Stirling-Boyd Fellow and Tutor in English

Kantik Ghosh

  • I am Associate Professor in the Faculty of English.

  • I specialise in medieval English literature in relation to European religious conflict and intellectual history.

  • I was educated at Presidency College, Calcutta, and at Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

  • I collaborate regularly with colleagues working on other medieval European literatures and history, most recently with those based at the Centre for Medieval Studies in Prague.

  • I am a member of the International Editorial Board for The Bohemian Reformation and Religious Practice (BRRP).

Kantik Ghosh

Teaching

At the undergraduate level, I teach Old and Middle English language and literature, and share the teaching of Shakespeare with my colleague at Trinity, Dr Bea Groves. Old English is a first-year paper; Medieval English is mostly taught in the second year; Shakespeare over the second and third years. 

College teaching takes the form of tutorials (with one, two or three students), and classes and seminars (with six to eight students). The later periods are covered primarily by Dr Stefano Evangelista (nineteenth-twentieth centuries) and Dr Groves (sixteenth-seventeenth centuries). I lecture on various medieval topics in the English Faculty, most recently on medieval literary theory.

I regularly teach graduate students reading for the M.St in English Literature (650-1550), the interdisciplinary MSt in Medieval Studies and the MPhil, and supervise doctoral candidates, in recent years on subjects including the late-medieval English reception of classical poets such as Virgil, and religious conflict in fifteenth-century writings in English and Latin.

Research

I am a medievalist, with a focus on later medieval English literature from a time of pan-European religious conflict. The learned thought of medieval universities, in particular Oxford, as it found its way into various kinds of vernacular English writing in a diversity of genres in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, forms a fascinating and imperfectly understood aspect of the literary cultures of late medieval England. Numerous polemical and controversial writings in the field of religion, especially those affiliated to the thought of the famous Oxford theologian John Wyclif (posthumously condemned as a heretic at the Council of Constance in 1415), constitute a rich seam for research. His followers – sometimes described as Lollards – produced a substantial body of learned and quasi-learned work in English, including a complete and accurate translation of the entire Bible in two versions, which was then subject to censorship. The Latin writings of the Oxford master had a major impact on European culture more widely, especially in Bohemia. As a result, I collaborate regularly with colleagues who specialise in the literatures of other regions of later medieval Europe.

In recent years, I have worked on a joint project on controversial writings (in Latin, English, and Czech) surrounding the thought of Wyclif in England and Jan Hus in Bohemia, and a collaborative volume of papers entitled Wycliffism and Hussitism: Methods, Impact, Responses is to be published by Brepols (Turnhout) in the near future. I also work on the medieval reception of classical writings, and, currently, on the history of ideas relating to probabilism and scepticism at a time of religious and intellectual crisis in Europe.

You can find out more about my work here.

Selected Publications

And so it is licly to men: Probabilism and hermeneutics in Wycliffite discourse’, Review of English Studies, 70 (2019), 418-36

‘Genre and Method in the Late Sermones of John Wyclif’, in Language and Method. Historical and Historiographical Reflections on Medieval Thought, ed. Ueli Zahnd (Freiburg-im-Breisgau: Rombach, 2017)

‘The Prologues’, in The Wycliffite Bible: Origin, History and Interpretation, ed. Elizabeth Solopova (Leiden: Brill, 2017)

‘Magisterial Authority, Heresy and Lay Questioning in Early Fifteenth-Century Oxford’ [on MS Bodley 649], Revue de l’histoire des religions, 231 (2014), 293-311

Uncertain Knowledge: Scepticism, Relativism and Doubt in the Middle Ages, ed. Dallas G. Denery II, Kantik Ghosh and Nicolette Zeeman, Disputatio 14 (Turnhout, Brepols, 2014)

After Arundel: Religious Writing in Fifteenth Century England, ed. Vincent Gillespie and Kantik Ghosh, Medieval Church Studies 21 (Turnhout, Brepols, 2011)

The Wycliffite Heresy: Authority and the Interpretation of Texts, Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature 45 (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2002; p/back 2009)