Photo of Dr Liam Lewis

Dr Liam Lewis

Lecturer in French Modern Languages and Cultures

Research

Research Overview

"I am currently completing my first monograph, 'Animal Soundscapes in Anglo-Norman Texts', to be released soon with Boydell & Brewer."

Medieval Animal Studies

My monograph 'Animal Soundscapes in Anglo-Norman Texts' explores the themes of animal sound, noise and language in medieval French and English literature written in Anglo-Norman England, including glossaries and treatises, bestiaries, hagiography, fables, lyric and song. My work challenges some theoretical assumptions in contemporary animal studies by focusing on how language and sound expression is used to redefine networks of relation between humans and nonhumans in the Middle Ages. I consider the ways important texts from the Middle Ages, including the Fables by Marie de France and the Life of Saint Francis of Assisi use the sounds of beasts and birds to reinforce human exceptionalism whilst simultaneously placing the noises of different creatures back into the mouths of human audiences. I am currently writing articles on Walter of Bibbesworth's Tretiz, the vernacular Lives of St Francis of Assisi, and the literary patronage of medieval consort Adeliza of Louvain.


My postdoctoral project considers the use of ecology and the environment in conceptualisations of medieval medicine, in particular how myths and legends of healing with nonhuman animals and birds were communicated through medieval texts. In broader terms, I am also interested in ecocriticism and the environmental humanities, sound studies and translation studies.