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Aisling Byrne

I teach medieval literature in the Department of English Literature and my primary research interest is the literature of medieval England. I have published on the transmission and translation of medieval romance, on writers such as Gerald of Wales and Thomas Malory, and on themes such as marvels, feasting, chivalry, and territorial politics. I am also interested in multilingualism, medieval geographies, and the history of the book.

My monograph, Otherworlds: Fantasy and History in Medieval Literature, was published in 2015 by Oxford University Press.

Areas of interest

Much of my work seeks to situate writing from medieval England within a broader insular context. I am co-convenor of the Crossing Borders in the Insular Middle Ages project. The project's conference series brings together international scholars to discuss cultural connections across the medieval insular world - Britain, Iceland and Ireland.

 

Teaching

I currently convene or teach undergraduate modules on Old English Literature, Chaucer and Medieval Narrative, Medieval Romance and Medieval Otherworld Descriptions.

I also supply teaching for the interdisciplinary MA in Medieval Studies run by the Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies (GCMS) at Reading and teach medieval options for the MA in English.

I also look at how modern authors, like Tolkien, took inspiration from medieval texts.

Background

I studied at University College, Dublin (BA) and at the University of Cambridge (MPhil, PhD). Before coming to Reading, I spent four years working at the University of Oxford as Fitzjames Research Fellow in Old and Middle English at Merton College.

Publications

  • Byrne, A. (2017) The evolution of the critical canon. In: Tether, L. and McFadyen, J. , (eds.) Handbook of Arthurian Romance: King Arthur’s Court in Medieval European Literature. De Gruyter Reference De Gruyter , Berlin. pp. 43-58. ISBN: 9783110440614