Kate Ash-Irisarri

Lecturer in Late Medieval Scottish & English Literature

Contact details



Room 3.16
50 George Sq

Post code


  • Student Drop-in hours
    Semester 2: Tuesday 2-3pm; Wednesday 1-2pm


A first-generation student, Kate was an undergraduate at the University of Oxford, then completed an MA and PhD at The University of Manchester. Before coming to Edinburgh in 2022, she previously taught at the universities of Manchester, Liverpool Hope, Nottingham and Bristol. She also spent three years working with the University of Manchester's Widening Participation team (2010-13), first as the co-ordinator of the university's flagship secondary school access programme (Manchester Gateways) and then as the project officer for the RCUK-funded School-University Partnership Initiative (SUPI). Kate is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 


MA (Oxon); MA, PhD (Manchester)


Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Editor, Scottish Literature and Culture, The Literary Encyclopedia
  • Reviewer, Older Scots, The Year's Work in English Studies
  • Council Member, Scottish Text Society
  • Editorial Board Member, Read Older Scots

Undergraduate teaching

I teach pre-1800 literature, with a particular focus on the medieval period. 


Pre-Honours Teaching

  • Scottish Literature 2A
  • Literary Studies 1B


Honours Teaching

  • Death & Dying in Late Medieval Literature
  • The Field Full of Folk
  • Canterbury Tales
  • Shakespeare: Modes & Genres
  • Reading Theory 2 (Course Organiser)


I also convene the Year Abroad Long Essay. 

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

Kate is open to PhD enquiries related to any aspect of her research interests. 


Current PhD students supervised

B. Byrne. MScR, 'Transcribing MS 218's Richard Coer de Lyon through the Lens of Hyperspectral Imaging Along with a Comparative Analysis to Other Transcriptive Versions'

Research summary

I specialise in the literature of late medieval Scotland and England, with a particular focus on memory and the history of emotions. 

Current research interests

I am currently involved in a seed-funded project focused on women's reproductive mental health. Working with colleagues at UWE and Exeter and with women in Bristol, the project seeks to understand the mental health support needs of women at moments of reproductive transition (menarche, pregnancy/childbirth, menopause). This project received seed funding from the GW4 Crucible: https://gw4.ac.uk/community/hystories-amplyfying-womens-voices-for-better-outcomes-in-reproductive-mental-health-a-journey-through-menstruation-pregnancy-and-menopause/