Professor Louise Wilkinson, Medieval History

Prof. Wilkinson’s research focuses on women, politics and aristocratic culture in late medieval England. She also has a particular interest in medieval Lincolnshire and its records, since her doctorate and her first book examined the lives of women at different social levels in this county during the thirteenth century, including Lady Nicholaa de la Haye (d. 1230), Lincoln’s castellan and sheriff. She is a long-standing member of the Lincoln Record Society. Prof. Wilkinson was a co-investigator of ‘The Magna Carta Project’ ( in 2012-15, and before that of ‘Between Magna Carta and the Parliamentary State: The Fine Rolls of King Henry III, 1216-72’ (, two research projects funded by the AHRC and involving academics from UEA, the British Library, King’s College London, Oxford University and The National Archives. She was involved in the regional, national and international celebrations to mark the 800th anniversaries of Magna Carta in 2015 and the Battle of Lincoln in 2017, authoring teaching resources for schools and assisting with museum exhibitions for the former, delivering public lectures, working with the media (e.g. Radio 4’s ‘In Our Time’ episode on the Battle of Lincoln), and helping to establish the Canterbury Annual Medieval Pageant and Family Trail.

Before coming to Lincoln, she was Professor of Medieval History at Canterbury Christ Church University and, prior to that, worked as a research fellow on the Calendar of Patent Rolls (Elizabeth I) Project, based at Reading University and The National Archives.  Prof. Wilkinson has published widely on medieval women and thirteenth-century life. She is joint general editor of the Pipe Roll Society, and joint series editor of Routledge’s Lives of Royal Women Series, which aims to feature academic, yet accessible biographies of royal women from all periods, cultures and geographic regions. For more information about her research, teaching and other roles click here.


Dr Graham Barrett, Senior Lecturer Medieval History

I am Senior Lecturer in Late Antiquity, joining the School of History and Heritage in 2016. My field of research is the archaeology of Latin literacy in the Iberian Peninsula and western Europe more generally over the longue durée – not how much there may have been, but why there was any at all, and how it operated in practice; the written record of the past as a product of the society and culture which we as historians use it to describe. Working with the full range of surviving evidence, I chart continuities and changes in the contexts in which Latin was deployed as the defining element of the Roman legacy to the early medieval West. I am happy to supervise undergraduate and graduate dissertations in any of these fields. Before coming to the University of Lincoln, I was a Junior Research Fellow in Medieval History at St John’s College, Oxford, from 2012 to 2016, during which time I developed my interest in texts and the materiality of transmission. From 2011 to 2012 I was also a Royal Historical Society Centenary Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, and a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of History, King’s College London. I completed my DPhil in History, ‘The Written and the World in Early Medieval Iberia’, at Balliol College, Oxford, in 2015, under the supervision of Professor Chris Wickham; and my MSt in Medieval History, ‘Everyday Literacy in Visigothic Spain’, at Balliol in 2008. Before moving to the UK from Canada, I earned a BA (Hons) in History and Latin at Victoria College, University of Toronto, in 2007.

At Lincoln I teach Classical and medieval Latin and Roman, late antique, and medieval history at the undergraduate and graduate levels; I also teach medieval palaeography, diplomatic, and codicology at the graduate level. From 2018 I am Joint Programme Leader of our new BA (Hons) in Classical Studies.

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Dr Mark Gardiner, Reader in Heritage

Mark Gardiner is a Reader in Heritage in the College of Arts. Mark Gardiner undertook research on the social and economic factors in the development of the late medieval historical landscape of eastern Sussex for his PhD at University College London. In 1984 he moved across the road to work at the Field Archaeology Unit at the Institute of Archaeology, excavating a series of sites in the south-east of England. These included the Franciscan friary at Lewes, the late medieval church at Broomhill and an early Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Highdown. He subsequently became the Deputy Director of the Field Archaeology Unit, then renamed Archaeology South-East. In 1996 he left the Institute to become a Lecturer, and later Senior Lecturer, in Medieval Archaeology at Queen’s University Belfast. He undertook excavation at the port of Ardglass and began work in the North Atlantic, excavating in Shetland and Norway. He has worked with Dr Natascha Mehler on a series of survey projects, including the mostly recently, the Harbours of the North Atlantic. That project has included survey in Greenland, Iceland, the Faeroes and Norway. He has served as President of the Society for Medieval Archaeology, President of the Medieval Settlement Research Group and Editor of Archaeological Journal. He was appointed as the British representative of the European settlement body, Ruralia, in 2004 and is currently Vice President. He is on the editorial boards of Vernacular Architecture and the Journal of the North Atlantic. He was appointed Reader at the University of Lincoln in 2017. He continues to work on historical landscapes and particularly land-use in the uplands, on trade and exchange in the North Atlantic and on medieval buildings. He is responsible for leading and developing Lincoln Conservation.

