ethical criticism, and psychoanalytic, historicist, and textual criticism, Watt focuses on the language, sex, and politics in Gower’s writing. How, she asks, is Gower’s “Confessio” related to contemporary controversies over vernacular translation and debates about language politics? How is Gower’s treatment of rhetoric and language gendered and sexualized, and what bearing does this have on the ethical and political structure of the text? What is the relationship between the erotic, ethical, and political sections of “Confessio Amantis”? Watt demonstrates that Gower engaged in the sort of critical thinking more commonly associated with Chaucer and William Langland at the same time that she contributes to modern debates about the ethics of criticism.

  • Jowitt C, Watt D. (2002) The arts of 17th-century science. Representations of the Natural World in European and North American Culture. Ashgate Pub Ltd

    Abstract

    Contemporary ideals of science representing disinterested and objective fields of investigation have their origins in the seventeenth century. However, 'new science' did not simply or uniformly replace earlier beliefs about the workings of the natural world, but entered into competition with them. It is this complex process of competition and negotiation concerning ways of seeing the natural world that is charted by the essays in this book. The collection traces the many overlaps between 'literary' and 'scientific' discourses as writers in this period attempted both to understand imaginatively and empirically the workings of the natural world, and shows that a discrete separation between such discourses and spheres is untenable. The collection is designed around four main themes-'Philosophy, Thought and Natural Knowledge', 'Religion, Politics and the Natural World', 'Gender, Sexuality and Scientific Thought' and 'New Worlds and New Philosophies.' Within these themes, the contributors focus on the contests between different ways of seeing and understanding the natural world in a wide range of writings from the period: in poetry and art, in political texts, in descriptions of real and imagined colonial landscapes, as well as in more obviously 'scientific' documents.

  • Watt D. (2001) Secretaries of God: Women Prophets in Late Medieval and Early Modern England. Boydell & Brewer

    Abstract

    Diane Watt sets aside the conventional hiatus between the medieval and early modern periods in her study of women's prophecy, following the female experience from medieval sainthood to radical Protestantism. The English women prophets and visionaries whose voices are recovered here all lived between the twelfth and the seventeenth centuries and claimed, through the medium of trances and eucharistic piety, to speak for God. They include Margery Kempe and the medieval visionaries, Elizabeth Barton (the Holy Maid of Kent), the Reformation martyr Anne Askew and other godly women described in John Foxe's Acts and Monuments, and Lady Eleanor Davies as an example of a woman prophet of the Civil War. The strategies women devised to be heard and read are exposed, showing that through prophecy they were often able to intervene in the religious and political discourse of the their times: the role of God's secretary gave them the opportunity to act and speak autonomously and publicly.

  • Phillips R, Watt D, Shuttleton D. (2000) De-centring sexualities. Politics and representations beyond the metropolis. London : Routlegde, Taylor & Francis

    Abstract

    This book of critical rural geography breaks new ground by drawing attention to sex and sexualities outside the metropolis. It explores sexualities and sexual experiences in a variety of rural and marginal spaces with international contributions from a wide range of disciplines. These include: literary and cultural studies, lesbian and gay studies, geography, history and law. Among the topics uncovered are: * a lesbian in rural England * sexual life in rural Wales * sexuality in rural South Africa * scandal in the American South: sex, race and politics * nature and homosexuality in literature * Derry/Londonderry as a sexual space * how 'country folk' are sexualised in popular culture.

  • Watt D. (1997) Secretaries of God.. Suffolk : D.S. Brewer
  • Watt D. (1997) Medieval women in their communities. Cardiff : University of Wales Press

    Abstract

    The lives of women in religious communities in late medieval Europe are the main focus of this volume which brings together a body of original research by historians and literary scholars and disucsses a variety of such communities in France, Germany and Wales. The perspective is also broadened to include the lives of women in relation to the local community in places as far apart as East Anglia and southern Italy.

Book chapters

  • Watt D. (2015) 'Mary the Physician: Women, Religion and Medicine in the Middle Ages'. in (ed.) Medicine, Religion and Gender in Medieval Culture Cambridge : D S Brewer Article number 1 , pp. 27-44.
  • Watt D. (2012) 'Literature in Pieces: female sanctity and the relics of early women’s writing (500-1150)'. in Lees CA (ed.) The Cambridge History of Early Medieval English Literature Cambridge University Press Article number 14
  • Watt D. (2012) 'Margery Kempe'. in McAvoy LH, Watt D (eds.) The History of British Women's Writing, 700-1500 Palgrave Mcmillan I, pp. 232-240.
  • McAvoy LH, Watt D. (2011) 'Writing a History of Women's Writing from 700 to 1500'. in McAvoy LH, Watt D (eds.) The History of British Women's Writing, 700-1500 Great Britain : Palgrave Macmillan , pp. 1-30.
  • Watt D, Lees CA. (2011) 'Age and Desire in the Old English Mary of Egypt: A Queerer Time and Place?'. in Niebrzydowski S (ed.) Middle-Aged Women in the Middle Ages Cambridge : DS Brewer Article number 6 , pp. 53-68.

