MemberMegan Cavell

My primary research and teaching interests include Old and Middle English, Anglo-Latin, Old Saxon and Old Norse-Icelandic literature, as well as folkloric and modern receptions of the medieval world. I am particularly interested in poetics, violence, domesticity, animals and the natural world. As part of my postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto, I completed revisions to a monograph based on my PhD thesis, entitled Weaving Words and Binding Bodies: The Poetics of Human Experience in Old English Literature. In addition, I continued to research other medieval languages and literatures, exploring in particular Old Norse-Icelandic, Anglo-Saxon (Old English and Anglo-Latin) and Middle English literary examples in which textile workers are associated with deception and violence. During this time, I also co-founded ‘The Riddle Ages’, a blog about Anglo-Saxon riddles. The aim of this project is to provide public access to translations and commentary of the Exeter Book riddles. See As a Junior Research Fellow at Durham University and Departmental Lecturer at Oxford University, I began working on a project that engages with the emerging field of interdisciplinary animal studies. The publications resulting from this study will highlight the way perceptions of a range of animals from spiders to wolves are shaped by the human writers of literature and shed light on broader, cultural implications that are relevant today. I am continuing this project as a Birmingham Fellow.

MemberBrenda Schmahmann

I joined the University of Johannesburg as a Professor with a Research Specialisation in March 2013, and was awarded a South African Research Chair (a position managed by the National Research Foundation of South Africa) at the beginning of 2016. Holding this chair involves managing a research facility which includes postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate students as well as an administrator.   I have more than three decades of academic experience. Professor of Art History & Visual Culture at Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape between 2002 until my move to UJ, a period that included a seven-year stint as Head of Fine Art, I was formerly a staff member in the History of Art Department at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.   Much of my scholarship is focused on gender, and on exploring and analysing the works of women artists in mainstream contexts as well as practitioners working in the context of community projects in South Africa. I also have a specialist interest in the politics of public art and thorny questions it raises about transformation. My publications include four books that I have authored and another three that I have edited or co-edited. I have also served as guest editor for special issues in African Arts, Textile: Cloth and Culture and De Arte.    

MemberMaria Hayward

I am a professor in Early Modern History at the University of Southampton, where I have worked since 2008. Prior to this I was a member of the Textile Conservation Centre, Winchester School of Art, 1999-2009. My main research interests focus on textiles and clothing in the 16th and 17th centuries but they stretch beyond these boundaries into the late medieval and the 18th century. Having started working on the court of Henry VIII, my interests have extended outwards to encompass all five Tudor monarchs. More recently I have been working on the later Stuart kings, from the birth of James VI and I to the death of James II and VII and their relationship with the Scottish male elite and how this was expressed through clothing, textiles and jewellery. My current projects include a biography of Catherine of Braganza and more work on clothing and dress in 16th and 17th century Scotland.