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Phone number: 01223 760598


Dr Jessica Berenbeim

Lecturer in English
Medieval Studies; Literature and Visual Culture

Jessica Berenbeim is a University Lecturer at the Faculty of English and a Fellow of Jesus College.


I’m from the USA (BA, PhD Harvard), and I first came to the UK to study here in Cambridge for the MPhil. I was a Junior Research Fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford, and I’ve also held fellowships at or collaborated with a number of cultural institutions, including the British Library, the British Museum, and the National Archives.

Academic Interests

The aesthetics and materiality of writing; medieval art and architecture; archives and archival theory; the cultural history of medieval Britain.

The central theme of my research is the role of visual culture in documentation, historical knowledge, and political power. I teach for the medieval literature papers in Part I and Part II, and on visual and material culture more broadly in Part II.

My teaching and supervision interests include: interdisciplinary medieval studies; material texts; the intersections of literary and visual culture; history and theory of museums, libraries, and archives.

Publications, links and resources

As Author

  • Art of Documentation: Documents and Visual Culture in Medieval England (PIMS/Toronto, 2015)

As Editor

  • with T.A. Heslop, Invention and Imagination, special issue, British Art Studies, 6 (2017)

Articles and chapters

  • 'The Tomb of Virgil', in The Virgil Encyclopedia, ed. R. Thomas and J. Ziolkowski (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013)
  • 'Personal and Institutional Patronage in the Sherborne Missal', in Patrons and Professionals in the Middle Ages, ed. P. Binski and E.A. New, Harlaxton Medieval Studies, 22 (2012)
  • 'Script after Print: Juan de Yciar and the Art of Writing', Word & Image, 26/3 (2010)
  • 'An English Manuscript of the Somme le roi', in Cambridge Illuminations, ed. S. Panayotova (Harvey Miller/Brepols, 2007)


  • ed., with J. Cherry and L. de Beer, Seals and Status: The Power of Objects (British Museum, forthcoming 2017)
  • 'Medieval Treaties and the Diplomatic Aesthetic', The Medieval Globe, 4/1 (forthcoming 2017)
  • 'Domesday and the Look of Narrative', in Manuscripts East and West, ed. A. Bovey et al. (forthcoming 2018) 
  • 'Double crosssed in Translation', in Beyond Words, ed. L.F. Davis et al. (forthcoming 2018/19)

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