Medieval Literature



Senior Research and Teaching Assistant

+41 (0)22 379  70 32


Office and Office Hour / Bureau et heure de réception 


Dr Sarah Brazil received her BA and MA from University College Dublin. She holds a PhD from the University of Geneva in medieval English literature, written under the supervision of Professor Guillemette Bolens. She is currently in the process of publishing a monograph (see below) for the series Early Drama, Art and Music (Medieval Institute Publications). This work considers the use of clothing in literary and theological texts as a mechanism for exploring various facets of embodiment. Her post-doctoral project, Sacred Comedy in Early English Drama, is looking for new critical avenues to deal with the recurrent overlapping of various forms of humour in plays of a sacred nature. She is currently on research leave, funded by the SNSF early Postdoc.Mobility grant. She is also a fellow at the Institute for the Advanced Studies of the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, and a visiting researcher at the English department at Edinburgh.


Books and Monographs

  • The Corporeality of Clothing in Medieval Literature: Cognition, Kinesis, and the Sacred (Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University, forthcoming)

Journal Articles

  • ‘Approaching Humour in the Slaughter of the Innocents plays’, European Medieval Drama 22 (forthcoming, 2018)
  • ‘Performing the Female Body: Gender Complexity and the Visitatio Sepulchri, Medieval Feminist Forum, Special Issue, Women’s Arts of the Body, ed. by Irina Dimitrescu (Under Review)
  • ‘Forms of Pretence in Pre-Modern Drama: From the Visitatio Sepulchri to Hamlet’, European Medieval Drama 20 (2017) Winner of the 2018 MRDS Martin Stevens Prize for Best Essay
  • ‘Doctrinal Orthodoxy and the Dramatic in Liturgical and Secular English Drama’, Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature, ed. by Elisabeth Dutton and James McBain (Narr publications, 2015)
  • ‘The Codification of Heraldry in Middle English Arthurian Texts’, Coat of Arms, X.I, ed. by Clive Cheesman (The Heraldry Society, 2014)

Book Chapters

  • ‘The Materiality of Metaphors: Why the Affect Needs Shoes in the Doctrine of the Hert’, in Emotions and Medieval Media, ed. by Mary C. Flannery (In Press)
  • ‘Drama’, in A Cultural History of Emotions in the Medieval Age: 350-1300, ed. by Clare Monagle and Juanita Feros Ruys (Bloomsbury: In Press)
  • ‘The Body’, co-authored with Guillemette Bolens, in A Cultural History of Dress and Fashion in the Medieval Age, Volume 2, ed. by Sarah Grace Heller (Berg publications, 6 Volumes, Series Editor Susan J. Vincent, 2016)

Book Reviews

  • Philip Butterworth and Katie Normington (eds), Medieval Theatre Performance (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2017), for Early Theatre (forthcoming, 2018)
  • Jay Zysk, Shadow and Substance: Eucharistic Controversy Across the Reformation Divide (Bloomington IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2017)
  • Nicole D. Smith, Sartorial Strategies: Outfitting Aristocrats and Fashioning Conduct in Late Medieval Literature (Notre Dame, Ind: University of Notre Dame Press, 2012), in H France Vol. 15.185, 2015.


  • ‘Grappling with Humour in its many forms: The Language of Play and Acts of Torture in the Early English Passion Plays’, Humour and Obscenity in the Medieval and Early Modern World, MEMSA Conference, Durham University, 9-10 July, 2018
  • ‘Experiencing Comedy in Early English Biblical Drama’, Cities of Readers III: The Performance of Texts, Leeds International Medieval Conference, July 2-5
  • ‘Approaching Sacred Comedy in Early English Drama’,Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society, New Voices Panel, Kalamazoo International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 10-13
  • ‘Sacred Comedy in Early English Drama’, Institute for the Advanced Studies of the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, February 2018
  • ‘The Humour of the Slaughter of the Innocents Plays’, Leeds International Medieval Conference, July 2017
  • A Critical Reassessment of Dramatic Terminology, or The Problem with Mimesis, Cultures of Performance, Medieval English Theatre (MeTh), University of Glasgow, March 2017
  • ‘Imitation in the Visitatio Sepulchri’.Société Internationale de Théâtre Médiéval (SITM), Durham, 2016
  • Clothing and the Postlapsarian Body in Early English Drama’, International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, 2013, Winner of the 2014 Alexandra Johnston Prize for best graduate research paper:


Medieval Literature