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Dr Megan Leitch BA Hons (Br.Col.), MPhil, PhD (Cambridge)

Dr Megan Leitch

BA Hons (Br.Col.), MPhil, PhD (Cambridge)

Senior Lecturer

School of English, Communication and Philosophy

Email:
leitchm@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 0406
Location:
2.18, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Available for postgraduate supervision

My research is focussed in the area of Medieval English Literature. Please see my publications, teaching and research pages for more information.

I am currently supervising PhD students working on medieval Arthurian literature, crusading interests in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century English prose romances, and medieval English queens on the early modern stage. I welcome applications from potential postgraduate students planning research in these areas or in the other areas listed under my research interests. Informal enquiries are always welcome.

Career Overview

  • August 2016 - present: Senior Lecturer in English Literature, Cardiff University
  • September 2012 - July 2016: Lecturer in English Literature, Cardiff University

Education and Qualifications

  • 2012: PhD, University of Cambridge
  • 2009: MPhil, University of Cambridge
  • 2008: BA (Hons), University of British Columbia

Honours and awards

  • Cardiff University Research Leave Fellowship, 2018-19
  • Visiting Research Fellow, St Catherine's College, University of Oxford, 2015

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy
  • New Chaucer Society
  • International Arthurian Society, British Branch
  • Canadian Society of Medievalists

Academic positions

  • August 2016 - present: Senior Lecturer in English Literature, Cardiff University
  • September 2012 - July 2016: Lecturer in English Literature, Cardiff University

Speaking engagements

Invited addresses include:

Swansea University, MEMO Symposium by the Sea, June 2018 (keynote): ‘Drowsy Knights and Dreamers: The Ethics and Affect of Sleep from Chaucer to Shakespeare’

University of Cambridge, English Faculty Medieval Seminar, May 2018: ‘“grete luste to slepe”: Sleeping through it all in Middle English Romance, Drama, and Dream Visions’

Oxford Medieval Society, termly visiting speaker event, February 2018: ‘Fighting for Mordred in the Fifteenth Century: Insular Identities and the Geopolitics of Literary Treason’

London Old and Middle English Research Seminar (LOMERS), November 2015: ‘“grete luste to slepe”: Sleep and its Spaces in the Pre-modern Imagination’

University of Cambridge, Magdalene Medievalists Seminar, June 2015: ‘Chaucer, Hypertextuality, and the Memory of Middle English Popular Romance’

University of Oxford, Medieval Seminar, October 2014: ‘Drowsy Knights and Dreamers: The Ethics and Affect of Sleep from Chaucer to Malory’

Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, Conference on Representing War and Violence in the Pre-Modern World, September 2013: ‘”For treason walketh wonder wyde”: civil strife and pragmatism in the literature of the Wars of the Roses, c.1437-c.1497’

Durham University, Department of English Seminar, March 2013: ‘Sleep and Romance from Chaucer to Shakespeare’

University of Bristol, Centre for Medieval Studies Seminar, October 2012: ‘”For treason walketh wonder wyde”: Treason, Truth, and Pragmatism in the Literature of the Wars of the Roses, c.1437-c.1497’

Committees and reviewing

Co-Director, Cardiff Centre for Medieval Studies

External Committees

Committee Member, International Arthurian Society, British Branch, 2012-2016

Associate Editor, Arthurian Literature (Boydell and Brewer), 2010-2012

2019

  • Leitch, M. G. and Rushton, C. J. eds. 2019. A New Companion to Malory.. Arthurian Studies. Cambridge, UK: D. S. Brewer.
  • Leitch, M. G. 2019. Malory in literary context. In: Leitch, M. G. and Rushton, C. J. eds. A New Companion to Malory.. Arthurian Studies Cambridge, UK: D. S. Brewer
  • Leitch, M. and Bellis, J. 2019. Chivalric literature. In: Companion to Chivalry.. Boydell Press

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2012

2011

2010

At Cardiff I teach a range of undergraduate and MA modules on medieval literature. These include:

