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Sarah Bowden 2019

Dr Sarah Bowden

Reader in German and Medieval Studies

  • Pro-Vice Dean (Assessment)

Research interests

  • Languages

Pronouns

She/Her

Biography

Sarah Bowden is a medievalist with a particular interest in the literary culture of the German lands in the 11th and 12th centuries. She studied in Cambridge, Freiburg im Breisgau and Cologne, and joined King's as Lecturer in German in 2012 after a research fellowship in Oxford.

Research Interests and PhD Supervision

  • 11th- and 12th-century literary and manuscript culture
  • Penitential theology
  • Middle High German epic and romance
  • Genre and literary history
  • European cult of St Oswald

Sarah’s research centres on the literary culture of the German lands in the Middle Ages. Her first monograph, Bridal-Quest Epics in Medieval Germany: A Revisionary Approach (2012), offers a major reappraisal of one of the canonical, yet problematic, genres of medieval German literature, and is connected to her wider interest in the history of scholarship on medieval literature as well as the ways and means in which we categorize and label texts.

Sarah’s current research focuses on the literary culture of the German lands in the 11th and 12th centuries. She is particularly interested in the development of German as a literary language and the relationship between German and Latin; in the emergence of a discourse of vernacular religious poetry; and in the manuscript transmission of German-language writing in the 12th century. Her next monograph, provisionally entitled Writing Sin: Text and Confession in the German Lands, 1050–1200, deals with these areas of interest through the lens of attitudes towards (and writing about) sin, confession and penance. In 2018 Sarah was awarded a Fellowship for Experienced Researchers by the Humboldt Foundation to work on this project. She is involved in related projects on temporalities and medieval poetic anthologies, working together with colleagues in the UK, Europe and USA.

Sarah is co-Principal Investigator (with Susanne Friede, Bochum) on the project 'Sacred Secular', funded by the Thyssen Foundation. She is also Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded project 'Liturgical and literary landscapes: the cult of St Oswald of Northumbria in the German-speaking world' (PI Johanna Dale, UCL). Sarah welcomes enquiries from potential PhD students in medieval German literature. For more details, please see her full research profile.

Teaching

Sarah teaches undergraduate and postgraduate modules on medieval literature and culture. She also enjoys teaching translation.

Expertise and Public Engagement

Sarah has organised and been involved with a wide range of outreach activities for language learners. As part of her project 'Liturgical and Literary Landscapes' she is involved in a range of public engagement projects in the Peterborough area. She has appeared on BBC Radio 4's In Our Time, discussing the medieval German epic 'The Nibelungenlied'. She is one of the Faculty's inaugural Impact Fellows.

Selected publications

Bridal-Quest Epics in Medieval Germany: A Revisionary Approach

Bowden, S., 2012, London: Modern Humanities Research Association. (Modern Humanities Research Association. Texts and dissertations; vol. v. 83)(Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies (University of London). Bithell series of dissertations; vol. v. 40)

Punishment and Penitential Practices in Medieval German Writing

Bowden, S. (ed.) & Volfing, A. (ed.), 2018, Boydell & Brewer Ltd. (King's College London Medieval Studies)

Performing didacticism in Early Middle High German Poetry: Poet, audience and creed in Arme Hartmann’s Rede von deme heiligen gelouben

Bowden, S. K., 2019 Prozesse et delectare: Case Studies on Didactic Literature in the European Middle Ages /Fallstudien zur didaktischen Literatur des europäischen Mittelalters. Kössinger, N. & Wittig, C. (eds.). de Gruyter, (Das Mittelalter. Perspektiven mediävistischer Forschung. Beihefte; vol. 11), pp. 85–101

    Research

    medieval england main
    Centre for Late Antique and Medieval Studies

    Interdisciplinary centre for the study of late antique and medieval history, languages, philosophy, religion, literature and music in western and eastern Europe.

    Textual Representation PoeticsFictionRhetoric
    Textual Representation: Poetics/Fiction/Rhetoric

    Researchers within the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Culture at King’s College London are dedicated to exploring literary texts in multilingual contexts.

    Vis Culture
    Visual Culture

    The Visual Culture research group is a network of scholars within King’s College London working across a diverse historical range of film, art, and performance.

    News

    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...

    St Oswald and his raven

    Events

    18MarLanguages German Open Day_1

    How to write a chronicle? (Hi-)Storytelling in 15th century Nürnberg

    This event is now cancelled

    Please note: this event has passed.

      Research

      medieval england main
      Centre for Late Antique and Medieval Studies

      Interdisciplinary centre for the study of late antique and medieval history, languages, philosophy, religion, literature and music in western and eastern Europe.

      Textual Representation PoeticsFictionRhetoric
      Textual Representation: Poetics/Fiction/Rhetoric

      Researchers within the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Culture at King’s College London are dedicated to exploring literary texts in multilingual contexts.

      Vis Culture
      Visual Culture

      The Visual Culture research group is a network of scholars within King’s College London working across a diverse historical range of film, art, and performance.

      News

      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...

      St Oswald and his raven

      Events

      18MarLanguages German Open Day_1

      How to write a chronicle? (Hi-)Storytelling in 15th century Nürnberg

      This event is now cancelled

      Please note: this event has passed.