School of English and Drama

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


Reader in Medieval English Literature



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 history and literature, with a particular interest in
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). 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.

I am currently working on a book on the medieval reworking of classical geography (Dislocations), and I have recently completed a collaborative project (with Prof. Jerry Brotton and Dr Yossef Rapoport) on comparative approaches to European and Islamic cartography, 1100-1600, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

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


Selected Publications:

‘From Pliny to Brexit: Spatial representation of the British Isles’, postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies 7 (2016), 511-525 

‘Lucan’, in the The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature, vol. 1: 800-1558, ed. Rita Copeland (Oxford, 2016), 209-226  

‘Geography in Walter of Châtillon’s Alexandreis and its Medieval Reception’, Journal of Medieval Latin 23 (2013), 255-93

‘'From Hulle to Cartage': Maps and the Sea’, in The Sea and Englishness in the Middle Ages: Maritime Narratives, Identity and Culture, ed. S. Sobecki (Boydell and Brewer, 2011), pp. 133-157

‘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

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)

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.