  • ˜Transgressive Bodies in Medieval Literature (Year One)
  • ˜Chaucer's Gender Politics: Chivalry, Sex and Subversion in The Canterbury Tales (Year Two)
  • ˜Medieval Romance: Monsters and Magic™ (Year Three)
  • ˜Heroes and Villains from Chaucer to Shakespeare™ (MA)

Research interests

  • Medieval romance
  • Medieval Arthurian Literature
  • Chaucer and the Gawain-poet
  • Malory's Morte Darthur, the Wars of the Roses, and fifteenth-century English Literature
  • translation of Old and Middle French Literature into Middle English
  • periodisation and continuities between medieval and early modern English Literature
  • treason, sleep, ethics, and emotions in medieval English culture
  • dream visions
  • medical humanities

I am currently supervising PhD students working on medieval Arthurian literature, crusading interests in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century English prose romances, and medieval English queens on the early modern stage. I welcome applications from potential postgraduate students planning research in these areas or in the other areas listed under my research interests above. Informal enquiries are always welcome.

My monograph, Romancing Treason:  The Literature of the Wars of the Roses (Oxford University Press, January  2015), analyzes texts from a variety of genres alongside contemporary social  and political discourses in order to demonstrate that this literary culture is  broader and richer than has previously been recognized. While the mid-to-late  fifteenth century often goes unaddressed by both medievalists and early  modernists, seen as a blip or rupture between the highs of Chaucer (and his  immediate successors) and the developments of Tudor writers, my book examines  the central role of treason in Malory'™s Morte Darthur (written in 1469;  printed by Caxton in 1485) and in understudied contemporary texts such as the  prose Siege of Thebes and Siege of Troy and the romances Caxton himself translated.

Drawing upon theories of political discourse and  interpellation, of the power of language to shape social identities, my book explores the ways in which, in this textual culture, treason is both a source  of anxieties about community and identity, and a way of responding to those  concerns. I argue that this literature offers instruction by both negative and  positive reinforcement, with the former -“ the mode of paraenesis or  admonition -“ attaining a distinctive primacy. Prose romances play a central  role in this ethical discourse, but the concentrated yet contested ways in  which treason is discussed in attainders, petitions, political poems,  chronicles, and correspondence, as well as in literary texts, point us to a key  word and concept of the time. By paying heed to the concerns convened by treason,  my book establishes some characteristics for the space between Lancastrian and  Tudor literary culture, articulating the idea of a literature of the Wars of  the Roses.

In addition to Arthurian Literature and the fifteenth century, I also have a strong  research interest in Chaucer: I have published on Chaucer'™s poetics and tropes  of gendered authorial anxiety in The Chaucer Review; I am also returning  to Chaucer as part of my new book project. Entitled Sleep and Its Spaces from Chaucer to Shakespeare, this study will address the affective, erotic, ethical, ideological, political, and visionary issues raised by sleep from the  twelfth century to the early seventeenth, with a particular focus on literature  of the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. This study of sleep's vital implications for how premodern people thought of and fashioned themselves, individually and collectively, seeks to elucidate a mode of reading and  moulding bodily performance that can enhance our understanding of many works of  medieval and early modern literature, and of the continuities between them. My research will also question the distinctions we can (or should) make between  literature and medical tracts, conduct books, and sermons - between imagination  and practice.

I am currently supervising PhD students working on medieval Arthurian literature, crusading interests in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century English prose romances, and medieval English queens on the early modern stage. I welcome applications from potential postgraduate students planning research in these areas or in the other areas listed under my research interests. Informal enquiries are always welcome.

Current supervision

David Mason

Research student

Elisabeth Jones

Research student

Past projects

(Supervisor)  Dr Martha Baldon (awarded 2018): 'The Logic of the Grail in Old French and Middle English Arthurian Romance' (AHRC funded)

(Supervisor; 50%)  Dr Victoria Shirley (awarded 2018): 'The Galfridian Tradition(s) in England, Scotland, and Wales: Texts, Purpose, Context, 1138-1530' (AHRC funded)

Areas of expertise