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Helen Swift

Associate Professor of Medieval French and Fellow of St Hilda's College
Photo of Helen Swift

Dr Helen Swift’s research interests straddle the late medieval and early modern periods, looking at the poetics of vernacular literature between 1330 and 1550. Having initially focused on questions of gender representation in the late medieval querelle des femmes (Gender, Writing and Performance: Men Defending Women in Late Medieval France (1440-1538) (OUP, 2008)), she now draws on this corpus, in conjunction with later fourteenth-century material, to consider broader issues of text-image relations, patronage practices, and voice. Her current monograph project examines narrative voice and identity politics in fictional writing on the theme of death: Representing the Dead: Epitaph Fictions in Late Medieval France. At Oxford, she has convened the interdisciplinary MSt in Medieval Studies (2008-2013) and presently co-convenes the MSt in Women’s Studies. She is thus delighted to be part of the steering committees of both the Medieval Studies Network and the Women and the Humanities Programmes.

Dr Helen Swift is a member of the Oxford Medieval Studies Steering Committee.

Professional activities/forthcoming events:
•    Co-convenor of the workshop ‘Teaching and Researching Medieval French in the UK’, supported by the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages
•    Co-director of the interdisciplinary research network:  ‘Voices in Medieval French Narrative (12th C. to 15th C.)’, funded by the British Academy: http://www.mod-langs.ox.ac.uk/narrative-voices  
•    Participant in the interdisciplinary digital research project: ‘Machaut in the Book’, Stanford University/University of Virginia: http://web.stanford.edu/group/dmstech/cgi-bin/drupal/node/19
•    Participant in the interdisciplinary research network: ‘Text/Image Relations in Late Medieval French Culture’, University of Leeds: https://textimagerelations.wordpress.com
•    Vice-President, Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature: http://mediumaevum.modhist.ox.ac.uk