Medieval Convent Drama is a major new research project, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, led by Professor Elisabeth Dutton and Dr Olivia Robinson with the collaboration of Dr Matthew Cheung Salisbury (Oxford). We seek a student to undertake a fully funded doctoral thesis, to be supervised by the project’s collaborators, on any area within the scope of the project.
The project will examine the understudied participation of women as actors, compositors and copyists of plays within a wide range of convent-based dramatic performances in the late Middle Ages. Focusing on convents in England, France and Burgundy, we will: 1) investigate the manuscript presentation of all surviving convent plays from this region; 2) uncover archival evidence for the times and spaces in which they were staged, the possible composition of their casts and audiences, and the other literary and cultural activities of the convents in question; 3) investigate through performance their use of liturgical citation and translation, and ecclesiastical places, spaces and material objects as dramatic tools. We seek to deepen critical understanding of the ways in which medieval convent communities actively shaped their own dramatic reinterpretations of Biblical and other narratives, the role this drama may have played for its performers and spectators, and the importance of this neglected tradition for broader scholarly assessments of medieval dramatic, devotional and liturgical practices.
Doctoral Study at Fribourg
The successful candidate will receive funding for three years, including all doctoral fees and a maintenance grant of approx. CHF 50,000 per year.
The University is situated in the centre of the medieval city of Fribourg, at the feet of the Jura mountains. Its established Centre for Medieval Studies, currently directed by Professor Dutton, brings together a rich group of researchers into palaeography and codicology, art history, philosophy, literature in Latin, and English, French, and other European vernaculars, medieval theatre, women’s writing, history, and musicology. Other research projects currently based in Fribourg include Fragmentarium, a network that facilitates the study of medieval manuscript fragments through online resources, and Professor Dutton’s Early Drama at Oxford project that studies plays written and staged in Oxford Colleges in the medieval and early modern period.
A wide range of financial and training resources are available to support doctoral students, including those of the Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale, which organizes regular doctoral workshops and conferences, and the Swiss Association of Medieval and Early Modern English Studies, which encourages contact and collaboration among researchers at the Universities of Fribourg, Lausanne, Geneva, Neuchâtel, Berne, Basel, Zurich. Researchers have access to the collective library resources of these Universities, and Fribourg itself has a well-endowed medieval library.
Applicants should hold a relevant MA, MSt, MPhil or equivalent, and have experience in one or more of:
– Medieval French literature
– Medieval English literature
– Medieval Latin
– Codicology and palaeography
– Medieval musicology
– Medieval Theology
– Drama and performance
– Medieval art and architecture
– Website management
Applicants should email CV and cover letter in English, detailing how their knowledge and expertise could contribute to the project, to Professor Dutton:
The selection process may include an interview, possibly via Skype.
Closing date for applications: MONDAY 6th JUNE 2016