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26 October 2020

King's academic's new animation to launch at Being Human festival

As part of the Being Human humanities festival, Dr Sarah Bowden (German) has worked on a new animation which re-tells a German legend of St Oswald and his raven.

St Oswald and his raven
Image: A new animation which re-tells a German legend of St Oswald and his raven

Dr Bowden, a medievalist, has been working on a collaborative project about Oswald, the seventh-century King of Northumbria, who was a very popular saint in Europe in the High Middle Ages. He was particularly popular in Germany, where the story of his raven originated.

The animation launches online at Peterborough Cathedral on Thursday 12 November at 11.30am. King Oswald’s incorrupt right arm was the most precious relic owned by the monks of Peterborough.

The new animation used imagery from the Peterborough Bestiary, a medieval book once owned by Peterborough Abbey and now in the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College Cambridge.

King Oswald’s Raven was selected to be part of the Being Human Festival which various King’s Arts and Humanities academics take part in each year.






This collaborative animation is the result of a hugely enjoyable collaboration with colleagues both within and outside academia. I’m delighted that we’re able to bring this funny – and thought-provoking – medieval German story of St Oswald to a wider audience. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of turning this famous story into an animation that families can enjoy. I believe the project keeps history alive, which is what the Being Human Festival is all about.

Dr Sarah Bowden

The animation is the result of a collaborative project between Dr Johanna Dale (History, University College London), animator Charlie Minnion, writer Hazel Gould, director Sinéad O’Neill and artist Hannah Saunders.

It is based on the Munich Oswald, which Dr Bowden worked on in her book Bridal-Quest Epics: A Revisionary Approach (London, 2012).

The Being Human Festival is the UK’s only festival of the humanities. It is led by the School of Advanced Study at the University of London, in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. The festival is held in November each year, bringing together universities, museums, galleries and libraries to stage stimulating and engaging activities that make research accessible and strengthen the relevance of the humanities to local and international issues.

More details about St Oswald’s Raven can be found or follow @Oswalds_Raven on Twitter, #OswaldsRaven.

For more events in the Being Human Festival, see:



In this story

Sarah Bowden

Reader in German and Medieval Studies

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