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Professor Corinne Saunders


AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Professor in the Department of English StudiesRoom 001, Hallgarth House+44 (0) 191 33 42575
Co-Director in the Institute for Medical HumanitiesCA128, Caedmon Building, Leazes Road, Durham, DH1 1SZ+44 (0) 191 33 48144
Member of the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies  
Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing +44 (0) 191 33 42575


Corinne Saunders is Professor in the Department of English Studies. She specialises in medieval literature and the history of ideas, and has particular interests in romance writing and in medical humanities. Her current research is on mind, body and affect in medieval literature and thought. She is a Co-Investigator on the Wellcome Trust funded project Hearing the Voice and Collaborator on the Wellcome Trust project Life of Breath. She is Co-Director of the Durham University's Centre for Medical Humanities. 

Her most recent monograph is Magic and the Supernatural in Medieval Romance (2010), for which she was awarded AHRC-funded additional leave and a Leverhulme Research Fellowship. She is the author of The Forest of Medieval Romance (1993), Rape and Ravishment in the Literature of Medieval England (2001), and over forty essays and articles on a wide range of literary and cultural topics. She has edited a Blackwell Critical Guide to Chaucer (2001); A Blackwell Companion to Romance: from Classical to Contemporary (2004); Cultural Encounters in Medieval Romance (2005); A Concise Companion to Chaucer (2006); and (with Françoise le Saux and Neil Thomas) Writing War: Medieval Literary Responses (2004); (with Jane Macnaughton), Madness and Creativity in Literature and Culture (2005); (with David Fuller) Pearl: a Modernised Version by Victor Watts (2005); (with Ulrika Maude and Jane Macnaughton), The Body and the Arts (2009); A Blackwell Companion to Medieval Poetry (2010); (with Jane Macnaughton and David Fuller) The Recovery of Beauty (2015); (with Frank Brandsma and Carolyne Larrington) Emotions in Medieval Arthurian Literature: Body, Mind, Voice (2015); and (with Jamie McKinstry) a special issue of postmedieval: A Journal of Medieval Cultural Studies, 'Medievalism and Medical Humanities'. She is the English editor of the international journal of medieval studies, Medium Ævum. She has co-organised three Public Lecture Series in the University, ‘Madness and Creativity: The Mind, Medicine and Literature’, ‘Flesh and Blood: The Body and the Arts’, and The Recovery of Beauty (all published by Palgrave Macmillan).

She teaches across the range of Old and Middle English language and literature, as well as History of the English Language, Old French, and some Renaissance topics, at both BA and MA level. She currently supervises a number of PhD students working on later medieval literary topics, particularly romance writing, and welcomes enquiries from postgraduate applicants in these areas.

Research interests

  • old and middle English literature
  • medieval and Renaissance Romance
  • history of ideas
  • history of women and women's writing
  • old French literature

