Professor Joanna Story

Professor of Early Medieval History


Professor Joanna Story is an expert in the history, art and archaeology of early medieval Europe, AD 500–1100. Her research explores the connections between the Insular world (Britain and Ireland) and continental Europe, and the contribution of the islands to culture of post-Roman Europe.

Professor Story has published widely on texts and art preserved in early medieval manuscripts, as well as contemporary sculpture and monumental inscriptions. She was the lead academic advisor to the British Library’s Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition in 2018/19.


Topics in early medieval English or Frankish History, particularly those that focus on cross-Channel, Northumbrian, or Mercian themes as well as those which involve the exploration of archaeological as well as historical evidence.

Early medieval Europe

My research concentrates on early medieval Europe, especially England, Francia, and Italy from the seventh to ninth centuries as well as aspects of twelfth-century history, and manuscript studies. My principle area of research is the links between the kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England and the Empire of Charlemagne, working primarily with written sources but also with material culture (especially manuscripts, epigraphy and sculpture).

I have been running three major research projects: the first is on the Epitaph of Pope Hadrian I, extant in St. Peter's in the Vatican for which a monograph is forthcoming with OUP. I was also PI for a Leverhulme Trust International Network on Insular Manuscripts, AD650–AD850: Networks of Knowledge (2016–2019), and PI for a research programme on The Impact of Diasporas on the Making of Britain: evidence, memories, inventions sponsored by The Leverhulme Trust that ran from January 2011 to January 2017. I am also currently a Co-I on the AHRC funded project, Worked in Stone: Completing the Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture (PI: Professor RJ Cramp, Durham University), and am working with Professor Cramp on Volume XIV of the Corpus, which will produce a definitive catalogue of extant pre-Conquest sculpture in the East Midlands, including the major sites at Breedon-on-the-Hill, Peterborough and Barnack.

I am also General Editor, with Dr Roy Flechner (UCD) of the Routledge series, Studies in Early Medieval Britain and Ireland.


I supervise PhD projects on many aspects of medieval studies, especially those that combine material culture and textual analysis.


My undergraduate and postgraduate teaching reflects many of my research interests. I run courses on early medieval Europe (including England and Carolingian Francia, and on the Viking Age), as well as broader thematic courses such as Race and Ethnicity, and on medieval palaeography and book history.

Media enquiries

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