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Jenni Nuttall

BA, MSt, DPhil Oxf, MA East Ang
English Language and Literature


I have been College Lecturer in English at St Edmund Hall since 2006.  I am also a Fellow by Special Election.  Before teaching at the Hall, I was a Junior Research Fellow at Merton College.


Early Medieval Literature (Old English and Early Medieval English Literature)
English Literature from 1350 to 1550 (Late Medieval and Early Tudor Literature)
Prelims Paper 1 Section A (Approaches to Language)


My research spans literature from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries written both in Middle English and Middle Scots, centring on how poets and their audiences understood the formal and linguistic licences of poetry. I am also interested in multilingualism and translation, particularly how poetic forms, techniques, terminology and diction cross what at first glance might seem to be boundaries of language or nation.

No Middle English or Middle Scots poet wrote an art of poetry (i.e. a treatise describing the forms and versification of poetry in English and Scots), yet some of this poetry is among the most formally complex in the English language. The book which I am currently completing, Middle English and Middle Scots Poetics, imagines what such an art of poetry might have said, if one had been written. My research reconstructs the full surviving lexicon of pre-Renaissance technical terms for poetry, as well as exploring how this terminology coevolves with the technical terms of Latin and French poetics.  This book also rediscovers this poetry’s technē in moments of conspicuous formal experiment and elaboration. I explore form as a technology in action in chapters on medieval verse-drama and on poems which switch from one verse-form to another mid-text.

I blog about my research at stylisticienne.com, where you can find a work-in-progress glossary of Middle English/Scots poetic terms.  I tweet about my research and teaching on Twitter – you can follow me @Stylisticienne

I'm also writing a chapter on thirteenth-century scribal poetics for a new book on MS Digby 86, as well as contributing an essay to a forthcoming collection on Charles of Orleans's English poetry.

I translate medieval poetry into Modern English in my spare time, and have recently published an e-book translation of James I of Scotland's Kingis Quair.

In 2012 I published a reader’s guide to Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde (the set commentary text for Finals) with Cambridge University Press.  I am particularly interested in helping students learn how to close-read Middle English poetry and have created a ‘Poetics Primer’ for undergraduates and school pupils on my website.  In November 2015 I won an Oxford Teaching Excellence Award for my teaching of Troilus and Criseyde both in seminars and via posts on my blog.

I am a member of the Editorial Board of The English Review, Philip Allan's magazine for sixth-formers studying English Literature at A-level.

Recent Publications:

'Patronage', in A New Companion to Chaucer, ed. Peter Brown, second edition (forthcoming)

'Lydgate and the Lenvoy', special issue of Exemplaria, ed. Andrea Denny-Brown (forthcoming)

'"many a lay and many a thing": Chaucer's Technical Terms', in Chaucer and the Subversion of Form, ed. Thomas Prendergast and Jessica Rosenfeld (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)

'Margaret of Anjou as Patron of English Verse?: The Liber Proverbiorum and the Romans of Parthenay', Review of English Studies, 67 (2016), 636-59

'The Vanishing English Virelai: French Complainte in English in the Fifteenth Century', Medium Aevum 85.1 (2016), 59-76

‘Thomas Hoccleve's Poems for Henry V: Anti-Occasional Verse and Ecclesiastical Reform’ for Oxford Handbooks Online (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Troilus and Criseyde: A Reader’s Guide (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012)

The Creation of Lancastrian Kingship: Literature, Language and Politics in Late Medieval England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)