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Siriol McAvoy


Position: Postgraduate Researcher Email:
Area: English Literature

PhD Research

Medieval encounters in the work of Virginia Woolf and Lynette Roberts.

In my PhD thesis, I examine the interaction of modernist women writers with an important strand of nineteenth-century literary culture: medievalism. My study will focus in particular on Virginia Woolf and Lynette Roberts, writers for whom the medieval and medievalism held a particular fascination, in order to illuminate this critically neglected area. I suggest that the writers’ ‘radically eccentric’ uses of medieval history and narrative can be understood as part of a gendered response to fascism and war, and explore the ways in which they use the medieval past as a means of reflecting upon, and reimagining, gendered identity, national culture, place, and language.

Academic Background

BA (Hons) in English and French, The University of Nottingham, 2003-7.
M.St in English Literature, 650-1550, The University of Oxford, 2008-9.
As part of this degree, I specialised in vision, gender and textuality in late-medieval literature.

Conferences, Symposia and Seminars

‘“[T]hrough a glass, darkly”: Re-visions of myth and landscape in the poetry of Lynette Roberts’,
Recycling Myths, Inventing Nations, Aberystwyth University at Gregynog Hall, 14-16 July 2010.

15-16 April 2011: ‘Frontiers “Crossed and Uncrossed” and “A Circle of C”: Attacks/Ways out/Forays in the Cultural Translation of Lynette Roberts’, Cultural Translations, The University of Malta, 15-16 April 2011.

‘[B]urying deep into a lower stratum of thought’: the influence of Jane Harrison upon the writing of Virginia Woolf’, New Work in Modernist Studies, The Institute of English Studies, The University of London, 3rd December 2011.

‘Errancy and epiphany: Virginia Woolf’s uses of medieval discourses of travel in The Voyage Out’, Moving Dangerously: Women and Travel, 1850 -1950, Newcastle University, 13-14 April 2012.


Postgraduate tutor in English Literature at Cardiff University, 2011-present.