Committee Alumni

Emily Rozier: Whilst reading for a BA in English Literature and Philosophy at the University of Birmingham Emily was bitten by the medieval bug and has been obsessed with everything pre-modern ever since.  She completed an MPhil in Medieval Studies in 2008 and is currently undertaking doctoral research in the English Department at Birmingham under the supervision of Professor Wendy Scase.  Her thesis is on ‘the Galaunt tradition in England: the form and function of a late medieval satirical youth figure’ and should be finished (she hopes) in 2012.  Emily is a regular on the medieval studies conference circuit and has presented at (amongst others) Borderlines, the Leeds IMC, the Kalamazoo ICMS and the NCS Congress in Siena.

Emily was one of the Birmingham postgraduates to found EMREM in 2010 and served on the committee until the end of the academic year 2011/12. She was also the postgraduate representative and EMREM liaison for CeSMA (Centre for the Study of the Middle Ages).

Mike Rush: Mike did his undergraduate degree in History at Birmingham, and then spent a short period in the real world before returning to the University to study for an MPhil in Medieval History. That was followed by a PhD, which has now been submitted. His Masters research was on cultural transition in post-Roman and early Anglo-Saxon Norfolk. His PhD thesis expanded on this theme temporally and spatially to cover post-Roman cultural transition in Norfolk and Suffolk, and the origins of the Kingdom of the East Angles. He has presented his research at various conferences in Britain, Ireland and the USA. He has two articles that will one day be in print, with Leeds’s Bulletin of International Medieval Research and Cambridge’s Quaestio Insularis.

He was a founding member of EMREM in 2010 and served on the committee until the end of the academic year 2011/12. He is now famous for acting as EMREM’s in-house artist throughout this time.

Judith Allan: Judith completed her BA in Italian Studies, and then an MPhil entitled ‘ “Alma diva leggiadra Simonetta”: Culture and Politics in Literary Representations of Simonetta Cattaneo Vespucci’, at the University of Birmingham. She is continuing to focus on poetic portrayals of Simonetta (1453-1476), an Italian noblewoman who spent her brief married life in Florence, for her PhD. Her research aims to return the poetry written about Simonetta, now principally known as the ‘lover’ of Giuliano de’ Medici and the supposed model of Botticelli, to its original context. Why was Simonetta chosen as the focus of so much poetic attention? Why were images of Simonetta and other such women exchanged between men? Why did she become iconic? Why were fair-haired beauties so important to Florentine culture and society? What did they symbolise, and what can they tell us about ideals of femininity at this time? Judith hopes to be able to answer these questions over the course of the next two years! She has presented her research at various conferences in the UK and beyond, and is also a founding member of EMREM.

Alexis Heit: Alexis is a Ph.D. research student at the University of Birmingham.  She has completed an MA degree in English Literature at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a BA degree in English from the Pennsylvania State University in the United States.  She is currently researching for her thesis which examines how Children’s Literature and Fantasy Literature are influenced by Medieval and Renaissance Literatures. She is focusing on an analysis of Susan Cooper’s series, The Dark is Rising series.  Her research interests are connecting different literary periods to recent twentieth century literatures and continued development of her model on Children’s Literature.  Alexis is also currently involved in research on J.R.R. Tolkien’s influence on Children’s Literature and Fantasy Literature.  She works with the Mythgard Institute in the United States and plans to complete a second MA degree on a part time basis. She became a committee member at the start of this academic year.

Helen Hunter: Helen is currently in the third year of a PhD in German Studies. Her research draws on interests in medieval and modern German literature fostered during her undergraduate studies at Birmingham, and during a year abroad at the Universität Tübingen. After graduating in 2009, she completed an MPhil(B) in Modern European Cultures, submitting a thesis on guilt, atonement and redemption in two 20thcentury texts – Franz Kafka’s Die Verwandlung (1912) and Thomas Mann’s Der Erwählte (1951) – with a common link to a Middle High German tale of incestuous disorder and severe penance, Hartmann von Aue’s Gregorius (c. 1190). Her PhD project focuses more explicitly on this connection between the medieval and the modern. By investigating how the three authors re-use, re-invent, combine or parody biblical motifs relating to the Fall of man and the Passion of Christ in their works, it aims to illuminate both intertextual relationships and contrasts of attitude between them, and to shed light on literary uses of the biblical tradition in different temporal contexts.

The EMREM Forum, which she co-founded in 2010, has not only given her useful experience in organising conferences and events, but has proved an invaluable social and academic support network.

Lisa Kranzer (2010-2013)

Stephanie Appleton (2011-2014)

Helen Coy (2012-2014)

Beth Spacey (2012-2014)

Libby Gill (2013-2014)

Claire Harrill (2013-15)

Jonny Dugdale (2013-15)

Chen Xue (2014-2015)

Tayler Meredith (2014-15)

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