Dr Jaclyn Rajsic, BA (McGill), MA (York), DPhil (Oxford)
Senior Lecturer in Medieval Literature
I joined the School of English and Drama in 2015, after having spent a year as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Cambridge. Before that, I worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant at Birmingham City University, where I helped to research and design The Bilingual Thesaurus of Everyday Life in Medieval England in the first year of the project. I completed my BA in English at McGill University in Canada, where I am originally from, and came to the UK to do my graduate work at the Universities of York (MA) and Oxford (D.Phil).
My doctoral thesis examined the reception and development of the mythical British past (ultimately drawn from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum Britanniae) in histories and genealogies of England’s kings written in insular French, Latin, and English from the twelfth to the fifteenth century. This research evolved into a book project on ideas of materiality and ‘Brut’ history in royal genealogical rolls produced in England from the thirteenth to the early sixteenth century: History Unrolled in Late Medieval England: Negotiating the British and English Pasts in Royal Genealogies (forthcoming with Oxford University Press).
I continue to work on illustrated histories designed and transmitted in both rolls and books, especially in relation to reshapings of the legendary British and Arthurian pasts. I have long been fascinated by ‘Brut’ chronicles and Arthurian text. I am currently co-organising, with Professor Julia Marvin, the ‘Brut in New Troy’ virtual conference, provisionally scheduled for late June 2021.
I have taught on:
- ESH110: Literatures in Time: Texts and Contexts from the Eighth to the Sixteenth Century
- ESH283: Arthurian Literature from Geoffrey of Monmouth to Game of Thrones
- ESH6029: Heroes and Outlaws in History and Fiction, 1100-1600
I have taught on:
- ESH7063: Writing in the Pre-Modern World
- Genealogies and illustrated histories disseminated in books and rolls
- The 'Brut' tradition, especially texts and manuscripts of the Prose Brut chronicle in French and English
- Arthurian literature
- The French of England and medieval multilingualism
- The circulation of ‘English’ texts and manuscripts across the Channel
- Medieval perceptions of the past
- Imagined genealogies, geographies, and communities
Recent and On-Going Research:
My first book, History Unrolled in Late Medieval England: Negotiating the British and English Pasts in Royal Genealogies (forthcoming with Oxford University Press), explores how writers shape and reshape legendary British history—especially the Arthurian past—in royal genealogical rolls written in England from the late thirteenth to the early sixteenth century. Throughout, it considers the different possibilities for the writing of history afforded by the roll and codex formats.
In recent years, I have had the pleasure of co-editing essay collections about Manuscript and Print in Late Medieval and Early Tudor Britain: Essays in Honour of Professor Julia Boffey (with Tamara Atkin), and The Prose Brut and other Late Medieval Chronicles: Books Have Their Histories; Essays in Memory of Lister M. Matheson (with Erik Kooper and Dominique Hoche). A future collaborative project involves an edition and translation of the early sections (Creation to 1272) of Sir Thomas Gray’s Scalacronica, an Anglo-Norman prose chronicle written around 1363, with Heather Pagan and Andy King.
I am enjoying my ongoing work on diagrammatic histories deigned for rolls and books. I am becoming more and more interested in the ‘afterlives’ of medieval royal genealogical rolls, particularly their collection and use by antiquarians and heralds, and on the new kinds of genealogies produced after the Middle Ages, especially in terms of changing ideas about the legendary British and Arthurian pasts.
I am also working on the transmission, reception, and influence of ‘English’ historical literature in late medieval France; I am deeply interested in texts and manuscripts that crossed the Channel in this period. I have written briefly on the influence of the Anglo-Norman Prose Brut chronicle on a group of genealogical histories composed in fifteenth-century France; I continue to work on this project, and I hope to expand it as time goes on.
History Unrolled in Late Medieval England: Negotiating the British and English Pasts in Royal Genealogies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming) [anticipated publication in late 2021 or early 2022]
with Tamara Atkin, ed., Manuscript and Print in Late Medieval and Early Tudor Britain: Essays in Honour of Professor Julia Boffey (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2019).
with Erik Kooper and Dominique Hoche, eds., The Prose Brut and other Late Medieval Chronicles: Books Have Their Histories; Essays in Memory of Lister M. Matheson (York, York Medieval Press, 2016).
'Heraldry in Royal Genealogical Rolls', in Heralds and Heraldry in Medieval England, ed. Nigel Ramsay (Donington: Shaun Tyas, forthcoming).
‘Performing History in Royal Genealogical Rolls’, in Performance, Ceremony and Display in Late Medieval England: Proceedings of the 2018 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. Julia Boffey (Donington: Shaun Tyas, 2020), pp. 316–32.
with Raluca Radulescu, ‘King Arthur in the Middle English Brut Chronicles and Royal Genealogies’, in La matière arthurienne tardive en Europe, 1270–1530; Late Arthurian Tradition in Europe, dir. Christine Ferlampin-Acher (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2020), pp. 1059–72.
‘The Brut: Legendary British History’, in Medieval Historical Writing: Britain and Ireland, 500–1500, eds. Jennifer Jahner, Emily Steiner, and Elizabeth Tyler (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 67–83.
‘Looking for Arthur in Short Histories and Genealogies of England's Kings’, The Review of English Studies, New Series, 68:285 (2017), 448-70.
‘“Cestuy roy dit que la couronne de Ffraunce luy appartenoit”: Reshaping the Prose Brut Chronicle in Fifteenth-Century France’, in The Plantagenet Empire, 1259–1453: Proceedings of the 2014 Harlaxton Medieval Symposium, eds. Peter Crooks, David Green, and W. Mark Ormrod (Donington: Shaun Tyas, 2016), pp. 128-49.
‘The English Prose Brut Chronicle on a Roll: Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 546 and its History’, in Books Have Their Histories, ed. Rajsic, Kooper, and Hoche (2016), pp. 105-24.
‘“Par ceste figure l’en poet savoer”: Two Genealogical Roll Chronicles’, in Vernacular Literary Theory from the French of Medieval England: Texts and Translations, c.1120–c.1450, ed. Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, Thelma Fenster, and Delbert Russell (Cambridge, 2016), pp. 184–203.
‘“Eles arryverent la ou or est apellé lez Rennes de Galeway”: the Albina myth in Sir Thomas Gray’s Scalacronica’, in The Albina Casebook, eds. Christopher Baswell and Margaret Lamont (Broadview Press, forthcoming).
‘Jean de Wavrin’s Recueil des croniques et anchiennes istories de la Grant Bretaigne’, in The Albina Casebook, eds. Baswell and Lamont (forthcoming).
‘Genealogy’, in The Encyclopaedia of Medieval British Literature, eds. Siân Echard and Robert Rouse (Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming 2017).
I would welcome enquiries from potential doctoral students interested in any of the areas of my research. I would also warmly welcome projects about relationships between medieval chronicles and romances, and about Arthurian literature written in medieval Britain and France both in and beyond the Middle Ages.
I have strong interests in legendary British history (Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum Britanniae and its successors), Arthurian literature, medieval romance, and the transmission of texts and manuscripts across the Channel. I am also deeply interested in post-medieval receptions of medieval texts and manuscripts. I would look forward to supporting doctoral research in this area as well.