- Psychology of religiosity in historic perspective
- Use of cognitive sciences in pre-modern studies
- Statistics of medieval manuscripts
My research interests evolve around two main areas: manuscripts and history of mentality/religiosity. I blame Julian of Norwich. For years I have been staring at the manuscripts of her “Showings” trying to make sense of them. In the process I edited her texts anew from the existing manuscripts and translated them into Russian for the first time (published as a parallel edition/translation in Moscow in 2010), but I still seem to be none the wiser as to what on earth she was up to. As a welcome break from staring at Julian, I worked on medieval hagiography and wrote a book on the cult of St Margaret of Antioch in medieval England (OUP, 2016).
Currently I am looking at how people of the past strived to make sense of their lives in general and their unusual experiences in particular, using a variety of modern methods, such as attachment theory and fanfiction studies. Myself and colleagues from the History and English Faculties are currently setting up a web resource dedicated to Fanfiction Theory and Pre-Modern Studies. I am also a co-editor, with Dr Victoria Blud (University of York) for a forthcoming “Cognitive Sciences and Medieval Studies: An Introduction” (UWP, 2019). As if it is not trendy enough, I have started a comparative project on looking at the parallels between attachment and religiosity in the medieval West and in modern Russia.
Being married to a computer scientist takes its toll on my research interests as well. Sometimes we harvest manuscript data from catalogue backends and drop it into visualisation programmes to see, for example, the ratio between vernacular and Latin manuscripts by centuries and by regions. Our dream is that one day we could make it into an accessible open-source online tool.