Postcards from the Archives

Women's Literary Culture Before the Conquest

What’s in a Name?

Finding a name for my forthcoming book was not easy. Many books about English literature, history, religion and culture in the period between 450 and 1066 have the term ‘Anglo-Saxon’ prominently in the title. But the term ‘Anglo-Saxon’ is fraught for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it is a term that has been […]


Forthcoming Event: Crisis, Gender and the Politics of Time in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, November 5-6, 2019

In the last two decades queer, gender and feminist studies have enabled scholars to better understand the multiplicity of temporal experiences and discourses of time as well as the entanglements between the temporal and the social in the pre-modern period. Far from being a disembodied concept, time is quintessentially associated with contingent social practices and […]


Forthcoming event. Speaking Internationally: Women’s Literary Culture and the Canon in the Global Middle Ages

I will be presenting a paper entitled ‘Before Margery: The Book of Margery Kempe and its Antecedents’ at the Speaking Internationally conference at Bangor University on 27 June, in a session entitled Margery Kempe and the Wider World (sponsored by the Margery Kempe Society). Abstract The Book of Margery Kempe is often positioned at the beginning of the English tradition […]


Anon Was a Woman? The Earliest Life of Gregory the Great in St Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 567.

St Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 567, p.75. CC BY-NC. by Diane Watt, University of Surrey   One of the challenges of writing a history of women’s literary culture is that of the anonymous text. Virginia Woolf famously speculated in A Room of One’s Own (1929) that ‘Anon…was often a woman’ (p.38) and in the succeeding decades feminist […]


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