I began working as a Lecturer in Medieval Literature at the University of Surrey in October 2017, after completing my PhD at the University of Surrey earlier in the year. My doctoral studentship, awarded by the University of Surrey, supported my research on queer time and space in medieval romance and the lays. In this study I analysed Bisclavret, Lanval, Sir Orfeo, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale.
I specialise in medieval literature, queer theory, and gender theory with a particular focus on queer time, space, and identity. My publications include an article on queerness in Sir Orfeo, an article on Marie de France, alienation and Lanval, and a book chapter on orchards as queer loci in Lanval and Sir Orfeo. I am currently writing a monograph on queer time and space in medieval romance. In addition, I am working on a new project which examines female space as queer space in Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur.
Areas of specialism
University roles and responsibilities
- Admissions Tutor for Literature
My research interests include:
- Medieval Literature
- Queer Theory
- Queer Time
- Queer Space
- Medieval Women
- Medieval Culture
- Arthurian Literature
- Monsters and the Supernatural
Postgraduate research supervision
Holly Hallam (2019-) 'An Oceanic Imaginary in Twenty-First Century Science Fiction' (Co-supervisor from 2021 with Donna McCormack (Strathclyde))
Nejwa Al-Ghoraibi (2016-): 'Rewriting Arthurian Female Identity by Twentieth-Century Female Authors: Sampson, Hollick, and Miles' (Co-supervisor from 2019 with Marion Wynne Davies and Suzan Fakahani (KAU)).
Bonnie Grahame-Betts (part-time, 2019-): 'Blurring the Boundaries: Nuns, Women and Writers'. AHRC/TECHNE funded (Co-supervisor with Diane Watt and Patricia Phillippy (Kingston)).
- ELI1018 History of English Literature I
- ELI3051 The Age of Chivalry
- ELI3048 Children's Literature
- ELIM041 The Age of Chivalry
In his archaeological study of elite landscapes in the medieval period, Oliver H. Creighton (2009, 47) states that “[g]ardens were, in a sense, transformative, mediating domestic spaces – carefully managed points of interface between the household and the natural world beyond.” It is the transformative, hybrid and liminal space of the enclosed garden that I will examine in this essay. In particular, I will argue that in Marie de France’s Anglo-Norman/Old French, twelfth-century lay Lanval and the anonymous fourteenth-century Middle English Breton lay Sir Orfeo, the transformative nature of the orchard marks the space as inherently queer and creates the potential for transgressive acts and Otherworldly encounters. In Lanval, the setting of the orchard allows Marie de France to invert common conventions of medieval literature and gender politics to present an alternative gender dynamic between knight and lady. It is also the physical space in which the protagonist Lanval is directly accused of sodomy. In Sir Orfeo, the “ympe-tre” (Sir Orfeo, 70. All Middle English references are from Bliss 1966, and modern English translations from Tolkien 1975, with line numbers) in the orchard functions as a limen to the Otherworld and thus the orchard is presented as a permeable space which is open to the supernatural fairies.