Research Area: The Mechanical Arts in Twelfth-Century Artistic Theory
Supervisor: Professor Paul Binski
My PhD explores the role of the mechanical arts or artes mechanicae in twelfth-century artistic theory. It shows how fabric making, armament, commerce, gardening, hunting, medicine and theatrics – defined and categorised by Hugh of Saint Victor in the 1130s - were used as metaphors for the workings of eloquence and artistic creativity in Chartrian poetry from 1130-1199. I am supervised by Professor Paul Binski and funded by CHESS, the Cambridge Home Scholarship Scheme.
In 2014, I completed my MPhil supervised by Dr John Munns. The thesis examined why twelfth-century Cistercian legislation ruled against colour, with reference to the writings of the abbot St Bernard of Clairvaux on how to negotiate aesthetic experience in monastic life. This was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.