Department of English

Stay Abroad

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 – 3012 Bern
Consultation Hour
As of 16 March, the Stay Abroad counselling hours will switch to emails. Your requests will be answered within 3-4 days and we'll arrange online meetings if necessary. Thank you in advance for your patience!

Nicole Nyffenegger teaches medieval and early modern English literature and culture. In her current research projects, she focuses on the connections of human skin, texts, and narratives in medieval and early modern literature and on representations of pain in literature and art. Nicole has published an edited volume on marked skin (Writing on Skin in the Age of Chaucer, 2018), one more generally on bodies in medieval literature (Fleshly Things and Spiritual Matters: Studies on the Medieval Body in Honour of Margaret Bridges, 2011), and one on authorship in historiography (Authorising History. Gestures of Authorship in Fourteenth-Century Historiography, 2013).

Nicole’s research interests include discourses of the human body, human-animal studies, 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 studies, and gender studies.

She may be contacted with questions on:

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 paper writing, discussions, and presentations. I also teach beginner courses such as “Analysing Literature” and “Introduction to Literature” and regularly (co-)organise excursions.

 

SOME COURSES TAUGHT IN THE PAST FEW YEARS:

  • "This Wooden O" - Dramatic Conventions in Early Modern plays.
  • The Body and the Senses in Medieval and Early Modern Literature. (Co-Taught with Prof. Annette Kern-Stähler)
  • Early Modern City Comedies
  • Romances of England
  • Nature into Poetry: Late medieval and early modern animals, plants, and landscapes
  • Early Modern Utopias
  • Money Matters in Medieval Literature
  • Christ’s Passion, Mary’s Pain
  • Chaucer and Gower Sharing Tales
  • Gender in (some of) Shakespeare’s Comedies
  • Will to Power: Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine, Doctor Faustus, and the Jew of Malta
  • Shakespeare at the Movies
  • Hot Topics in Medieval Studies (lecture with Annette Kern-Stähler)
  • Reading (some of) Shakespeare’s Greatest Plays
  • Blood, Wounds, Scars: Inscribed Bodies in Medieval and Early Modern Literature
  • Violence in Medieval and Early Modern Literature and Culture (lecture)

EXCURSIONS

  • 2019: Commerce, Crafts, Chapels (Suffolk and Norfolk, with medieval historians)
  • 2018: The Age of Sutton Hoo
  • 2018: Marlowe and Shakespeare in London
  • 2017: Northern England (with medieval historians)
  • 2017: Shakespeare in London
  • 2016: London “In the footsteps of Gower and Chaucer”
  • 2014: St Gallen Stiftsbibliothek “From Skin to Book”
  • 2014: Paris, St. Denis (with students from Kent University)
  • 2013: Canterbury “Exploring Medieval Artefacts”
  • 2011: York

AWARDS

  • “Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching” 2009
  • Faculty commendations for “Ausgezeichnete Lehre” in FS 2017, AS 2017, FS 2018, AS 2019 (2 courses)

 

BOOKS

Secrecy and Surveillance in Medieval and Early Modern England. SPELL 37. Tübingen: Narr, 2019. [with Annette Kern-Stähler]

Writing on Skin in the Age of Chaucer. Anglia Series 60. Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter, 2018. [with Katrin Rupp]

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

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

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

 

RECENT ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

“The Illicit Touch: Theorising Narratives of Abused Human Skin.” Touch. Ed. Caterina Nirta, Danilo Mandic, Andrea Pavoni, and Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos. London: Westminster University Press, 2020. (https://doi.org/10.16997/book37)

Review of Hopkins, Lisa. From the Romans to the Normans on the English Renaissance Stage. In: The Medieval Review TMR, September 2019.

“Introduction: Secrecy and Surveillance in Medieval and Early Modern England” [with Annette Kern-Stähler]. Secrecy and Surveillance in Medieval and Early Modern England, ed. Annette Kern-Stähler and Nicole Nyffenegger. Tübingen: Narr, 2019, 11-21.

“Blushing, Paling, Turning Green.” Writing on Skin in the Age of Chaucer, ed. Nicole Nyffenegger and Katrin Rupp, Anglia 60, Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter, 2018: 145-165.

“Introduction: Writing on Skin in the Age of Chaucer.” [with Katrin Rupp] Writing on Skin in the Age of Chaucer, ed. Nicole Nyffenegger and Katrin Rupp, Anglia 60, Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter, 2018: 1-15.

Review of Edwards, Suzanne, Afterlives of Rape in Medieval English Literature. In: Medieval Feminist Forum, Fall 2018

Review of Schäfer-Althaus, The Gendered Body. In: Anglia 2018.

Review of Fisher, Matthew. Scribal Authorship and the Writing of History in Medieval England, In: The Medieval Review TMR, March 2014.

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

 

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”