Professor Aengus Ward

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

My career trajectory has seen me build up a sustained level of research excellence, initially in (i) the field of medieval Iberian historiography and textual editing and subsequently branching out into (ii) the interdisciplinary study of discursive practices with a resolutely materialist and contextual focus. More recently, I have built on these foundations to provide (iii) cutting edge insights into the theory and practice of digital editing and digital cultures, without discarding the advantages provided by philological analysis

The centrepiece of my research outputs is the Estoria de Espanna Digital: the first major digital edition of a medieval Spanish prose text. The Estoria de Espanna is the most important medieval Iberian chronicle, originally composed around 1272 under the direction of King Alfonso X, known as el Sabio (the Learned). The edition comprises TEI-5 compliant xml transcriptions of five manuscripts of the (approximately 2,500 folios of text), presented in a variety of innovative ways and accompanied by a fully collated edited text and (where permissions allow) manuscript images.

My current research focuses on two diverse themes: (i) digital editing of medieval texts and the way in which digital forms of editing and textual organization can affect the way in which we interact with our cultural artefacts  and, (ii) the nature of manuscript culture and the manner in which reading was guided by the physical disposition of the text on the page.

Impact

In the context of the Estoria de Espanna Digital, I led a team which prepared exhibitions of manuscripts of the Estoria at the Biblioteca Nacional de España, the Universidad de Salamanca, the Biblioteca de Menédez Pelayo in Santander and the University of Minnesota. We also prepared a digital exhibition about the Estoria, which is accompanied by teaching materials freely available for any schools.

You can see an overview of the exhibition here.

In September 2019 we launched a crowdsourcing trial called Transcribe Estoria, in which we invite members of the public to join with us in transcribing medieval manuscripts.

Willingness to take PhD students

Yes

PhD projects

Dr Ward has supervised doctoral research on a range of topics, principally related to medieval Iberia. He has also supervised work on language and politics in contemporary Spain, with particular reference to the minorised languages of the Peninsula, and (in conjunction with members of the English Department) language and discursive strategies in modern Castilian.