Universität Bonn

English Medieval Studies

The Book of Margery Kempe
The Book of Margery Kempe, Add. MS 61823, f.001r © Courtesy of the British Library Board

English Medieval Studies at the University of Bonn

Why study medieval English languages and literature? Our students gain a deeper understanding of the roots and development of the English language,  as well as discovering valuable insights into the literary, social, and cultural landscapes that continue to shape our present. Our team's specialisms span the entire medieval period (700-1500): our research encompasses poetry and prose, religious and secular texts, and manuscript studies. We work on topics such the roles of women, translation, medievalism, and ideas of perfection, identity, fame, education, and humour.

English Medieval Studies invites students to learn about the languages, literatures and cultures of England and beyond from 700 to 1500. We offer:

  • Introductions to Old and Middle English 
  • History of the English Language
  • Seminars on Old and Middle English texts in the original, such as “Reading Chaucer” and “Old English Riddles”
  • Topic courses taught in translation, such as "Women’s Writing in Medieval England" and “Trying to Be Perfect in the Middle Ages”
  • Seminars on medievalism and modern adaptations of medieval texts, such as “Old English Poetry (Then and Now)” and “Beowulf and its Afterlives"

Our courses introduce students to the craft of close reading and to relevant cultural and historical contexts. We teach English literature with a comparative approach, showing how it engages with works in Latin and other languages. Higher level seminars include relevant theoretical and secondary works. 


  Prof. Irina Dumitrescu

  Contact: idumitre@uni-bonn.de

  Address: 2. Etage, R. 2.017, Rabinstraße 8,      53111 Bonn

  Office Hours: Prof. Dumitrescu is on leave       in the summer semester 2024. Office              hours are by appointment.


  Nicola Dischert

  Contact: dischert@uni-bonn.de

  Address: 2. Etage, R. 2.02, Rabinstraß 8, 53111 Bonn


Information about our academic and professional staff.


Looking for information on our BA and MA programmes? Click here!


Click here to discover our past and present research projects.


Find out more about our  upcoming and past events here!

Workshop: Remembering Women and Marginal Figures from the Past
Fachbibliothek ...
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Join Prof. Ruby Lal (Emory University), Prof. Julia Hillner (Bonn Üniversitat), and Dr Emma Kalb (Bonn Üniversitat) as they discuss the theoretical, ...
Writing Workshop with Dr Laura Varnam
Meeting Room 2.025, ...
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Are you interested in creative writing and adaptation? Do you have a passion for medieval studies? If so, don’t miss this opportunity to take part in a ...
Who Gets Remembered from History? A Conversation
Seminarraum 8, Rabinstr. ...
05:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Oblivion and erasure are themes at the core of Ruby Lal’s work as an historian. She has explored not only what happened in the past, and why certain figures do ...
Medievalism and Poetry Writing: A Conversation
Rabinstr. 8
06:30 PM - 07:30 PM
Dr Laura Varnam (University of Oxford) will be in conversation with Prof. Dumitrescu about the process of writing medieval-inspired poetry. All are welcome to ...
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