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Dr Marianne O'Doherty 

Associate Professor of Late Medieval Literature and Culture

Dr Marianne O'Doherty's photo

Dr Marianne O'Doherty is an Associate Professor of Late Medieval Literature and Culture at the University of Southampton.

I studied for my BA, MA, and PhD at the University of Leeds, completing my doctoral thesis at the Institute for Medieval Studies in 2006. I have taught for the Open University and at Leeds, where I also worked for several years on the annual International Medieval Congress. I joined the University of Southampton in 2007. In 2011, I was awarded an Arts and Humanities Early Career Fellowship to complete a monograph on the representation of the Indies in the later medieval world. In September 2014 my first monograph, The Indies and the Medieval West: Thought, Report, Imagination was awarded a European Society for the Study of English prize for a First Book in the category Cultural Studies in English.



Research interests

My research interests include: medieval forms of spatial representation, with particular reference to travel writing and cartography and a side-interest in digital methodologies; contacts between the Latin West and non-Christian cultures in the late Middle Ages; medieval pilgrimage and pilgrimage accounts; medieval European literary and imaginative engagements with the wider world, in particular the Indies; reception studies; medieval books, readers, and reading. You can hear me talking about India’s most Famous mythological emperor, Prester John, on In Our Time (4 June 2015). I've also blogged about about Where Were the Middle Ages for the Public Medievalist, and about my research for the Pilgrims’Libraries Network.

At present, my research is principally focussed on medieval travel and pilgrimage texts. I am currently exploring the textual and reception history of the influential late-medieval translation of The Book of Sir John Mandeville known as the Vulgate Latin version. Forthcoming articles on this include ‘Richard Hakluyt and the ‘Vulgate Latin’ Version of Mandeville’s Travels' and ‘Imperial Fantasies:  Imagining Christian empire in three fourteenth-century versions of The Book of Sir John Mandeville’. I am also exploring the use of digital methods in the analysis of medieval geographical documents, and am a member of the Pelagios Commons community (and was a member of the Pelagios Commons Committee member 2016-17). With the Pelagios team, I have worked on using Pelagios’s Recogito platform in the analysis of medieval Jerusalem pilgrimage texts. My forthcoming article ‘Old Traditions, New Technologies: Linked Geospatial Data and Late-Medieval Jerusalem Pilgrimage Documents’ looks analytically at medieval and modern ways of linking geographical information, focussing on to Matthew Paris’s itinerary maps, Mandeville’s Travels, and Burchard of Mont Sion’s Descriptio terrae sanctae. I am a member of the Pilgrim Libraries Network, for which I am investigating the engagement with pilgrimage and pilgrimage sites in Latin manuscripts and manuscript excerpts of the Book of Sir John Mandeville. I have also written the chapter ‘Travel, Mobility, and Culture’ for the Routledge Companion to Cultural History, 1250-1500.

Projects currently in the design stage include 'In an Ideal World: Spaces of the Mind in the Medieval West', which will take an interdisciplinary approach to investigating the ways in which the Middle Ages envisioned alternative, sometimes idealizing, social spaces.  I am also co-organising with Catherine Clarke at Southampton this year's Medium Aevum/Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature day conference 'Neighbours and Strangers', in Southampton on Sat 21 October 2017.

As well as teaching and researching in English, I am an active member of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture here at Southampton.  I would be pleased to discuss potential research topics with prospective PhD students wishing to work on topics that touch on any of my research interests.


Research projects

Currently researching the text, manuscript and early printing history of the so-called Vulgate Latin version of The Book of Sir John Mandeville - the version edited by Richard Hakluyt in his Principall Navigations of 1589.

2012-13: member of the AHRC network 'Remembered Places and Invented Traditions: Thinking about the Holy Land in the Late Medieval West'.

2014: Pelagios 4: studying the places of our past through the Early Geospatial Documents that refer to them (AHRC Digital Amplifications project).

2015-2017: Pelagios Commons. Medieval Special Interest Group co-ordinator and Commons Committee member.

2016-2017: member of Leverhulme International Network ‘Pilgrim libraries: books and reading on the medieval routes to Jerusalem & Rome’.

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Book Chapters

My teaching includes the first-year modules Multimedia Old English: Song, Skin and Cyberspace and Literary Transformations; the second year modules Arthurian Worlds and the third-year module Chaucer and his World.

I contribute to the Medieval and Renaissance Culture MA modules From Medieval to Renaissance: Reading the Evidence and Medieval and Renaissance Palaeography and co-convene Jerusalem: City and Symbol.

In 2013 I won the Southampton Centre for Innovation in Technologies and Education award for best Blackboard site.

Dr Marianne O'Doherty
Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom

Room Number: 65/2005

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