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Medieval & Early Modern

Meet our staffResearch expertise in medieval and early modern Europe covers issues of female authority and subversion, religion, monarchism and urban and economic history.

Academics carry out inter-disciplinary research on areas such as the changing institutional, material and spatial contexts of religious life, theology and liturgical thinking, textual and artistic representations, the rise of early modern kingship, the plague and its control, and environmental regulation. They cover regions as diverse as Scotland, Northern England, Spain, France, Ireland and Byzantium.

Other research projects analyse medieval and early modern texts, textiles and other cultural products, examining their appropriations across time and space. The Newcastle Coal Trade and the history of the Tyne are two of the projects sponsored by the group. The group has links with the University of Lerida in Spain. The group has links to two funded international networks: ‘Court and Convent’ based jointly at Pompeu Fabra and Complutense Universities and ‘La literatura hagiográfica catalana entre el manuscrito u la imprenta’ (Referencia:FFI2013-43927-P) at the University of Alicante

The group is also linked to the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, where Lesley Twomey is Visiting Fellow (2016-17).

In 2015 it hosted the first joint Durham –Northumbria Medieval and Golden Age Colloquium with international speakers from the University of Toulouse, Texas Tech University, and Modena University (Italy). In 2015 it hosted the Late Medieval and Early Modern Urban History Symposium, funded by the Royal History Society. On 21 November 2015 It held the first Worlds and Networks of Higher Learning: Modes of Interaction between Universities , Academies and Schools1400-1750. This was a British Academy funded workshop.

In 2016, funding was received from the Spanish Embassy to support the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland annual conference, held at Northumbria, 4-6 April 2016. The programme included three full days’ medieval and Golden Age sessions with a Spanish focus. The keynote speakers were Professor Connie Scarborough (Texas Tech University) and Professor María Cristina Quintero (Bryn Mawr College). The conference was also supported by Majestic Wine and Santander Bank.

In 2017, the Second Medieval and Golden Age Colloquium will be held at Durham University in partnership with Northumbria University.

The group has engaged in a number of outreach and impact activities including a public talk held in Newcastle Cathedral, 10 July 2015 when Professor Terence O’Reilly spoke about El Greco in talk arranged for Cathedral staff and members of the public. Members of the group (Lesley Twomey, Anja Goeing and Sandra Elliott participated in the ‘Being Human Festival’, leading a medieval Town Walk, fully booked. The walk ended at Blackfriars restaurant for a glass of mulled apple juice.

A public event Saints in Glass was held on 14 January 2016. The event was organized by Lesley Twomey with involvement from Anja Goeing, Sandra Elliot, Andrew Beresford [Durham] and Sarah Buxton, together with artist practitioner, Inge Paneels, and Victorian architectural historian, Michael Johnson.

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