Professor Karen Pratt
Professor of Medieval French Literature
Chair of Department Teaching Committee; Chair of Staff-student Liaison Committee
Tel +44 (0)20 7848 1181
Address Department of French
King's College London
Room D1, East Wing
London WC2R 2LS
Karen Pratt has an MA in French and German from the University of Oxford (St Hilda’s College) and a PhD in Medieval French and German from Reading University.
Having taught for 10 years at Goldsmiths’ College, she came to King’s in 1993 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2000 and to Professor of Medieval French Literature in 2009.
Her research focuses on comparative medieval literature (French and German), medieval rhetoric and translation theory, feminist approaches to Old and Middle French literature (antifeminist texts and defences of women, especially Christine de Pizan and Jean LeFèvre), Arthurian literature (books on La Mort le roi Artu and The Arthur of the French), Old French epic, and the romances of Gautier d’Arras. She published an edition/translation of the latter’s Eracle in 2007 and is at present preparing an edition/translation of Jean LeFèvre’s Livre de Leesce for the Pontifical Institute in Toronto. Having written two articles on a medieval miscellaneous manuscript, she was awarded in 2010 a major European grant from HERA for research into the dynamics of the French medieval miscellany, tracing the contextualisation of short narratives from one text collection to another. This research is being conducted with colleagues from the Universities of Bristol, Utrecht and Vienna, who are studying this phenomenon in the context of English, Dutch and German miscellany manuscripts. See http://www2.hum.uu.nl/project/medievalmanuscript/index.htm
Karen Pratt teaches modules on Medieval French Literature from 1100-1500, Narrative, Comedy, and French Feminist Writing, including the MA modules on Arthurian Tradition and French Psychoanalytic Writing since 1945.
Expertise and public engagement
Karen Pratt has successfully supervised research students working on the carole in Old French Literature and the interrelations between the sacred and the profane in medieval discourses. At present, she has two PhD students funded by HERA, working on French medieval miscellany manuscripts. She would be interested in supervising research in medieval French literature (1150-1500) with a gender, rhetorical, interdisciplinary, codicological or textual emphasis.
Karen Pratt is a member of the Société Rencesvals and the Gender and Medieval Studies Group. She is President of the British Branch of the International Courtly Literature Society, and honorary President of the British Branch of the International Arthurian Society and of the London Medieval Society. She also served until recently as a member of the Vinaver Trust and is a Lady Freeman of the City of Leicester.