Fionnuala Sinclair


  • Department of European Languages and Cultures
  • School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

Contact details



Room 3.48
50 George Square

Post code


  • My Office Hours are 14.00-16.00 on Tuesdays. Please feel free to drop in and see me then, or e-mail to arrange a different time if those hours aren't convenient.


Dr. Fionnùala (Finn) Sinclair taught at the University of Cambridge and was Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Hawai’i before being appointed to the post of Lecturer in Medieval Studies at the University of Edinburgh in 2012.

Postgraduate teaching

Fionnuala Sinclair is Programme Director for the MSc in Medieval Literatures and Cultures, and teaches and supervises on medieval French, Occitan and Italian literature and culture.

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

Postgraduate research proposals are welcome on medieval French, Occitan and Italian literature and culture, and on the inter-relation between these. Fionnuala has a particular interest in inter-disciplinary research projects, and in those that draw on modern critical theory and philosophy. She has research interests in gender studies, the relationship between history and fiction in medieval texts, and metamorphosis and the body.

Currently supervised PhD topics

Music in the Prose Tristan (second supervisor)

Past PhD students supervised

Morgan Boharski, PhD in French Studies: 'Woven words: clothwork and the representation of feminine expression and identity in Old French romance'.

Research summary

  • Medieval French, Occitan and Italian literature
  • The inter-relation of fiction and history in medieval texts
  • Crusade literature
  • Gender in the Middle Ages

Project activity

Fionnùala Sinclair’s research initially focused on French and Occitan literature of the 12th and 13th centuries, and resulted in the publication of Milk and Blood: Gender and Genealogy in the ‘Chanson de Geste’ (2003), along with several articles. The monograph examines the medieval perception of maternity and the significance of the mother’s role in epic narrative, and is informed by modern gender and feminist theory, drawing in particular on the work of Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray. More recently, Fionnùala’s research has concentrated on the later medieval period, with a particular focus on the inter-relation of history and fiction in literature written in French during the 14th and early 15th centuries. She is currently working on a monograph, Imagining History: Memory, Myth and Identity in Late Medieval French Texts, which studies how the interplay between poetic and historiographic writing shapes notions of authorial, genealogical and national identity in the late Middle Ages. In particular, it studies the writing of Jean Froissart, both his poetic dits and his chronicle, and the different versions of the Roman de Mélusine, along with modern historiographical theory. This interest in the relationship between fiction and history extends to the literature of the earlier Middle Ages, in particular crusade literature – that of the Fourth Crusade and the Albigensian Crusade – where the influence of the chanson de geste helps to shape ‘historical’ discourse. A further research project is planned in this area of study.

View all 18 publications on Research Explorer