// Project Team

Principal Investigator

Professor John Thompson
(School of English, Queen’s University Belfast)

John Thompson is Professor of English Textual Cultures at Queen’s with established research interests in the sociology of medieval literature, textuality and modern criticism, and the reception history of the pre-modern and early modern book in Britain and Ireland . In addition to a stream of articles and chapters on these topics, he is the author of Robert Thornton and the London Thornton Manuscript (1987); The Middle English Cursor Mundi: Poem, Texts and Contexts (1998) and has co-edited The Court and Cultural Diversity (1997) and Imagining the Book (2006). He serves on the advisory board of the Journal of the Early Book Society. Prior to directing the Geographies of Orthodoxy project, John was director of the AHRB-funded Imagining History project at Queen’s.


Dr Ian Johnson
(School of English, University of St. Andrews)

Ian Johnson is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of St Andrews. He is the co-editor, with Alastair Minnis, of The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: Volume II, The Middle Ages (Cambridge, 2005) and is completing a book on medieval literary theory and Lives of Christ, entitled Sovereign Textuality: Academic Discourse, Translation and the Middle English Life of Christ. He has also written on female saints’ lives, gendered authority and medieval holy women, Boethius (especially the renderings of De consolatione philosophiae by John Walton and Geoffrey Chaucer), vernacular theology, medieval literary theory and translation. He is General Editor of the international scholarly journal Forum for Modern Language Studies, published by Oxford University Press, accessible at http://fmls.oxfordjournals.org/

Dr Stephen Kelly
(School of English, Queen’s University Belfast)

Stephen is a lecturer in English at Queen’s and his interests span late medieval religious cultural practices, including literary, theological and philosophical writings, visual and material culture, and performance, as well as contemporary historiography, philosophical hermeneutics, and anthropological theory. He has co-edited, with John Thompson, Imagining the Book (Brepols 2005) and, with David Johnston, Betwixt and Between: place and cultural translation (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007) and has published essays and articles on book history, historiography, religious literature, and cultural theory.

Post-doctoral Research Fellows

Dr Ryan Perry

MA, PhD Queen’s University Belfast

Ryan’s research interests centre on the axis between literary criticism and codicological analysis. Through the application of new critical approaches to manuscript study and by borrowing from disciplines such as anthropology, Ryan’s research focusses on texts within their synchronic material contexts; that is, within the books produced, patronised and read by medieval consumers. Ryan’s first monograph, The Material Text: a study of Middle English Manuscript Cultures 1380-1440, will appear in 2010 (Brepols). Ryan has also published articles and chapters on medieval textual culture.

Dr Allan F. Westphall

MA Arhus University, Denmark; MA Queen’s University Belfast; PhD Arhus University

Research interests include medieval religious cultures, Middle English devotional writing, especially mystical writing, performance and affective forms of devotion, devotional lyric poetry, Lollardy and heresy, and, more broadly, medieval theology and intellectual history.

My recently examined PhD thesis is entitled “Models of Orthodoxy in Selected Middle English Pastoral Treatises” and in it I examine a number of Middle English pastoral texts to consider how what is commonly termed “orthodoxy” is encoded in such writing. While “orthodoxy” is a term difficult to exclude from discourse, it most often obscures what is interesting. In my work I explore diverse and often conflicting articulations of orthodoxy, as well as grey areas between orthodoxy and heterodoxy. I concentrate on such aspects to avoid positioning so-called orthodox texts as merely the stable ideological backdrop against which more challenging and polemical writing can be explored. My work so far focuses especially on Walter Hilton, Nicholas Love, and the idiosyncratic English theological writings of Reginald Pecock.

Project Doctoral Student

David Falls

Supervisors: Dr Stephen Kelly and Professor John Thompson

David’s thesis will excavate the origins of the iconography of the Passion in late medieval visual and textual cultures and ask how the standardization of representational traditions contributes to the emergence of "orthodox" models of Christocentric devotion.