skip to primary navigationskip to content

Dr John Munns MA MPhil PhD FRSA

Dr John  Munns, MA MPhil PhD FRSA

Affiliated Lecturer

Fellow of Magdalene College

Director of Studies at Magdalene and Robinson Colleges

Office Phone: 01223 332974


John Munns specializes in the cultural and material history of Western Europe in the High Middle Ages, particularly the relationships between images, ideas, and devotional practices in England between the mid-eleventh and early-thirteenth centuries. His monograph, Cross and Culture in Anglo-Norman England, was published recently by Boydell and Brewer. Other recent publications include contributions to TheologyThe Burlington Magazine, and Durham Cathedral: History, Fabric and Culture (Yale University Press, 2014). His current research includes working as Principal Investigator on an interdisciplinary British Academy-funded project about the Anglo-Norman patron Henry of Blois, and a study of the visual depictions of Judaism in early twelfth-century English manuscript illumination. He is also editing a volume of essays on the English Decorated style.

Following degrees in both theology and the history of art, John completed his PhD in the department under the supervision of Professor Paul Binski. His doctoral study included two periods of funded research as a visiting student at Princeton University. He then held a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University's Paul Mellon Centre in London and taught in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Bristol before returning to Cambridge in 2011. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts since 2004.

John is a Fellow of Magdalene College and Director of Studies in the History of Art for Magdalene and Robinson Colleges. Over recent years in the department, he has co-ordinated Part 1 Paper 1, The Objects of Art History; taught special subjects on English Romanesque art and architecture and (with Duncan Robinson) the Italian Trecento; and contributed to The Meaning of Art and Architecture, The Making of ArtApproaches to the History of Art, and the Word and Image option on the MPhil. In 2014 he received a special mention in the lecturer category of the inaugural CUSU Teaching Excellence Awards.