Dr Joanna Bellis

Dr Joanna Bellis, MA (Cantab), MPhil, PhD. Bye-Fellow.


It is my great pleasure to teach undergraduates in Queens’ and other colleges for Part I Paper 3 (English Literature and its Contexts, 1300-1550), Practical Criticism, Part II optional medieval papers (Chaucer/Medieval Supernatural) and dissertations.


I’m particularly interested in medieval and early modern historical writing, particularly the ways that historiographers positioned themselves as authors, borrowing and analysing the forms of literary/chivalric/fictional writing, and thought about the ethical and political implications of the craft of ‘writing history’. My first book (The Hundred Years War in Literature, 1337-1600, Cambridge: Brewer, 2016) followed the snowballing legend of that conflict from its contemporary narrators to its sixteenth-century afterlife, and representation on the Tudor stage. That led me to the discovery of the remarkable and little-known eyewitness poem, John Page’s The Siege of Rouen, which I edited for Middle English Texts (Heidelberg: Winter, 2015). It is a complex and ambitious text, which ponders the often-conflicting demands of patriotism, compassion, writing for the king, and writing war poetry. Working on this text led to my next project, a book about eyewitness writing itself as a sub-genre of historiography, and the particular ways eyewitness authors configured (or announced, or disguised, or occluded) their authorship. With Laura Slater (Oxford), I co-edited Representing War and Violence, 1250-1600 (Cambridge: Brewer, 2016), which brings together the perspectives of historians, literary critics and art historians. Currently I’m part of a team working on a new complete edition of Chaucer, and in the very long term I daydream about a collaborative, digital edition of the Middle English prose Brut chronicle. For more details of past and current projects, see http://www.joannabellis.com/.


In the English Faculty, I contribute to teaching for Part I Paper 2 (English Literature and its Contexts, 1066-1350).

01223 338730
  • Bye-Fellow