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Dr Antonella Liuzzo Scorpo, Senior Lecturer Medieval History

I am a Senior Lecturer in Medieval History in the School of History and Heritage at the University of Lincoln. I specialise in the cultural history of the medieval Western Mediterranean, with a particular focus on the Iberian Peninsula. My main areas of research include the History of Emotions, the study of medieval social communication and cultural networks, along with interfaith collaborations and political agreements. I completed my first degree in European Languages and Cultures at the University of Catania (Italy), before undertaking my doctoral research in Medieval Iberian Studies at the University of Exeter (UK), where I also worked as a Teaching Fellow. I worked as a Lecturer in Medieval History at Queen Mary, University of London, before joining the School of History and Heritage at the University of Lincoln in 2013. My first monograph, Friendship in Medieval Iberia: Historical, Legal and Literary Perspectives, was published by Ashgate in 2014. I worked on the idea and representation of power in Medieval Castile and León between the eleventh and the thirteenth centuries, as a member of an international research project led by the University of Salamanca (Spain). More recently, along with my research on ego-documents and ‘emotional memory’, I have been invited to join the Leverhulme-funded international research network ‘New Interpretations of the Angevin World’ (

I am currently working on a new project on Emotions, Communication and Diplomacy in Medieval Iberia (with special attention devoted to the Crown of Aragon), which combines historical and literary methodologies to examine the instrumental adoption of emotional discourses across and beyond geopolitical, religious, linguistic and ethnic frontiers.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and in June 2018 I was elected co-President of the Society for the Medieval Mediterranean ( for which I have been working as a Treasurer since 2013 and I also co-organized its 4th International Conference in July 2015. In 2018 I was awarded a Visiting Fellowship at the Research Centre for Humanities, Institución Milá y Fontanals of Barcelona, which is part of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).

I am the Open Days Coordinator and Digital Leader for the School of History at the University of Lincoln, and I am particularly interested in developing e-learning projects aimed at enhancing our students’ learning experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

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Dr Robert Portass, Senior Lecturer Medieval History 

I am a Senior Lecturer in Medieval History in the School of History and Heritage.  I specialise in the social and economic history of medieval Europe from 500 to 1200, with a particular focus on the Iberian Peninsula, which I situate in my teaching and research within the broader context of the Eurasian world. I came to Lincoln in 2014 from the University of Oxford, where I conjointly held a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship and a JRF at St Hilda’s College from 2011 to 2014.  My training was conducted at the University of Oxford (MA and DPhil) and the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, where I completed a two-year Masters-level training course with distinction (all instruction in Spanish or Galician).  I retain active research contacts throughout Iberia, including at the Instituto de Estudios Medievais in Lisbon (where I am a Visiting Research Associate) and the Universidad de León. My first monograph, a study of the emergence of a small but dynamic land market in early medieval northern Spain and its transformative effects on peasant society, was published in the Royal Historical Society’s prize series Studies in History (Boydell and Brewer) in 2017.  I am currently working on two further projects: the first is a commissioned monograph for Palgrave Macmillan’s Studies in Economic History series, due late 2019, on the economic history of Christian and Muslim Iberia from approximately 700 to 1250; the second is a study of estate management in tenth-century Spain that looks to set my findings within the context of late Roman-style estate management practice. Major forthcoming publications include ‘Early Medieval Spain, 800-1100: the Christian Kingdoms and al-Andalus’, in S. Mossman (ed.), Debating the Middle Ages, Vol. I (Manchester University Press, 2018 [19,000 words]). I have been elected to a Visiting Fellowship at King’s College, Cambridge, for the academic year 2017-18 and I shall be on research leave in Semester B.

Since January 2015 I have been Programme Leader for the MA in Medieval Studies and I am responsible for all administrative and organisational duties related to the programme.  I also teach various modules on the programme, including: Research Methods; Medieval Palaeography and Diplomatic (mostly Visigothic and Carolingian scripts); Medieval Iberia: People, Power and Place; North by Northwest: Comparative Approaches to Northwestern Europe, 750-1000.

