Clare College Cambridge

Dr Jacqueline Tasioulas

Dr Jacqueline Tasioulas

Senior Tutor

University Lecturer in English

I teach the medieval part of the course, so everything from 1350 to 1500, and even earlier for anyone inclined to venture further back! Medieval literature often takes students by surprise in that it’s more inventive, daring, and creative than they would have thought possible. We study comedy, the drama that the Middle Ages performed in the streets, mystical visions, and ‘magical’ charms, before we get to the more traditional romances of knights and ladies that people normally associate with medieval literature.

 I’m currently writing The Basic Guide to Chaucer for Routledge. Helping students understand and enjoy early literature is of vital importance, and it’s a great pleasure to be able to produce a work that will guide readers as they encounter one of the greatest authors in English literature. I’m also writing articles on medieval theories about the imagination and ‘double thinking’, and some short pieces on early Scots. My edition of some of the medieval Scottish poets, The Makars, threw up a lot of questions and ideas, and I’m working towards some of the answers. Finally, I’m looking at ‘perfect bodies’ and how the Middle Ages reconciled their scientific views with the bodies of those who were deemed to be perfect: so, how angels spoke to one another, whether or not Adam and Eve would have aged, whether or not animals ate other animals in Eden…