Centre for Medieval Literature

Centre for Medieval Literature (CML) is a Centre of Excellence founded in 2012 and funded for ten years by the Danish National Research Foundation. The CML seeks to establish a cross-disciplinary theoretical framework for the study of medieval literature on a European scale.

The Centre is located at the University of Southern Denmark (Odense) and at the University of York and is run by prof. Lars Boje Mortensen (Centre leader, SDU), prof. Elizabeth Tyler (York), and professor MSO Christian Høgel (SDU). The CML furthermore consists of participants from York and Odense and of a wider group of European and North American scholars.


CML aims to establish cross-disciplinary theoretical frameworks for the study of medieval literature from a fully European perspective. Despite growth in study of global literature,  medieval texts continue to be studied within the frameworks defined by 19th-century romanticism: divided into research disciplines, theoretical positions and nationalizing canons which marginalize common European features and which impose modern concepts of literature. CML promotes studies of literatures from across Europe which draw on the methodologies of comparative literature and entangled history. We consider texts written in a wide range of vernaculars, from English to Georgian, as well as those written in the sacred languages of Latin, Greek, Arabic and Hebrew. CML’s emphasis on methodological development challenges modern literary theory’s neglect of medieval textual production and brings a European and medieval level to study of global literary history. For more on this approach, see the introduction to the first issue of Interfaces, "What is Medieval European Literature?" by Paolo Borsa, Christian Høgel, Lars Boje Mortensen, and Elizabeth Tyler.

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