29 November 2018

Universities from two cities with centuries of history have been brought together by a mutual love of medieval literature.

The first steps towards joint teaching in medieval literary studies across Lancaster University and the University of Lausanne, Switzerland – one of Lancaster’s international partners – saw discussions focused on the introduction of a Masters module in medieval literature, taught at both institutions.

The purpose of the international partnership is to explore opportunities for joint-teaching initiatives and research collaborations between the universities.

Professor Hilary Hinds, Head of English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster University, said: “We value our collaboration with Lausanne both as a focus for common research interests and for the way this feeds into cross-institutional teaching opportunities.

“These initiatives are important for the department and university, but also the collegiality and exchange of ideas are always energising and enjoyable.”

Academics from Lancaster’s Faculty of Arts and Social Science also came together to discuss new research on early Northern identity, and its connection to physical landscapes past and present, with scholars from Lausanne.

A one-day event, held at the Storey Institute in the heart of Lancaster, was organised by Dr Clare Egan and Dr Liz Oakley-Brown, from the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing, as part of the Northern Premodern Seminar Series (NPS).

The NPS is a series of events held in different locations discussing literature and culture produced between 1250 and 1700, promoting Premodern Studies in the North of England.

Among the presentations at the latest event, Professor Denis Renevey, Professor Christiania Whitehead and doctoral research fellow Hazel Blair from Lausanne discussed their research project ‘Region and Nation in Late Medieval Devotion to Northern English Saints’, which is funded by the Swiss National Research Fund.

Professor Alison Findlay, from Lancaster’s English Department,  presented her Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded research on the 17th-century play ‘Love’s Victory’; doctoral researcher Bethany Jones discussed the early-modern ‘Lancashire Lass’, Long Meg of Westminster, and Dr Ruth Nugent, of Lancaster’s History Department, presented an innovative Digital Humanities project on English saints’ shrines.