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Henrike Lähnemann

MA, PhD (Bamberg)


  • Henrike Lähnemann’s Inaugural Lecture, entitled 'The Materiality of Medieval Manuscripts’, took place on 21 January 2016 in the Taylor Institution Lecture Theatre. You can now watch it online
  • Funding success for German Medieval Studies: Henrike will be PI on a Gerda Henkel Stiftung sponsored project to edit the late medieval letters from Lüne Abbey. Additional funding from the European Network ‘Communities of Devotion’ will allow the collaboration with several German colleagues to kick off at a workshop in St Edmund Hall on 4-6 February 2016.
  • Reformation Trail receives go-ahead by TORCH: the plan to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the publication of Luther’s 95 Theses has been given a boost through Knowledge Exchange Funding for a project to stage Reformation music in Northern Germany and Oxford.


I grew up in three medieval German towns that shaped my interest in medieval literature and religion: Münster, Lüneburg and Nürnberg. I then studied Germanistik, History of Art and Theology in Bamberg, Edinburgh, Berlin and Göttingen. My PhD explored the late medieval literary network of Nürnberg. I followed my Doktorvater Professor Christoph Huber to the University of Tübingen where from 1995 to 2006 I taught a variety of courses on medieval German language and literature ranging from Advanced Gothic to Early Print Culture. During that time I gained a Venia Legendi (the right to lecture) in German Philology for my book on the history of the Book of Judith in the Middle Ages and edited an 11th century bilingual commentary on the Song of Songs by Williram of Ebersberg.

During these years I spent a year at Oxford on a Humboldt foundation scholarship working with Professor Nigel F. Palmer (2001/2) and held a Visiting Professorship in manuscript studies at the University of Zürich centred around (2005). In 2006, I came to the UK as Chair of German Studies at Newcastle University where my current research projects started, centred on the religious landscape of the 15/16th centuries in the Lüneburg area, particularly the manuscripts produced by the nuns there. Working there also afforded the opportunity to start shared projects with British German medievalists and the wider field of Modern Languages, e.g. as Chair of Women in German Studies (WIGS).

Research Interests

I am eager to supervise students in the wider area of medieval German literature with a special focus on manuscript studies, the intersection of visual and textual culture and Latin-German bilingual writing. Since one of my interests is in Digital Humanities, I am in the process of developing a new website for my current research project on the Medingen Manuscripts, now hosted by St Edmund Hall. Additonally, my personal website, my staff page and my twitter account give some insights into my interests and projects.

News Archive

  • During July and August 2015, Henrike Lähnemann held a Senior Research Fellowship at the FRIAS (Freiburg Research Institute of Advanced Studies), financed by the Volkswagen Research Foundation. This is part of a long-standing collaboration between medieval studies in Oxford and Freiburg which will see her work for the next ten years in close collaboration with colleagues and institutions in Freiburg. Her next stay at the FRIAS will be in July and August 2016 where she will also offer palaeography training for Graduate Students on the MARS programme (Medieval And Renaissance Studies).
  • Henrike has been appointed as Director of Impact for the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages. Anybody interested in discussing how to make research more visible and how to build up pathways towards impact, is welcome to her drop-in sessions, every Friday during term time in her office at 41 Wellington Square.
  • The fully-funded D.Phil Studentship in Medieval German has been awarded to Jennifer Bunselmeier, MA Erlangen. Jennifer comes to us from the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel where she worked on a project of editing the letters of Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt, a major figure in the German Reformation. She joined the Hall in September 2015, and she is supervised by Henrike. Find out more about Jennifer and her research.