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Merryn Everitt

I am a third-year PhD student in the French Department of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Warwick, working with Dr. Emma Campbell and Professor Linda Paterson. My thesis is on 'Travelling Saints and Religious Travellers in 12th to 14th Century Francophone and Occitan Literature', and my PhD is funded by an AHRC studentship.

Before coming to Warwick, I finished a BA in Modern and Medieval Languages: French and Spanish at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, where I also completed an MPhil in European Literature and Culture.

My Research

My thesis, 'Travelling Saints and Religious Travellers in 12th to 14th Century Francophone and Occitan Literature', examines characters in medieval Francophone and Occitan literary texts who travel for religious purposes, such as the pilgrim, the hermit, and the crusader. I combine close reading with the use of critical theory, particularly postcolonial thought, translation theory, and historical writing. I explore how translation and travel combine in my corpus to construct sanctity, to mediate the divine, and to enable the characters, audiences, texts, and manuscripts to participate in networks of literary exchange.

My research is original for its analysis of the intersections of travel and translation in this context. In the texts I consider, travel and translation are both themes and practices, which gesture towards the divine and contribute to an imbrication of lay and religious identities, often in a colonial context.

I build on previous work by outstanding scholars on the intersections and overlaps between sacred and profane texts and cultures by attempting a sustained comparison of ‘religious’ and ‘lay’ texts, in an attempt to move beyond binary categorization. I also read works that were popular in the Middle Ages, but which are sometimes overlooked today, such as the thirteenth-century Estoires d'Outremer et de la naissance Salehadin.

I have further interests in psychoanalytic and queer theory, which I have used in my research to date to address the topics of madness and the death drive in martyr hagiography, and the formation of chivalric identity in the lais of Marie de France.

In addition, during 2013-2014 I worked as a postgraduate Research Assistant on the AHRC-funded project 'Medieval Francophone Literary Culture Outside France', a collaboration between King's College London (KCL), University College London (UCL), and the University of Cambridge. I worked with manuscripts of the Prose Lancelot, writing codicological descriptions for the project database. Also during 2014, my essay entitled 'Metamorphosis and conversion: love and shifting identities in medieval French courtly and hagiographic literature' was shortlisted for the R. H. Gapper Postgraduate Essay Prize by The Society for French Studies.

At Warwick, I am a co-organiser and assistant for the Medieval Seminar Series, and a member of the Medieval Reading Group, for which I prepared group materials on the Anglo-Norman Vie de Barlaam et Josaphat, and the Prose Lancelot. I play the harp for the Medieval Song at Warwick group, a student-led project linked to Professor Linda Paterson's AHRC-funded research project - Lyric Responses to the Crusades.

Review Articles

Megan Moore, Exchanges in Exoticism: Cross-Cultural Marriage and the Making of the Mediterranean in Old French Romance, 'Letters in Canada 2014', a special edition of the University of Toronto Quarterly (Issue 85.2, Spring 2016) - forthcoming.

Les Versions en prose du Purgatoire de saint Patrice en ancien français, ed. by Martina Di Febo, Medium Aevum, 83:2 (2014), 363

Paul Bretel, Littérature et édification au Moyen Âge: ‘Mult est diverse ma matyre’, Medium Aevum, 83:1 (2014), 152-53

Rethinking Medieval Translation: Ethics, Politics, Theory, ed. by Emma Campbell and Robert Mills, Medium Aevum, 82:2 (2013), 367

Caroline Prud'Homme, Le Discours sur le voyage chez les écrivains de la fin du Moyen Âge, Medium Aevum, 82:2 (2013), 347-48


ADEFFI (Association des études françaises et francophones d'Irlande) 15th Annual Conference, 'Histoire(s)', 18th - 20th October 2013, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Republic of Ireland. Paper entitled 'Hidden Hells and Histoires in the Twelfth-Century Espurgatoire seint Patriz'.

Borders and Crossings/Seuils et traverses Conference, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, 22nd - 23rd July 2013. Paper entitled 'Crossing Cultural and Linguistic Borders in a Twelfth-Century Pilgrimage Narrative'.

Society for French Studies Postgraduate Conference, 'Intercultural Encounters', 11th May 2013, IGRS, University of London. Paper entitled '"Jo vus metrai en compaignie | un prodom e bon latimer" (vv. 1956-57): Intercultural Encounters in Marie de France's L'Espurgatoire seint Patriz'.

Co-organiser of the Warwick University Postgraduate French Conference (open to Warwick University and Réseau-F Research Network Members), 'Space and Place', 22nd February 2013, Wolfson Research Exchange, University of Warwick. Guest speaker Dr Elizabeth Jones, University of Leicester. Gave a paper entitled 'Travelling between the Sacred and the Secular: Movement, Place, and Morality in Guigemar and Le Voyage de saint Brendan'.


FR1011 Grammar and Translation, 2013-14.

FR410 The Transformation of Bodies and Identities in Medieval French Literature, 2015-16 (I am contributing to the teaching of two sessions of this module run by Dr Emma Campbell).

FR118 Strategies for Reading French Texts, 2016.


BA, MPhil (Cambridge)


M dot F dot G dot Everitt at warwick dot ac dot uk

Humanities Building,

University Road,

University of Warwick,


CV4 7AL.