    Abstract

    This article offers a reading of the Life of Mary of Egypt that addresses issues of time, age, gender and desire within this Old English saints’ life. Our concerns are not, however, limited to these themes within a specific early medieval text but they extend to the discipline of medieval literary studies more widely. Our work on this text, separately and collectively, prompts us to examine broader critical issues concerning temporality, gender, sexuality and medieval studies. We have a dual focus: we offer a rethinking of the Life of Mary of Egypt and we demonstrate how that rethinking has benefitted from our collaborative efforts to understand core questions about the field we study as scholars of Anglo-Saxon and later Medieval Studies. When were the Middle Ages? Whose Middle Ages are they? Are they the Middle Ages of Anglo-Saxonists as well? At what point do the Middle Ages of Anglo-Saxonists and Medievalists meet?

  • Watt D. (2009) 'John Gower'. in Scanlon L (ed.) The Cambridge companion to medieval English literature, 1100-1500 Cambridge : Cambridge University Press , pp. 153-164.
  • Watt D. (2008) 'St Julian of the Apocalypse'. in McAvoy LH (ed.) A companion to Julian of Norwich DS Brewer , pp. 64-74.
  • Watt D. (2006) 'Margery Kempe's Overseas Pilgrimages'. in Lees CA, Overing GR (eds.) A place to believe in Pennsylvania State Univ Pr
  • Watt D. (2004) 'Gender and Sexuality'. in Echard S (ed.) A companion to Gower Ds Brewer , pp. 197-213.
  • Watt D. (2004) 'Margery Kempe and the Prophetic Tradition'. in Arnold J, Lewis KJ (eds.) A companion to The book of Margery Kempe Ds Brewer , pp. 145-160.
  • Watt D. (2004) 'Critics, Communities and Compassionate Criticism: Learning from The Book of Margery Kempe'. in D'Arcens L, Ruys JF (eds.) Maistresse of my wit Brepols Publishers , pp. 191-210.
  • Watt D. (2002) 'Consuming Passions in Book 8 of John Gower’s Confessio Amantis'. in McAvoy LH, Walters T (eds.) Consuming narratives University Of Wales Press , pp. 28-41.
  • Watt D. (2001) 'Medieval Millenarianism and Prophecy'. in Hunt S (ed.) Christian millenarianism C. Hurst & Co. Publishers , pp. 88-97.
  • Watt D. (1997) 'Read My Lips: Clippyng and Kyssyng in the Early Sixteenth Century'. in Livia A, Hall K (eds.) Queerly phrased Oxford University Press, USA , pp. 167-177.
  • Watt D. (1996) 'The Prophet at Home: Elizabeth Barton and the Influence of Bridget of Sweden and Catherine of Siena'. in Voaden R (ed.) Prophets abroad Boydell & Brewer , pp. 161-176.
  • Watt D. (1993) '‘”No Writing for Writing’s Sake”: The Language of Service and Household Rhetoric in the Letters of the Paston Women''. in Cherewatuk K, Wiethaus U (eds.) Dear Sister Univ of Pennsylvania Pr , pp. 122-138.

Internet publications

  • Watt D. (2012) 'Margery Kempe'.. In Oxford Bibliographies in British and Irish Literature. Ed. Andrew Hadfield. New York: Oxford University Press

    Abstract

    This online annotated bibliography introduces the reader to key criticism and studies of The Book of Margery Kempe and its contexts. It offers an overview of the field, followed by a review of scholarly texts, editions, text books and translations, and anthologies. Covering religious and historical contexts, it looks at mysticism, hagiography, orthodoxy and heterodoxy, English and European contexts, and geographies of belief. It considers issues of authority, authorship and voice, and of gender and sexuality, including feminist approaches, queer readings, and studies of the body. The final sections look at Kempe's reputation and the afterlife of the Book and at fictionalizations of Kempe's life.

Page Owner: dw0019
Page Created: Thursday 9 February 2012 10:12:51 by ak0022
Last Modified: Wednesday 23 December 2015 15:52:54 by pj0010
Expiry Date: Friday 7 December 2012 10:39:51
Assembly date: Wed Jul 27 21:58:37 BST 2016
Content ID: 74080
Revision: 12
Community: 1176

Rhythmyx folder: //Sites/surrey.ac.uk/School of English and Languages/People/Complete Staff List
Content type: rx:StaffProfile