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Hana Videen


PhD in English (Medieval)

PhD topic: Blood in Old English Literature
Primary supervisor: Professor Clare Lees
Secondary supervisor: Dr Sarah Salih


Hana received her BA in the United States at Smith College, majoring in English Language and Literature with a minor in Medieval Studies.  After working as a children’s ESL teacher in South Korea for two years, she moved to London, returning to her love of Old English poetry.  Hana did her MA in Medieval Studies at King’s College London, for which she received the Arts and Humanities International Scholarship as well as the Centre for Late Antique & Medieval Studies (CLAMS) Book Bursary Award.  She is currently in the first year of her PhD in English.  At King's Hana is also involved in CLAMS and the Old English Translation Group.

Current Research project

The topic of blood in the later Middle Ages has acquired much more notice over the last twenty years, but this newer literature consistently glosses over or ignores the Anglo-Saxon period.  The Anglo-Saxon period, if considered at all in these studies, is thought of as merely a precursor to the more significant blood symbolism of the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries.   What does blood signify in Old English literature, and what is wrong with applying research on the later Middle Ages to the Anglo-Saxon period?  Hana is tackling these questions through the close reading of several exemplary Old English texts – a combination of poetry, prose and medical writing.  She plans on looking at non-poetic sources to gain a better understanding of Anglo-Saxons and their relationship with blood (leech-book entries, for example, and hagiography), but the focus of her dissertation will be works of poetry.  The goal of her research is to understand medieval blood from an Anglo-Saxon perspective, shedding light on a surprisingly understudied period of literature.


  • King’s College London Annual Postgraduate Conference, King’s College London, 2012.  (‘Crossing “Cynd”: Speech and Sentience in The Dream of the Rood’)
  • International Medieval Congress, Leeds 2012.  (‘Dinner, Drinks and Decapitation: A First (and Last) Date with Judith in Old English Literature.’)
  • UEA-York-KCL Medieval Conference, King's College London 2011.  (‘Blood in Beowulf: The Significance of Sawul-drior.’)
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