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Mary Garrison



AB (Harvard-Radcliffe College), MA, PhD (Cantab)

Mary Garrison is an early medieval historian in the Department of History.



Mary Garrison's research interests range across the literary and cultural history of early Medieval Europe, with Alcuin of York often at the centre. Her publications include innovative articles on Alcuin, Carolingian court culture, letters, literacy, and communication, early medieval ideology, the contribution of Insular scholars to Carolingian Europe, Medieval Latin literature (epistolography, poetry, rhetoric, liturgy, consolation literature and the reception of the classics) and manuscript studies. The rhetoric of frank speech (parrhesia) is a current focus. Before coming to York she worked for three years at the University of Utrecht. Forthcoming publications include Alcuin's World through his Letters and Verse (Cambridge) and a co-edited volume on Latin and the Vernaculars in the Early Medieval West.


Her PhD students (including interdisciplinary doctorates co-supervised through the CMS) have worked on:

  • Concepts of the Self in Old English
  • Kinship in the Viking Diaspora
  • Perceptions of Viking Violence
  • Names for God in Old English
  • Carolingian Concepts of the Inner Self
  • The Symbolic Life of Birds in Anglo-Saxon England
  • Early Medieval Rhaetia
  • The Vitae of Saint Agnes in England
  • Boniface and his Mission

She welcomes enquires from students interested in any aspect of early medieval insular or continental cultural history and is always eager to encourage those interested in Medieval Latin



An example of modules taught:



An example of modules taught:

  • HIS00066M The Uses of Writing in the 'Dark Ages' from Late Antiquity to the Age of Charlemagne & Beyond

External activities


Mary Garrison is a member of the advisory board of the Oxford Boethius Commentary Project. She is also part of an international team of collaborators on the Martianus Capella gloss project run by Mariken Teuuwen at the Huygens Institute in the Hague.

Media coverage

Mary Garrison also has a strong commitment to communicating the excitement of early medieval cultural history to a broader audience.

Contact details

Dr Mary Garrison
Vanbrugh College V/215
Department of History
University of York
YO10 5DD

Student hours

Student Hours