Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Studies

Since 1996, MEMS has fostered leading research into the cultural, social and political history of the premodern world. The MEMS Virtual Bookshelf represents our members’ extensive expertise across disciplines and chronology. Current projects include Marlowe’s Canterbury, early modern middling culture, and the transcultural connections of Central and Eastern Europe, 1500-1700. Engagement is key to our members’ work with extensive involvement with museums, heritage sites and digital humanities bringing MEMS research to broader audiences in projects ranging from the British Museum’s Thomas Becket Exhibition to making Henry VIII’s tournaments viewable in virtual reality.

MEMS is also closely linked with the Centre for Heritage, CLIO, Cultures of Performance and the Material Studies Network.

In Focus

Religious Cultures

Material and Visual Approaches

Manuscript and Archival Culture

Performance and Stage

Featured stories

Current research projects

Britain's Last Roman Hoards

This project examines hoards from the late Roman to early medieval transition period in Britain (4th to 5th century) as complete assemblages, bringing together a team of scholars who specialise in researching the different types of material.

The Oxford Marlowe Project

The Project provides the intellectual framework, research agenda, and impact ambition for The Oxford Marlowe: Collected Works (Oxford University Press). The edition seeks to establish and promote Marlowe’s preserved corpus of writing for scholars, students, general readers, producers and theatre-goers, and all those interested in the cultural history of early modern England.

Connected worlds

Connected Central European Worlds

Cross-border connections in Central Europe in the early modern period shaped the cultures, populations and development of Central European countries and their partners. This international interdisciplinary network of scholars and museum professionals, led by MEMS's Dr Suzanna Ivanic, investigates how these connected worlds were mutually constitutive through collaborative work, addressed primarily through a focus on material and cultural analysis of artefacts.

Canterbury Cathedral hall

Cultures of Performance in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Cultures of Performance brings together staff and students interested in and investigating a range of performance events in Europe, c. 500 to c. 1700. From plays and pageants to poetry and processions, music, liturgy and dance, performance here is broadly conceived and studied from a variety of methodological and historical perspectives, including its place in modern performance practice.

Whittington's Gift

Whittington's Gift

Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, Whittington’s Gift aims to demonstrate that London citizens created new programmes of religious education for both the City’s clergy and for literate lay communities that have hitherto gone largely unnoticed by scholarship.

Colchester Harsnett h.g.32

Lost Manuscripts

This project, led by Dr David Rundle, aims in a series of stages to build a union catalogue of manuscript fragments in the British Isles.