Dr. Hannah Piercy

Early PostDoc / Assistentin

Medieval English Studies

Postal Address
Department of English
Länggassstr. 49
CH – 3000 Bern 9
Consultation Hour
By appointment (please book via email).

Hannah Piercy teaches and researches medieval English literature and culture. She joined the University of Bern in 2021, after completing her PhD at Durham University. Her first book, Resistance to Love in Medieval English Romance: Negotiating Consent, Gender, and Desire is forthcoming with Boydell and Brewer. She is currently working on a second book for her postdoctoral habilitation project, Representing the Senses in Middle English Romance. These projects are united by an interest in exploring the ideological functions of Middle English romance, its intersections with or departures from the priorities of other genres, and the impact romance writing had upon its readers. Hannah is more broadly interested in questions of genre, gender, sexuality, embodiment, materiality, emotion, and sensory studies, all of which feature in her teaching and research. She is committed to making her teaching and research inclusive and accessible.

Prior to her PhD, Hannah completed an MA in Medieval and Renaissance Literary Studies at Durham University, and a BA in English Literature at the University of Cambridge. During her masters, Hannah studied Old English Language and Literature as well as an interdisciplinary module on early medieval England. She maintains interests in Old English literature, as well as early modern literature and culture.


Research interests

Medieval English literature and culture, especially medieval romance, gender studies (in a broad and inclusive sense), sensory studies, medieval sexualities, the body and embodiment, the history of emotions, medieval readers, textual transmission, the medical humanities, race and the global Middle Ages, material culture, nature and the environment, and medievalism in the modern world.

Hannah’s teaching at the University of Bern has included:

‘Discovering a Medieval Manuscript: MS Ashmole 61’ (MA workshop, HS22)
‘Bodies in Medieval and Early Modern Romance’ (co-taught with Nicole Nyffenegger, HS22)
‘Seascapes and Sea-crossings in Old and Middle English Literature’ (Focus module seminar, co-taught with Will Brockbank, FS22)     
‘Convention and Subversion: Genre and Gender in Medieval Saints’ Lives’ (HS21)
‘Fairies and Otherworlds in Medieval Romance’ (FS21)                                  

Hannah previously taught ‘Romance and the Literature of Chivalry’ and ‘Introduction to Drama’ at Durham University.


Resistance to Love in Medieval English Romance: Negotiating Consent, Gender, and Desire (under contract with Boydell and Brewer).

Hannah is currently working on a second monograph on the representation of the senses in Middle English romance.

Edited Volumes:

Consent: Legacies, Representations, and Frameworks for the Future, ed. Sophie Franklin, Hannah Piercy, Arya Thampuran, and Rebecca White, Interdisciplinary Research in Gender (Routledge, forthcoming). Under contract.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters:

Piercy, Hannah, ‘Contact, Conduct, and Tactile Networks: Touch and its Social Functions in Middle English Verse Romance’, in Literature and the Senses, ed. Annette Kern-Stähler and Elizabeth Robertson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming). Under contract.

Piercy, Hannah, ‘Desire, Consent, and Misogyny in Post-medieval Adaptations of the Pelleas and Ettarde Story’, Journal of the International Arthurian Society, 10.1 (forthcoming 2022), 5-28.

Piercy, Hannah, ‘The Ethics of Community in the Lai d’Haveloc’, Le Cygne: The Journal of the International Marie de France Society, 8 (2022), 53-71.

Piercy, Hannah, ‘Binding and Unbinding: Fashioning Narrative in Medieval Romance’, Durham English Review, 4.1 (2016), 70-98.


Hannah has written numerous book reviews for Medium Ævum and Nottingham Medieval Studies. She is happy to be contacted about opportunities to review books on medieval romance, medieval gender studies, consent, and sensory studies.

Hannah is a member of the following professional organisations:

  • The Swiss Association of University Teachers of English (SAUTE)
  • The Swiss Association of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (SAMEMES)
  • The Berner Mittelalter Zentrum (BMZ)
  • The Higher Education Academy (as Associate Fellow)
  • The Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship
  • The Early English Text Society
  • The Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature
  • The International Marie de France Society
  • The International Arthurian Society
  • The New Chaucer Society
  • Print Exchanges (a network for researchers of early print: https://printexchanges.org/)