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School of English and Drama

Dr Alfred Hiatt, BA (Sydney), PhD (Cambridge)


Professor of Medieval Studies



After undergraduate studies at the University of Sydney, Australia, I completed a PhD at the University of Cambridge. My doctoral work, on forged documents and their reception in fifteenth-century England, formed the basis of The Making of Medieval Forgeries (British Library and University of Toronto Press, 2004). I was a Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, and subsequently a lecturer at the University of Leeds from 2002 until 2009, when I joined the Department of English at Queen Mary.

Undergraduate Teaching

I have taught on:

  • ESH110: Literatures in Time
  • ESH282: Chaucer: Telling Medieval Tales
  • ESH283: Arthurian Literature from Geoffrey of Monmouth to Game of Thrones

Postgraduate Teaching

I have taught on:

  • ESH7046: Resources for Research


Research Interests:

  • medieval maps, geography, and the representation of space
  • reception of classical literature in the Middle Ages
  • forgeries and criticism of forgeries

Recent and On-Going Research

My research is primarily on medieval textual cultures, with a particular emphasis on spatial representation. My interest in the representation and cultural significance of the antipodes in European thought from classical antiquity to the discovery of the New World led to Terra Incognita: Mapping the Antipodes before 1600 (British Library and University of Chicago Press, 2008). Subsequent work on the medieval reception of classical geography resulted in Dislocations: Maps, Classical Tradition, and Spatial Play in the European Middle Ages (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2020). Ongoing projects include the comparative study of medieval Arabic-Islamic and Latin-European geography, a direction in my research that has its roots in a Leverhulme Trust international network (organised at Queen Mary with Profs Jerry Brotton and Yossef Rapoport), which resulted in the collaborative volume Cartography between Christian Europe and the Arabic-Islamic World, 1100-1500 (Brill, 2021). 

While I now work mainly on maps and geography, I continue to be interested in medieval forgeries and their reception in the Middle Ages and thereafter. I have written articles on historical writing, genre in Middle English literature, the reception of medieval forgeries within the 'Republic of Letters' of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and the role of maps in understanding (and misunderstanding) Beowulf

At Queen Mary I am a member of the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies (CREMS)



  • Cartography between Christian Europe and the Arabic-Islamic World, 1100-1500: Divergent Traditions, ed. Alfred Hiatt (Brill, 2021)

  • Dislocations: Maps, Classical Tradition, and Spatial Play in the European Middle Ages (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2020)

  • Terra Incognita: Mapping the Antipodes before 1600 (London and Chicago: British Library/University of Chicago Press, 2008)

  • The Making of Medieval Forgeries: False Documents in Fifteenth-Century England (London and Toronto: British Library/University of Toronto Press, 2004)


Selected Publications

  • ‘Geographical Determinism? The Seven Climes in Medieval Arabic and Latin Traditions’, in Spreading Knowledge in a Changing World, ed. Charles Burnett and Pedro Mantas-España. Arabica Veritas 3 (Córdoba University Press, 2019), 271-95
  • ‘Forgery as Historiography’, in Medieval Historical Writing: Britain and Ireland, 500-1500, ed. Jennifer Jahner, Emily Steiner, and Elizabeth M. Tyler (Cambridge University Press, 2019), 404-19
  • ‘Tyre in Africa: Dido’s Flight and Sallust’s Jugurtha’, in Manuscript and Print in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain: Essays in Honour of Professor Julia Boffey, ed. Tamara Atkin and Jaclyn Rajsic (D.S. Brewer, 2019), 183-201
  • ‘Topographies of the Past: The Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy and the Birth of Historical Geography’, in Orbis disciplinae: Hommages en l’honneur de Patrick Gautier Dalché, ed. Nathalie Bouloux, Anca Dan, and George Tolias (Brepols, 2017), 689-714
  •  ‘Lucan’, in the The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature, vol. 1: 800-1558, ed. Rita Copeland (Oxford University Press, 2016), 209-226  
  • ‘The Reference Work in the Fifteenth Century: John Whethamstede’s Granarium’, in Makers and Users of Medieval Books: Essays in Honour of A.S.G. Edwards, ed. Carol M. Meale and Derek Pearsall (D.S. Brewer, 2014), 13-33
  • ‘Geography in Walter of Châtillon’s Alexandreis and its Medieval Reception’, Journal of Medieval Latin 23 (2013), 255-93
  • ‘Beowulf off the Map’, Anglo-Saxon England, 38 (2010), 11-40, doi:10.1017/S026367510999010X
  • ‘Diplomatic Arts: Hickes against Mabillon in the Republic of Letters’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 70 (2009), 351-373, doi:10.1353/jhi.0.0045

See also my Queen Mary Research Publications profile


I would welcome enquiries from potential doctoral students interested in any of the areas of my research.

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