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Alicia Smith

Alicia Smith earned a DPhil in English from the University of Oxford under the direction of Prof. Annie Sutherland. Her dissertation is entitled “Anchoritic Prayer in Time: Enclosure and Encounter, c. 1080–1350.”  Dr Smith was previously a Lecturer in medieval English at Somerville College, Oxford. She has recently published two articles, the first called “‘The example of Elisha’: Prayer and prophetic discourse in the Regula Reclusorum,” in the Journal of Medieval Latin; the second, “‘Each way means loneliness – and communion’: Reading anchoritic literature with T.S. Eliot” in Postmedieval. She has also recently published a book chapter, “The anchoritic body at prayer in Goscelin of Saint-Bertin’s Liber Confortatorius,” in a work entitled The Materiality of Middle English Anchoritic Devotion edited by Michelle Sauer and Jenny Bledsoe. At PIMS, Dr Smith’s primary aim will be to research questions raised from a verse text of the life of Thais written by Bishop Marbod of Rennes around the beginning of the twelfth century. (Thais is reputed to have been a 4th-century Alexandrian courtesan who became an anchorite and saint after being converted to the Christian faith by the Egyptian monk Paphnutius.)

• 2022–2023, Mellon Fellow


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