Danielle Howarth

Thesis title: Trees in Middle English Romance


Danielle completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Sydney, where her interest in medieval literature was kindled. She moved to the University of Edinburgh to undertake an MSc in Medieval Literatures and Cultures, which she completed in 2015. She is now working on her PhD in Medieval Studies, focussing on tree imagery in Middle English romance. 


MSc in Medieval Literatures and Cultures (The University of Edinburgh), First Class 

BA (Hons) in Medieval Studies and History (The University of Sydney), Distinction 

Responsibilities & affiliations

Danielle is currently a Tutor for English Literature 1, and works with Edinburgh University’s Centre for Research Collections as an Evening Assistant. She is the Principal Research Assistant for the Scotland's Early Literature for Children Initiative (SELCIE), a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, a Student Representative on the committee of the Friends of Edinburgh University Library, an archivist for Kirkdale Archaeology, and a Research Assistant for a project about the Scottish regalia in and around 1651. She has also worked for the University as the Senior Peer Support Leader for the LLC, and was the President of the Late Antique and Medieval Postgraduate Society (LAMPS) from 2016 to 2107 and Secretary from 2015 to 2016.

Undergraduate teaching

Tutor for English Literature 1

Research summary

Danielle’s PhD focusses on trees in Middle English romance. She is particularly interested in human relationships with the non-human and looks at how trees can define human identities. She is working with several key Middle English romances, including Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Malory's Morte Darthur, and the Middle English Breton Lays, as well as a few lesser-known texts, such as Ywain and Gawain. Her research engages with ecofeminism and the EcoGothic, as well as ecocriticism more generally. 

Project activity

Principal Research Assistant for SELCIE (Scotland's Early Literature for Children Initiative): www.blogs.hss.ed.ac.uk/selcie 



Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Postgraduate Forum, University of Edinburgh, 20th May 2016 

Gardens and Enclosures (The Second Annual Late Antique and Medieval Postgraduate Society Conference), University of Edinburgh, 6th May 2016 

Papers delivered

'His Bark is Worse than His Bite: Trees and Ywain's Identity in Ywain and Gawain,' International Medieval Congress 2018, University of Leeds, 2nd-5th July 2018 (forthcoming) 

'Sweet Nothings: Whispers of Children in the Archives of Edinburgh’s Museum of Childhood,' Children's Traces: Centre for the History of Childhood Colloquium, University of Oxford, 29th June 2018 (forthcioming)

‘“This is the tree the which our first mother planted”: Trees and Feminine Identity in Malory’s Le Morte Darthur,’ The Centre for Literature and Writing Postgraduate Seminar Series, Edinburgh Napier University, 13th June 2018 (forthcoming)

'‘More naked and barer than is the leaf of the fig tree’: Trees and Lancelot’s ‘True’ Identity in Malory’s Le Morte Darthur,' Truth, Lies, and Deception: the Eighth Annual EMREM Symposium, University of Birmingham, 17-18th May 2018 (forthcoming)

'Fear and Loathing in Camelot: Arboreal Imagery and the Medieval Ecogothic in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,' Gothic Nature: New Directions in Ecohorror and the Ecogothic, Trinity College Dublin, 17th-18th November, 2017 

'The Once and Future Trees: Arboreal Imagery and Identity in Malory’s Morte Darthur,' Late Antique and Medieval Postgraduate Society Autumn Seminar Series, University of Edinburgh, 13th November 2017

'Can't See the Wood for the Trees: Trees as Markers of Gendered Identities in Middle English Romance,' International Medieval Congress 2017, University of Leeds, 3rd-6th July 2017

'Nonhuman Death: The Arboreal Dark Side of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,' The Third Annual Late Antique and Medieval Postgraduate Society Conference, University of Edinburgh, 16th June 2017

'“Als the bark hilles the tre”: An Ecofeminist Reading of Tree Imagery in the Middle English Ywain and Gawain ,' Gender and Transgression in the Middle Ages, University of St. Andrews, 3rd-5th May 2017

'Chivalry Doesn't Grow on Trees: Arboreal Imagery and Gawain's Identity in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,' The Memory of Trees, University of Liverpool, 20th April 2017

'“Y-clongen also a tre”: Trees and Gender Identities in the Middle English Sir Orfeo,' The ASLE-UKI Postgraduate Conference 2016: ‘A change of (s)cene: reviewing our place in a new geological epoch,’ University of Lincoln, 31st August – 2nd September 2016

‘“The well es under the fairest tre”: A Gendered Reading of the Hawthorn Tree in the Middle English Ywain and Gawain’ Poster at Approaching the Medieval, University of Cambridge, 4th May 2016 

‘“The largest and the fairest hands that ever man saw”: Gareth and Lancelot’s Hands as Symbols of their Gender Identities in Malory’s Le Morte Darthur’, Dialogue and Difference in the Middle Ages, University of Bristol, 25-26th February 2016

 '“And ϸurᴣ wyles of wymmen be wonen to sorᴣe”: Antifeminism and Gawain’s Problematic Masculinity in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,' Late Antique and Medieval Postgraduate Society, University of Edinburgh, Autumn Seminar Series, 18th November 2015

'Barking Up the Wrong Tree: Pine Trees and the Problematisation of Masculinity in The Song of Roland and The Capture of Orange' Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Colloquium, University of Edinburgh, 26th May 2015

“Review: The Manuscript and Meaning of Malory's Morte Darthur: Rubrication, Commemoration, Memorialization by K.S. Whetter”, The Mediaeval Journal (forthcoming)