Dr Jaclyn Rajsic, BA (McGill), MA (York), DPhil (Oxford)
Lecturer in Medieval Literature
I joined the School of English and Drama in 2015, after having spent one year as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Cambridge. Before that I worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant at Birmingham City University for one year, where I helped to research and design a Bilingual Thesaurus database of Anglo-Norman and Middle English words used in daily life from c. 1200–c. 1450. I completed my BA in English at McGill University in Canada, where I am originally from, and then my MA at the University of York here in the UK. I did my D.Phil in English at the University of Oxford. My thesis examined the reception and development of the mythical British past (ultimately drawn from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum Britanniae) in histories and genealogies of England’s kings written in Anglo-Norman, Latin and English from the twelfth to the fifteenth century. This research has evolved into a book project on representations of the past in royal genealogical rolls.
In the 2016-17 academic year, I am teaching on:
- ESH110: Literatures in Time: Texts and Contexts from the Eighth to the Sixteenth Century
- ESH283: Arthurian Literature from Geoffrey of Monmouth to Game of Thrones
- ESH6029: Heroes and Outlaws in History and Fiction, 1100-1600
In the 2016-17 academic year, I am teaching on:
- Genealogies and rolls, manuscript studies, and the history of the book
- The 'Brut' tradition, especially texts and manuscripts of the Prose Brut chronicle
- Arthurian literature
- The French of England and medieval multilingualism
- The circulation of ‘English’ texts and manuscripts across the Channel
- Medieval perceptions of the past
- Imagined genealogies, geographies and communities
Recent and On-Going Research:
I am currently completing my first book, provisionally entitled History Unrolled: Negotiating the British and English Pasts in Royal Genealogies, c. 1250–c. 1550. My study explores how mythical British history, and especially the Arthurian past, is represented and reshaped in royal genealogical rolls written in England from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century. It also looks at how rolls were used and read in late medieval England, and considers how the material form of the roll offered new possibilities for the writing of history.
I am also working on a new research project, which looks at the reception and influence of the Prose Brut chronicle in late medieval France. It argues that the Prose Brut was widespread on the Continent during this period, and shows that the history played a vital role in shaping several non-English works, especially a group of French genealogical texts. The project involves a close, comparative study of these sources.
I have recently co-edited a collection of essays about The Prose Brut and other Late Medieval Chronicles: Books Have Their Histories; Essays in Memory of Lister M. Matheson (York: York Medieval Press, 2016). A current collaborative project involves an edition and translation of the early sections (Creation to 1272) of Sir Thomas Gray’s Scalacronica, an Anglo-Norman prose chronicle written around 1363, with Heather Pagan and Andy King.
History Unrolled: Negotiating the British and English Pasts in Royal Genealogies, c. 1250–c. 1500 [monograph in progress]
with Erik Kooper and Dominique Hoche, eds, The Prose Brut and other Late Medieval Chronicles: Books Have Their Histories; Essays in Memory of Lister M. Matheson (York, York Medieval Press, 2016).
‘“Cestuy roy dit que la couronne de Ffraunce luy appartenoit”: Reshaping the Prose Brut Chronicle in Fifteenth-Century France’, in The Plantagenet Empire, 1259–1453: Proceedings of the 2014 Harlaxton Medieval Symposium, eds. Peter Crooks, David Green, and W. Mark Ormrod (Donington: Shaun Tyas, 2016), pp. 128-49.
‘The English Prose Brut Chronicle on a Roll: Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 546 and its History’, in Books Have Their Histories, pp. 105-24.
‘Genealogical Rolls’, in Vernacular Literary Theory and Practices of Medieval England, c. 1120–c. 1450: Texts and Translations in the Frenches of England, eds. Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, Thelma Fenster, and Delbert Russell (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2016).
‘“Eles arryverent la ou or est apellé lez Rennes de Galeway”: the Albina myth in Sir Thomas Gray’s Scalacronica’, in The Albina Casebook, eds. Christopher Baswell and Margaret Lamont (Broadview Press, forthcoming).
‘Jean de Wavrin’s Recueil des croniques et anchiennes istories de la Grant Bretaigne’, in The Albina Casebook, eds. Baswell and Lamont (forthcoming).
‘Genealogy’, in The Encyclopaedia of Medieval British Literature, eds. Siân Echard and Robert Rouse (Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming 2017).
I would welcome enquiries from potential doctoral students interested in medieval historical, genealogical and romance literature composed and copied in the High and Later Middle Ages. I am particularly interested in projects that would engage with manuscripts in their different material formats (e.g. roll, codex) and with texts written in different languages (esp. Anglo-Norman and Middle English). I have strong interests in genealogy, mythical history, Arthurian literature, and uses of French in late medieval England. I would welcome proposals for research projects in any of these areas. I am also becoming increasingly interested in the transmission of texts and manuscripts across the Channel, and would look forward to supporting doctoral research in this area as well.