A fascinating journey from Ba to PhD

 Twenty Years of History at Lincoln

by Hannah MacKenzie

I completed my BA in History at the University of Lincoln in 2016 and, thanks to the generosity of the School of History and Heritage Bursary, was able to undertake an MA in Medieval Studies the following year.

During my four years in Lincoln I pursued an interest in eleventh- and twelfth-century social and cultural history and produced two independent research projects that I still am immensely proud of. The first, supervised by Dr Michele Vescovi, examined perceptions of ‘otherness’ and identity in the writings of a twelfth-century Benedictine monk, and the second, supervised by Dr Antonella Liuzzo Scorpo, explored the construction of Frankish identity and sacred history in chronicles of the First Crusade. The wide range of module options available to History and Heritage students at the University of Lincoln, as well as the university’s close links to Lincoln Cathedral’s archives, allowed me to tailor my course to complement my research interests. Having the freedom to direct my own learning experience was truly invaluable and acted to cultivate my love of medieval history.

In May 2017, with the unwavering support and encouragement of the history department, a small committee and I were afforded the opportunity to organise and host a medieval symposium entitled ‘Writing Medieval History’. This was the first symposium of its kind run entirely by MA students in the School of History and Heritage and aimed to provide a space for individuals to share and develop academic works in progress. The process of organising and running an event of this nature dramatically increased my confidence in sharing ideas in professional forums, which will no doubt continue to prove an important skill as I progress in my academic career.

I am currently undertaking a PhD in Medieval Studies at the University of Leeds, funded by the AHRC through the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH), and I am extremely grateful to both Dr Antonella Luizzo Scorpo and Dr Jamie Wood from the School of History at the University of Lincoln who continued to support me during the application process for this course. My doctoral research examines episodes of cannibalism in eleventh- to thirteenth-century western-European travel literature and aims to shed new light on contemporary attitudes towards violence, salvation and the significance of the human body.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the University of Lincoln and I look forward to sharing my research with the close-knit group of medievalists at in the School of History and Heritage in the near future.