Miss Corinne Dale

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Personal profile

I am a research student at Royal Holloway, University of London, working on a thesis on the Old English riddles under the supervision of Dr. Jennifer Neville. I won a College Research Scholarship Award in 2012, awarded by the college's English Department, for my doctoral studies.

I completed my BA in English at Royal Holloway in 2011 and was awarded the Phyllis Hodgson Prize for graduate study in the same year.  I completed my MA in Medieval Studies in 2012 at the same institution.

Research interests

The Old English riddles of the Exeter Book are the focus of my current area of interest. The title of my thesis is: Suffering, Servitude, Power: Eco-Critical and Eco-Theological Readings of the Exeter Book Riddles. In this thesis, I set out to explore the depiction of the non-human world in the Exeter Book Riddle collection, investigating humanity’s interaction with, and attitudes towards, the rest of creation using the fields of eco-criticism and eco-theology. Much scholarly attention has been given to what the riddles have to say about human society and culture, about heroism, service, sex and war, but very little has been said regarding the point-of-view of the natural world. I argue that there is a programme of resistance to anthropocentrism at work in the Exeter Book Riddle collection, whereby the riddles challenge human-centred ways of depicting and interpreting the created world. Depictions of the marginalised perspectives of sentient and non-sentient beings such as trees and animals are not just a characteristic of the riddle genre, but are actively used to explore the point of view of the natural world and the impact humanity has on its non-human inhabitants. 

For my MA in Medieval Studies I wrote a dissertation entitled 'The Religious Significance of Dwelling Places in the Exeter Book Poems'. This study explored how the poems' depictions of dwelling-places move requently from the literal to the symbolic, with writers creating symbolism and metaphor out of physical foundations. Both the Exeter Book poems and place and space in medieval literature remain key interests of mine. I am also interested in the work of J. R. R. Tolkien and am currently a visiting tutor for the EN2319/3003 Tolkien's Roots course at Royal Holloway.

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