Medieval and Early Modern English Studies in Europe

UNIL principal investigator

Prof. Rory Critten, Faculty of Arts

UNIPD principal investigator

Prof. Alessandra Petrina, DISLL


PhD workshop


This PhD workshop is proposed as the continuation of an activity already envisaged for the fall 2022. It affords an opportunity for junior scholars (graduate students, doctoral students) from the universities of Lausanne and Padua to receive feedback from peers and more senior scholars on their work-in-progress. In this workshop, we mean to address the problems and opportunities facing scholars in English Studies who conduct their work outside the major Anglophone centres of learning in the UK, the US, and Canada. It is mainly addressed to young scholars in the areas of Medieval and Renaissance Literature, areas of research which are coming under threat in universities and research centres worldwide. The workshop organizers and invited keynote speaker will seek to encourage discussion of the ways in which participants’ experiences beyond the Anglosphere—for example, as native speakers of French, Italian, or another language besides English—might enrich their scholarship on medieval and early modern English topics. The discussion will touch upon practical problems (publishing, dissemination) as well as questions which are more purely research-centred and theory-based.


Following on the November 2022 project, and drawing on experimental practice that has been undertaken between scholars in the Universities of Lausanne and Padua over the last few years, we envisage hosting a two-day doctoral and early-career workshop in Padua. The workshop in intended for junior scholars who are graduate or doctoral students, or, exceptionally, post-doctoral students at the universities of Lausanne or Padua. Following established practice, eight presenters will each give a 20-minute paper showcasing their work-in-progress; ample time will be left for group discussion of their papers (the workshop is constructed with a one-hour slot for each participants, so there can be twenty minutes for the presentation and forty minutes for the discussion). There will also be a keynote presentation from a renowned scholar of medieval and/or early modern English working within Europe, who will also act as first and main respondent to the young scholars' presentations. In order to facilitate networking, we plan to host a series of social events for a total of thirteen participants (8 speakers, 4 organizers/respondents, and 1 keynote speaker): an opening apéro, two lunches, and a dinner.

Potential for follow-up activities

This should be the second workshop of this kind, after that one that is already programmed in Lausanne for November 2022, and continues the series of annual workshops / exchanges between the universities of Lausanne and Padua, following a series of informal meetings that have taken place over the last few years. We therefore propose to make this, if possible, a regular feature of our activity, having then another meeting in Lausanne in the fall of 2024. If funding permits, this workshop might be opened to researchers and young scholars from other English departments in Switzerland, France, Germany, and Italy. Profs. Coronato, Critten, Petrina, and Renevey have extensive contacts across these regions and have previously been involved in projects connecting scholars of medieval and early modern English across Europe (e.g. Studientag zum englischen Mittelalter, Lausanne-Warwick-Padua-Budapest Research Day in Medieval Studies, IASEMS Young Scholars’ Workshop, AIA Young Scholars’ Workshop).

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