Nigel Harris

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

Much of my research activity is devoted to three sometimes related interests: allegorical and symbolic uses of animals in medieval literature; late medieval didactic literature (in Latin and German), and its methods of conveying religious and ethical ideas to an increasingly wide audience; and the ways in which certain authors of the High Middle Ages adapted their French sources. I find myself also developing an increasing interest in the Swiss Reformation. I am currently working on a set of studies of medieval animal imagery, on the various versions of the late-medieval theological compendium known as the Lumen anime, and on the Zurich reformer Huldrych Zwingli.

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

I am keen to supervise postgraduates working on any aspect of German literature and culture between, roughly, 1100 and 1650. I am always happy to undertake joint supervisions with other Birmingham colleagues.

Some of the dissertations I have supervised to completion in recent years have been on the following topics:

The Schachbuch of Heinrich von Beringen
Christian imagery in Hartmann von Aue’s Gregorius, Kafka’s Die Verwandlung and Thomas Mann’s Der Erwählte
Utz Eckstein’s Zwinglian dialogues Concilium and Rychsztag; peasants in dialogue with authority in three Reformation dialogues
Albrecht Dürer’s scientific writings
Max Mell and Reinhold Schneider’s reception of the Nibelungenlied
The important fifteenth-century German manuscript British Library Add. 24946.