Research projects

CMS faculty are involved with the following major projects (most of which are also based at the Centre):

Archaeologies of the Norman Conquest

Archaeologies of the Norman Conquest

Archaeologies of the Norman Conquest is an AHRC-funded network project organized by the University of York (lead organization), the University of Exeter, and Norwich Castle Museum.  The project will make a defined and measurable contribution to British heritage and culture by illuminating the material dimensions of the Norman Conquest and its aftermath -- one of the most significant eras in the nation's cultural and political development, and the most iconic event of medieval British history. The project launched last June and runs until 31/10/2018 with total funding of £23,401.  Lead academic: Dr Aleksandra McClain


Centre for Medieval Literature

The Centre for Medieval Literature (CML) was established in 2012, funded by a grant of DKK 36 million (approx. £4.1 million) from the Danish National Research Foundation for 6 years in the first instance. In 2016, was funded for 4 more years, with a further DKK 24 million (approx. £2.9 million). The CML works to establish theoretical models for the study of medieval literature on a European scale, set within wider Eurasian and Mediterranean contexts, from c. 500 CE to c. 1500 CE. Its research is interdisciplinary and multilingual, combining literary study with history, history of art, history of science, and other disciplines.

The CML, founded in 2012, is a Centre of Excellence based at both the University of Southern Denmark and the University of York. It seeks to establish a cross-disciplinary theoretical  framework for the study of medieval literature on a European scale.

 The CML is located at the University of Southern Denmark (Odense) and at the University of York and is led by Prof. Lars Boje Mortensen (Centre leader, SDU), Prof. Elizabeth Tyler (York), and Prof. MSO Christian Høgel (SDU), along with Dr George Younge (York) and Dr Réka Forrai (SDU). We founded and publish: Interfaces: A Journal of Medieval European Literatures. There are additional participants from York and Odense and a wide network of European and North American scholars.  

Our interdisciplinary and multilingual approach to the study of medieval literature has been shaped by Tyler’s long experience of teaching and research in the Centre for Medieval Studies and the Department of English and Related Literature at York. The work of the CML now feeds back into new ‘global’ approaches to Medieval Studies and Medieval Literatures at York.

 Further information on the CML programme and activities can be found here:

Co-director: Prof. Elizabeth Tyler.


CitiGen: Identity, Citizenship and Nationhood in the Post-Genome Era

Prof. Sarah Rees Jones is the York Co-PI on this project, alongside Hannes Schroeder (University of Copenhagen), Daniel Bradley (Trinity College Dublin) and Gilsi Palsson (University of Iceland). The project runs from 2016 to 2019 and is funded by the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA). It is exploring the ways in which the humanities disciplines can approach the findings and implications of modern genomic research and contribute to debates about ancestry, migration, identity and rights in contemporary Europe.  Dr Bart Lambert and Dr Stefania Merlo Perring were the RAs in History and based in CMS. Bart Lambert has focused on continuing to develop more contextual detail for our understanding of the subsections of the migrant population including craft-workers and women. Stefania Merlo Perring is working on a project with the Museum of London exploring how they might tell the stories of medieval immigration using their collections in material culture. Funded by HERA with a grant of £327,168.

the Inquisition Records of Languedoc 1235-1244

The genesis of Inquisition procedures and the truth claims of Inquisition records: the Inquisition Records of Languedoc 1235-1244

This project is funded by a grant of £802,825 from the AHRC, and runs from May 2014 to April 2019. The research team consists of Prof. Peter Biller, Dr Lucy Sackville, and Dr Shelagh Sneddon. The project focuses on four mainly unedited inquisition registers that were produced during the earliest years of inquisition in Languedoc, 1235-44, producing an edition and English translation of these, together with technical apparatus. The two essential aims of the project are to elucidate the development of inquisition procedures in its earliest decade, and to ask questions about how those procedures shaped the information collected.

The Northern Way

‌The Northern Way

‌‌Prof. Sarah Rees Jones is Principal Investigator on this project, leading a research team of medieval historians and archivists from the University and The National Archives (UK) in translating the Archbishops' Registers of York, and indexing them to make their contents digitally available to all for free. The project is supported by just under £1m of funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The project will explore registers recording the business of the archbishops of York between 1304 and 1405. Before coming into the University’s care, the 16 heavy volumes of the Archbishops' Registers had endured a perilous existence and have not been extensively studied. In the Middle Ages they were carried by the Archbishop’s officials on his travels; after the English Civil War they found their way to storage in London, only being restored to the Diocesan Registry in York Minster in the late eighteenth century. Parts of some registers have been published, but often untranslated from the original Latin. 

The project, called ‘The Northern Way’ will run for 33 months in partnership with The National Archives (UK) and with the support of the Chapter of York Minster. The team will also generate a programme of lectures, publications and joint research with local history groups and postgraduate students. Once indexed, the material from the registers will be linked via the York’s Archishops’ Registers Revealed platform to ecclesiastical records at The National Archives, the British Library and York Minster to provide a complete picture of the role of the northern archbishops in national affairs.

The Project will run from 1/02/19 - 31/12/21.

You can see more information on The Northern Way webpage.



The Register of Walter de Gray, Archbishop of York (1215–55)

The Register of Walter de Gray, Archbishop of York (1215–55)

This project examines one of England’s greatest administrators and is producing a full critical edition of his register. Walter de Gray, Archbishop of York, was at the forefront of two pivotal movements of his era: the birth of institutional record-keeping and the European-wide mission to transform pastoral care. The P.I., Dr Sethina Watson (History) has been working with Dr Jurkowski, who has been transcribing the register and identifying de Gray’s other written act.  The introduction and follow-on article will explore de Gray’s government across the North, his wider record-making and reforms, as well as his role in the development of a new form of record (the bishop’s register). The project is funded by a grant of £152,339 from the Leverhulme Trust and runs from September 2016 to February 2019.