Joanna Bellis is a medievalist and early modernist, currently working in Cambridge. Her research concerns the narration of the Hundred Years War from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, the transformation of the genre of the eyewitness account over this period, and the conflicting ethical demands of 'writing history'. Her monograph, The Hundred Years War in Literature, 1337-1600, and an interdisciplinary collection of essays co-edited with art historian Laura Slater, Representing War and Violence, 1250–1600, were both recently published with Boydell and Brewer (Cambridge, 2016); her critical edition of John Page's eyewitness poem The Siege of Rouen was published with Middle English Texts (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2015). Future projects include a book on the transformation of the genre of eyewitness writing and the representation of atrocity in medieval and early modern war literature, and a student edition of accounts of the Hundred Years War. In the longer term she hopes to coordinate a collaborative digital edition of the Middle English prose Brut chronicle. She teaches papers in the Oxford English tripos on Old and Middle English literature.

Research Interests

Medieval and Early Modern English literature, specifically:

  • the idea of 'writing history' and the genre of eyewitness writing;
  • the Hundred Years War and its sixteenth-century afterlife;
  • the watersheds between history and literature, and between 'medieval' and 'early modern';
  • constructions of Anglo-French political and literary relationships;
  • theories of language and etymology and their implications for constructions of political/national identity;
  • the representation of war and violence in medieval/early modern narration.