Research groups

  • Literature and Medicine
  • Medieval Studies


Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Saunders, Corinne (2017). The Mystical Theology of Margery Kempe: Writing the Inner Life. In Mystical Theology and Contemporary Spiritual Practice: Renewing the Contemplative Tradition. McLean, Julienne, Tyler, Peter & Cook, C. C. H. Routledge. 34-57.
  • Saunders, C. (2010). Religion and magic. In The Cambridge Companion to the Arthurian Legend. Archibald, E. & Putter, A. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 201-217.
  • Saunders, Corinne (2010). The Gawain-poet and medieval romance. In The Cambridge History of English Poetry. O'Neill, Michael Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 26-42.
  • Saunders, Corinne (2010). Magic and Christianity. In Christianity and Romance in Medieval England. Rosalind Field, Phillipa Hardman & Michelle Sweeney Cambridge: D. S. Brewer. 84-101.
  • Saunders, Corinne (2010). Subtle Crafts: Magic and Exploitation in Medieval English Romance. In The Exploitations of Medieval Romance. Laura Ashe, Ivana Djordjevic & Judith Weiss Cambridge: D. S. Brewer. 108-124.
  • Saunders, Corinne (2009). 'Magic and Religion in Arthurian Romance'. In A Companion to Arthurian Legend. Elizabeth Archibald & Ad Putter Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 201-17.
  • Saunders, Corinne (2009). 'Medieval Warfare'. In The Cambridge Companion to War Writing. Kate McLoughlin Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 83-97.
  • Saunders, Corinne (2009). ‘Sorrowful Songs: Chaucer and the Tradition of the Woman's Lament’. In Studi anglo-norreni in onore di John S. McKinnell. ‘He hafað sundorgecynd’. Maria Elena Ruggerini. Cagliari: CUEC Editrice (Cooperativa Universitaria Editrice Cagliaritana ). 132-148.
  • Saunders, C. (2008). Gender in Sir Beves of Hampton. In Sir Bevis of Hampton in Literary Tradition: the Metamorphoses of a Romance Hero. Fellows, J. & Djordjevic, I. D.S.Brewer. 8.
  • Saunders, Corinne (2008). 'Gender in Sir Beves of Hampton'. In Sir Beves of Hampton in Literary Tradition: the Metamorphoses of a Romance Hero. Jennifer Fellows & Ivana Djordjevic Cambridge: D. S. Brewer. 161-75.
  • Saunders, C. (2008). Bodily Narratives: Illness, Medicine and Healing in Middle English Romance. In Boundaries in Medieval Romance. Cartlidge, N. Cambridge: D.S.Brewer. 6: 175-190.
  • Saunders, Corinne (2007). 'Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde; Hoccleve, Letter of Cupid'. In Treasures of Durham University Library. Richard Gameson Third Millennium. 64-65.
  • Saunders, C. (2006). Love and the Making of the Self: Troilus and Criseyde. In A Concise Companion to Chaucer. Blackwell. 135-156.
  • Saunders, C. (2006). Introduction to 'A Concise Companion to Chaucer'. In A Concise Companion to Chaucer. Saunders, C. Oxford: Blackwell. 1 - 10.
  • Saunders, C. (2006). Sexual Violence in warfare: The Middle Ages. In Transcultural Wars: From the Middle Ages to Twenty-First Century. Kortum, H.H. Academie Verlag. 151-164.
  • Saunders, C. (2006). Violent Magic in Middle English Romance. In Violence in Medieval Literature: A Casebook. Classen, A. Routledge. 225-240.
  • Saunders, C. (2006). Love and Loyalty in Middle English Romance. In Writings on Love in the English Middle Ages. Cooney, H. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Saunders, C. (2006). Erotic Magic: the Enchantress in Middle English Romance. In 'Parfit blisse of love':A Search for the Erotic in Medieval Britain. Hopkins, A. & Rushtom, C. D.S.Brewer.
  • Saunders, C. (2005). 'The thoughtful maladie': Madness and Vision in Medieval Writing. In Madness and Creativity in Literature and Culture. Saunders, C. & Macnaughton, J. Palgrave Macmillan. 65-85.
  • Saunders, C. (2004). Beyond Nature: Magic, Science and the Supernatural in Chaucer’s Writing. In Medieval English Literary and Cultural Studies. Silvestre, J.C.C. & Gonzalez, M.N.V. University of Murcia: 121-143.
  • Saunders, C. (2004). Introduction 'Chaucer's Romances' Epilogue. In A Companion to Romance: From Classical to Contemporary. Saunders, C. Blackwell. 1-9, 85-103, 539-541.
  • Saunders, C. (2004). Women and Warfare in Medieval English Writing. In Writing War: Medieval Literary Responses. Saunders, C., le Saux, F. & Thomas, N. D.S.Brewer. 187-212.
  • Saunders, C. (2002). Desire, Will and Intention in Sir Beves of Hamtoun. In The Matter of Identity in Medieval Romance. Hardman, P. D.S.Brewer. 29-42.
  • Saunders, C. (2001). Gender, law and Order in Thirteenth-Century Romance. In Thirteenth-Century England. Prestwich, M. D.S.Brewer. 153-164.
  • Saunders C (2000). 'A Matter of Consent: Middle English Romance and the Law of Raptus'. In Medieval Women and the Law. Noel James Menuge Cambridge: D. S. Brewer.
  • Saunders C (1997). 'Classical Paradigms of Rape in the Middle Ages: Chaucer's Lucretia and Philomela'. In Rape in Antiquity: Sexual Violence in the Greek and Roman Worlds. Susan Deacy & Karen F. Pierce Duckworth. 243-66.
  • Saunders, C. (1996). 'Symtyme the fende':Questions of Rape in Sir Gowther. In Studies in English Language and Literature: ‘Doubt Wisely’ Papers in Honour of E. G. Stanley. Toswell, J. & Tyler, E. Routledge. 286-303.
  • Saunders C (1995). 'Woman Displaced: Rape and Romance in Chaucer's Wife of Bath's Tale'. In Arthurian Literature XIII. James P. Carley & Felicity Riddy Cambridge: D. S. Brewer. 115-31.

Edited book

Edited Journal

Journal Article

Supervision students