Skip to main content

Liam Lewis


Since completing my BA in English and French, and my MA by Research in French Studies at Warwick, I am now a Wolfson Scholar in the School of Modern Languages and the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies.

From September 2018 I am taking up a position as lecteur at The University of Paris La Sorbonne.


My MA project 'Engaging Animals: The Question of Human Identity in Philippe de Thaon's Bestiaire' focused on the divide between the human and the animal in the medieval bestiary tradition, specifically in twelfth and thirteenth century French and English bestiaries, such as the Bestiaire by Philippe de Thaon and the anonymous Middle English Physiologus. I am particularly interested in theoretically oriented approaches to research in this area.

My current work explores the themes of animal sound, noise, and language in medieval literature, including glossaries and treatises, bestiaries, hagiography and fables. I am currently writing articles on Walter of Bibbesworth's Tretiz and vernacular Lives of St Francis of Assisi. My work challenges some theoretical assumptions in contemporary Animal Studies by focusing on how language is used to construct and challenge a distinction between humans and animals in the Middle Ages. In broader terms, I am also interested in ecotheory, Gender Studies, Sound Studies, and Translation Studies.

Research projects

'Chaucer in Iceland: A Study of the Impact of Scandinavian Identity on Contemporary Medieval Studies': £1000 project funded by the Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning, Warwick University

'The Lion in Yvain and the Medieval French Bestiary': £1000 project funded by the Undergraduate Research Support Scheme, Warwick University

'Translating Cultures of the Past': Further details about this Warwick Monash Alliance funded video project are available on the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance website.


Medieval Seminar Series: I am currently a co-organiser and assistant of the Medieval Seminar Series (HRC) at Warwick University. I am also a webmaster for Medievalists at Warwick and run the programme's social media.

Medieval Reading Group: I am an active member of the Medieval Reading Group, and will be have organised a group session on fables and/or lyrics in the academic year 2015-2016.

Medieval Song at Warwick: I run the student-led music programme in partnership with Emerita Professor Linda Paterson as part of her AHRC funded project 'Lyric Responses to the Crusades'. The Medieval Song at Warwick group will be performing at a number of events this academic year (2014-15), including a short lunchtime concert for the 'Hearing the Voice, Hearing the Soul' symposium on Friday 5 June, and the Warwick Student Arts Festival (WSAF) on Monday 22 June, at 6pm in the Warwick Arts Centre's Ensemble Room. The group will be singing a selection of Crusade songs, medieval French secular songs, and the Occitan Lai Nompar.

In March 2016 I gave a guest lecture for IATL's 'Human/Animal Relations' module entitled 'Animals in History: Reading the Bestiary'. I am happy to discuss this lecture further with interested students.

I also received the 2015 Warwick OSCA award for outstanding student contribution.

Runnerup of the French Studies R. Gapper Postgraduate Essay Prize, 2017.


'Quacktrap: Glosses and Multilingual Animal Contact in the Tretiz by Walter of Bibbesworth' in Words in the Middle Ages (Breopls, forthcoming)

Review: Sarah Kay, Animal Skins and the Reading Self in Medieval Latin and French Bestiaries, French Studies, 71, 1 (2018)

Review: Jameson S. Workman, Chaucer and the Death of the Political Animal, Studies in the Age of Chaucer, 38 (2017)

Review: Paul Webster, King John and Religion, The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 64.4 (September 2016)

Review: Miranda Griffin, Transforming Tales: Rewriting Metamorphosis in Medieval French Literature, French Studies 70.3 (July 2016)

Upcoming Conferences


Co-organiser of the seminar session 'Translating the Nonhuman' ('Language Contacts' thread) at the New Chaucer Society Congress, July 10-15, Toronto.

Conferences & Papers


New Chaucer Society'Quacking and Trapping: Mastering the Sounds of Birds in Bibbesworth's Tretiz'


Co-organiser of the postgraduate conference: 'Bodies in Flux: Rewriting the Body in Medieval Art, Literature, and Culture, 1100-1450', funded by the Warwick Humanities Research Centre (May 2017)

Guest speaker at the Cambridge French Medieval Seminar, 'Speaking Animals in Walter of Bibbesworth's Tretiz' (May 4, 2017)


Research Day in Medieval English Studies, Padua, Italy (October 28, 2016)

'Medieval Natures' colloquium at The University of the South, Tennessee (US), 1-2 April 2016. Paper title: 'Sense-sational Animals: Fatal Attraction and the Death-Drive in Tyolet and Philippe de Thaon's Bestiaire'

New Chaucer Society: Host and panel co-organiser for panel ‘(Dis)abling the human/animal body’ on ‘Corporealities’, London (July 2016).

New Chaucer Society: Anchoritic Spirituality, 'Stones of the Heart: Love, Sex, and Mineral Transformation', London (July 2016)

International Medieval Congress, Leeds: Session organiser and chair for roundtable ‘New Directions in Medieval Animal Studies’ (July 2016)

Co-organiser of postgraduate research day in Medieval Studies: ‘Medieval Material Matters’, funded by Warwick Humanities Research Centre, and the Society for French Studies (July 2016)

'Hunting and Violence in Philippe de Thaon's Bestiaire', International Courtly Literature Society (British Branch), Warwick University: Reassessing Courtliness in Medieval Literature

Liam Lewis


l dot g dot lewis at warwick dot ac dot uk

School of Modern Languages Humanities Building, University Road, University of Warwick Coventry, CV4 7AL

For my CV, see here.

medieval song crusades poster