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Professor Julian Weiss

Professor Julian Weiss

Professor of Medieval & Early Modern Spanish Studies

Affiliated member of the Programme in Comparative Literature

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 2206
Address Department of Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies
King’s College London 
Room 5.47 Virginia Woolf Building
22 Kingsway
London WC2B 6LE


After receiving his DPhil at Oxford (1984), Professor Weiss held positions at the Universities of Liverpool, Virginia, and Oregon (where he was Head of Romance Languages), and was appointed to King’s in 2001. An associated staff member of the Programme in Comparative Literature, Julian is also member of the international research group Seminario de Poética Europea del Renacimiento, based at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He is on the editorial or advisory boards of several international journals and publishers (such as Tamesis), and between 2007-10, served as Director of the Centre for Late Antique & Medieval Studies, King’s College London (2007-10), and continues to be general editor of the Centre’s publication series, King´s College London Medieval Studies

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • the history of literary theory and poetics before 1700
  • the history of the book, reading and censorship
  • medieval and early modern lyric verse, particularly approaches to gender
  • postcolonial and cultural studies approaches to interfaith relations within Iberia and its historical legacy.
  • theories of ideology and cultural materialism

Julian's current major project is a study of the early modern Hispanic reception of the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (1st Century CE), which examines how the writings of Josephus were used by Christians, Jews and crypto-Jews to define Jewish identities and to understand the history of Jewish-Christian relations in Europe and the New World from 1492 to the later seventeenth century, among, for example, the Sephardic communities of Amsterdam.

Julian welcomes PhD applications for projects related to any of his research interests.

For more details, please see his full research profile.

Selected publications
  • The Poet’s Art: Literary Theory in Castile, c. 1400-60 (Oxford: Society for the Study of Mediaeval Languages and Literatures, 1990)
  • The ‘Mester de clerecía’: Intellectuals and Ideologies in Thirteenth-Century Castile (Woodbridge: Tamesis, 2006), awarded the annual international book prize from the journal La Corónica.
  • Ed. with María José Vega & Cesc Esteve, Reading and Censorship in Early Modern Europe (Barcelona: UAB, 2010)
  • Ed. with Sarah Salih, Locating the Middle Ages: The Places and Spaces of Medieval Culture (London: Centre for Late Antique and Medieval Studies, KCL,  2012)
  • Ed. with Antonio Cortijo, Glosa sobre las ‘Trescientas’ del famoso poeta Juan de Mena (Madrid: Polifemo, 2015)

My teaching at undergraduate and graduate levels is informed by my research interests, and my classes are a workshop where I test and develop my ideas. Most of my modules cross periods and languages and recognise the multilingual and multicultural heritage of Iberia. I teach texts in Castilian, Catalan, Galician-Portuguese, Portuguese, Arabic and Hebrew (the last two in translation). A number of my courses are open to students in non-language programmes, such as Jewish Studies, Comparative Literature, English and Medieval Studies. Among my recent modules are ‘Bodily Desires: Love, Loathing and Sexuality in Medieval and Early Modern Iberian Lyric’, ‘Sepharad: The Jews of Medieval and Early Modern Spain’, ‘Writing Women in medieval and early modern Spain’, ‘Muslim Spain in the European Imagination from the Middle Ages to Romanticism’. I also teach on our first-year core module, ‘Global Iberias’, as well as contribute to our core language module, specialising in translation and stylistics. Language is also at the heart of my literature and cultural modules, which include instruction in the rudiments of medieval and Renaissance Spanish and emphasise the value of close textual analysis.


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