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Claire Poynton-Smith

Claire is a PhD candidate in the School of English. Her research applies digital approaches to medieval English with her project focusing on vernacular texts dealing with sainthood, vice, and virtue. Her thesis takes an innovative approach that seeks to simultaneously consider 300 years of evolving language and enable close analysis of individual textual examples.

She is particularly interested in examining expressions of lust and chastity and her project blends traditional literary qualitative analysis and corpus linguistics approaches, applying new computational tools to studying medieval conceptual vocabularies. She is excited by the fresh perspectives on medieval texts recent technology allows, and the digital methods she uses facilitate mapping, pinpointing, and interrogating thematic expression innovatively and at a scope previously impossible.

She also works on the Big Dating: Using Big Data to Date Medieval Texts project with Dr Mark Faulkner, which explores quantitative and computational approaches to the language of medieval texts, particularly those from England in the long twelfth century which evade the periodisation of English into ‘Old’ and ‘early Middle’.

Claire holds an MA in Viking and Anglo-Saxon Studies from the University of Nottingham, having completed her BA in English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, and is a qualified teacher.

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