Department of English

Dr. Nicole Nyffenegger-Staub

Senior Lecturer

Medieval and Early Modern Literature and Culture

E-Mail
nicole.nyffenegger@ens.unibe.ch
Office
D 208
Postal Address
Department of English
Unitobler
Länggassstr. 49
CH – 3000 Bern 9
Consultation Hour
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Nicole Nyffenegger teaches medieval and early modern English literature, language, and culture. In her current research project (Habilitation), she focuses on tattoos and the textuality of human skin in medieval and early modern literature. She has published a book on authorship in medieval historiography (Authorising History. Gestures of Authorship in Fourteenth-Century Historiography, 2013) and co-edited two volumes, one on bodies in medieval literature (Fleshly Things and Spiritual Matters: Studies on the Medieval Body in Honour of Margaret Bridges, 2011) and another one on margins and marginality (Marginalisierung und Funktionen des Randes im Mittelalter, 2011).

Nicole's research interests include discourses of the human body, human-animal studies, cultural contact, representations of self and other, and constructions of (authorial) identity. Apart from these topics and the ever-present literature/history connection (as a trained medieval historian, she feels she has a certain bias), Nicole’s teaching has covered a wide range of topics, including literary theory, methodology, the history of language, cultural and gender studies.

She may be contacted with questions on:

  • Study-related questions by (former) Liz students and transfer students
  • 30+ program

Nicole is also the Matura head expert for English (Hauptexpertin KMK Kanton Bern)

 

I teach the literature and culture of medieval and early modern England on both BA and MA level. My workshops are often aimed at covering a lot of material in relatively short time (e.g. “Reading the Bible”). For BA courses I try to vary between those that focus on one author or work (e.g., “Chaucer’s Women”) and those that approach a specific topic through a variety of works from different eras and genres (e.g. “Animals in Premodern Literature and Culture”). MA seminars tend to be more theoretical and are geared towards further refining core academic skills in discussions, presentations, and papers. I also teach Writing Skills to beginners and regularly (co-)organise excursions.

 

SOME COURSES TAUGHT SINCE 2015

  • Violence in Medieval and Early Modern Literature and Culture (lecture)
  • The Spectacle of Violence
  • Plutarch’s and Shakespeare’s Romans (interdisciplinary seminar with historian Dr. Christian Körner)
  • Animals between Humanism and Materialism (with Prof. Virginia Richter)
  • Shakespeare’s Roman Plays
  • Reading the Bible
  • Writing the Medieval Self
  • Performing Gender in Shakespeare’s Comedies and on the Elizabethan Stage
  • Reading Medieval and Early Modern Drama (with Prof. Annette Kern-Stähler)
  • John Donne in Love
  • Animals, Monsters, and Creatures in Premodern Literature and Culture (with Dr. Kathrin Scheuchzer)
  • Knowledge, Folklore, Superstition: Animals in Premodern Literature and Culture
  • Chaucer’s Lives (with Prof. Annette Kern-Stähler)

EXCURSIONS

  • 2016: London “In the footsteps of Gower and Chaucer”
  • 2014: St Gallen Stiftsbibliothek “From Skin to Book”
  • 2014: Paris, St. Denis
  • 2013: Canterbury “Exploring Medieval Artefacts”
  • 2011: York

AWARD

“Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching” 2009

 

BOOKS

(with Katrin Rupp) eds. Writing on Skin in the Age of Chaucer. Anglia Series. DeGruyter (forthcoming)

Authorising History. Gestures of Authorship in Fourteenth Century English Historiography. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013.

(with Moritz Wedell and Thomas Schmid) eds. Marginalisierung und Funktionen des Randes im Mittelalter. Das Mittelalter. Perspektiven mediävistischer Forschung = Zeitschrift des Mediävistenverbandes (15/2), Berlin 2011.

(with Katrin Rupp) eds. Fleshly Things and Spiritual Matters: Studies on the Medieval Body in Honour of Margaret Bridges. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011.

 

RECENT ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

“Saint Margaret’s Tattoos. Empowering marks on white skin.” Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval & Renaissance Studies 25.4 (2013): 267-83.

“Gestures of Authorship in Medieval English Historiography. The case of Robert Mannyng of Brunne.” Medieval and Early Modern Authorship. Eds. Guillemette Bolens and Lukas Erne. SPELL 25. Tübingen: Narr 2011. 265-276.

“Subjectivity and Crisis in 14th-century English historiography.” Clerks, Wives, and Historians: Essays on Medieval English Literature. Variations. Ed. Winfried Rudolf, Andrew J. Johnston, and Thomas Honegger. Bern et al.: Peter Lang 2008. 69-90.

Review of Fisher, Matthew. Scribal Authorship and the Writing of History in Medieval England, In: The Medieval Review TMR, March 2014. https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/2022/17428.

Review of Keller, Wolfram and Wendy Marie Hoofnagle, eds. Other Nations. The Hybridization of Medieval and Insular Mythology and Identity. Britannica et Americana 3:27. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter 2011. In: Anglistik - International Journal of English Studies, 166-171.

Review of Williams, Tara. Inventing Womanhood. Gender and Language in Later Middle English Writing. Interventions: New Studies in Medieval Culture. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2011. In: The Medieval Review TMR März 2012. https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/3631.

 

SHORT ARTICLES

“Histoire des Croisades des Wilhelm von Tyrus" (D49). Alfried Wieczorek, Mamoun Fansa, and Harald Meller eds. Saladin und die Kreuzfahrer. (Publikationen der Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen 17 / Schriftenreihe des Landesmuseums für Natur und Mensch Oldenburg 37). Mainz: Zabern, 2005.

"Histoire d’ Outremer des Wilhelm von Tyrus" (D50). Alfried Wieczorek, Mamoun Fansa, and Harald Meller eds. Saladin und die Kreuzfahrer. (Publikationen der Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen 17 / Schriftenreihe des Landesmuseums für Natur und Mensch Oldenburg 37). Mainz: Zabern, 2005.

 

OTHER MEDIA

Radio interview on (short!) cultural history of tattoos “DRadio Wissen” 13.10.2014

 

Medieval and Early Modern English Literature and Culture; discourses of the human body; constructions and performativity of gender and identity; animals in literature; concepts of authorship. Gender studies, human-animal studies, literary theory.

I am a member of the following professional organizations:

  • SAMEMES (Swiss Association of Medieval and Early Modern Studies)
  • SAUTE (Swiss Association of University Teachers of English)
  • BMZ (Berner Mittelalter Zentrum)
  • NCS (New Chaucer Society)
  • SMFS (Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship)

COMMITTEE WORK

  • Head expert (Hauptexperte) for English in the Kantonale Maturitätskommission KMK and as such involved in several committees concerned with, e.g., revisions of the “Lehrplan” at Gymnasium level
  • Mid-level faculty representative in the “Fakultäre Gleichstellungskommission”