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Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership - Student Profiles



I completed a BA in English (First), for which I was awarded the Mary Altham Prize for English, and then an MPhil in Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Distinction) at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. My MPhil dissertation explored the variously-configured relationships between supernatural visitation and dream-states in three vernacular poems - Sir Orfeo, Thomas of Erceldoune, and The Testament of Cresseid - considered alongside the tradition of 'dream-vision' poetry in the later Middle Ages.

Now a PhD student at Wolfson College, I am investigating the applications of recurring narrative motifs and structures in the context of supernatural visitation narratives and representations of the otherworldly. I am particularly interested in the ongoing development and reimagining of conventional narrative tropes, and the ways in which tales of supernatural encounters demonstrate generic overlap between the traditions of romance and chronicle / curiosity literature.

Other academic interests:


Pagan mythology reimagined in Christian contexts

British pseudo-history

Bestiaries, monsters and marvels

Alliterative verse

Chivalry and monasticism

Afterlives and revenants; Memento Mori literature


Department: English
Supervisor: Dr James Wade
College: Wolfson College
AHRC subject area: English Language and Literature
Title of thesis: Distinctions of Kind and Place: Liminal Encounters and the Visitation Motif in Medieval English Literature (Provisional)
 Joel  Lipson