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Dr Michele Vescovi, Senior Lecturer Medieval Art History 

Michele joins the University of Lincoln after a three-year lectureship at the University of York. His research focuses on the transmission of cultures, visual translations and the creation of identities in the exchanges between East and West, North and South during the Middle Ages, with a particular emphasis on the eleventh and the twelfth century. An important part of his activity concerns eleventh-century architecture: with the discovery of the previously unpublished church of Sant’Uldarico in Parma, he showed the wide range of cultural connections and exchanges between Northern Italy and the Holy Roman Empire, in the transmission of knowledge, technology and models. In his first monograph, ‘Monferrato’ Medievale: Crocevia di Culture e Sperimentazioni, he analysed the disparity between the geography of art as shaped by the art-historical scholarship and the cultural reality of a medieval diocese, open, as it was, to a wide range of connections and exchanges, and the ways in which institutional and personal networks sustained and justified the transmission of images and models across the Alps and the Mediterranean.

Michele is currently working on two major projects. The Contested Body, funded by The British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant, investigates the multi-layered meaning of the presence of holy bodies, and the ways in which architecture organically showed this presence, making materially visible what was, at the time, invisible. For this project, Michele draws on a wide corpus of structures, built between the ninth and the thirteenth century, from the northern lands of the Holy Roman Empire to the shores of the Mediterranean. In the second project, Michele is working on the connections between liturgy and monumental sculpture in the twelfth century, examining not only the extent to which liturgical readings informed and shaped complex and extended portal programmes, but also the ways monumental images were activated and amplified during liturgical performances.

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Dr Renee Ward, Senior Lecturer Medieval English Literature

My research has two main branches: medieval and post-medieval. Much of my research on the medieval period concerns the literature and culture of the high to late Middle Ages, with particular emphases on monsters; the romance genre and its cultural contexts; and relationships between English and Continental narratives. My published works to date on medieval romance explore embodiments of liminality and their connections to violence, and investigate how medieval authors use these representations to challenge or reinstate social hegemonies. These interests likewise inform my current book project, The Werewolf in Medieval Romance (under contract with Palgrave Macmillan) and my research on medieval outlaw figures. My interests in post-medieval literature focus on representations of the Middle Ages in children’s and young adult literature. I have published widely on the medievalism of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, and a large portion of my current research recovers the works of Victorian children’s writer Eleanora Louisa Hervey, including two proto-feminist retellings of the medieval Griselda story and a heavily Christianized adaptation of the Old English poem Beowulf. I am also heavily interested in post-medieval Arthuriana, and recently, with Miriam Edlich-Muth (Univeristy of Düsseldorf) and Victoria Coldham-Fussell (Victoria University of Wellington, NZ), have embarked upon a new project for the Routledge Worlds Series, The Arthurian World. In August 2018, I also became Co-Editor of The Year’s Work in Medievalism, a peer-reviewed, open-access journal associated with the International Society for the Study of Medievalism.

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Dr Jamie Wood, Principal Lecturer Late Antiquity/Early Medieval History

I am a Principal Lecturer in History in the School of History and Heritage and School Director of Learning and Teaching. I specialise in the social and cultural history of the late antique and early Medieval Mediterranean, particularly Spain. I’ve worked on history-writing, identity, education, cultural memory, and violence in this period and am currently developing a project on the role of violence in education from 100-700 CE. I’d be interested in supervising PhD, MA and undergraduate dissertations in any of these areas. In October 2011 I finished a Leverhulme Early Career Postdoctoral Fellowship entitled ‘Cultivating Conflict in Late Roman Spain’ in Religions and Theology at the University of Manchester and then taught there for 18 months. I have also lectured in History, Classics and Ancient History, and Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the Universities of Sheffield, Warwick and Liverpool. I became a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and from January-June 2014 I was a visiting lecturer at Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz. I have also researched at the Universities of Salamanca, Santander and Granada in Spain. In May 2015 I became a visiting fellow of the John Rylands Research Institute, at the University of Manchester, working on a project entitled “To be the neighbour of San Pedro: Divine Judgement in tenth century northern Spain”.   In terms of teaching, I’m particularly interested in the role of active, inquiry-based and online pedagogies in higher education. From 2007-2009 I worked as an educational developer at the Centre for Inquiry-based learning in the Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield. I am Fellow and Academic Associate of the Higher Education Academy.I am School Director of Learning and Teaching.

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