Project Director, and Reader in Medieval English Literature
Alfred Hiatt works on medieval literature and culture, with a particular interest in spatial representation. He is the author of Terra Incognita: Mapping the Antipodes before 1600 (British Library and University of Chicago Press, 2008), a history of the representation and cultural significance of the antipodes in European thought from Plato to the discovery of the New World. His doctoral work and first book – The Making of Medieval Forgeries (British Library and University of Toronto Press, 2004) – was on the reception and use of forged documents. He has written articles on historical writing, genre in Middle English literature, the reception of medieval forgeries within the ‘Republic of Letters’ of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and the role of maps in understanding (and misunderstanding) Beowulf.
Current research interests and projects include a book on the medieval reworking of classical geography (Dislocations: Reading Medieval Maps); a collaborative project (with Jerry Brotton and Yossef Rapoport) on comparative approaches to European and Islamic cartography, 1100-1600; and the reception of Lucan’s Bellum civile in the Middle Ages.
‘From Hulle to Cartage’: Maps and the Sea’, in The Sea and Englishness in the Middle Ages: Maritime Narratives, Identity and Culture, ed. S. Sobecki (Boydell and Brewer, 2011), pp. 133-157
‘Beowulf off the Map’, Anglo-Saxon England, 38 (2010), 11-40, doi:10.1017/S026367510999010X
‘Diplomatic Arts: Hickes against Mabillon in the Republic of Letters’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 70 (2009), 351-373, doi:10.1353/jhi.0.0045
Terra Incognita: Mapping the Antipodes before 1600 (London and Chicago: British Library/University of Chicago Press, 2008)
‘The Map of Macrobius before 1100’, Imago Mundi, 59 (2007), 149-176
The Making of Medieval Forgeries: False Documents in Fifteenth-Century England (London and Toronto: British Library/University of Toronto Press, 2004)