Nicola Estrafallaces




Research title: Translating Devotional Texts for Medieval Religious Women

Research Summary

From Siena to Syon: A Study on the Transmission and Translation of the Middle English Orcherd of Syon

How does gender affect the way medieval religious literature was transmitted and translated? My research answers this question by focusing on The Orcherd of Syon, a Middle English version of Catherine of Siena’s (1347–1380) Dialogo della divina provvidenza. In tracing the Latin source’s journey to medieval Britain, my project explores how texts by visionary women travelled across medieval Europe, through which monastic networks, if and how they were modified by scribes, compilers, and medieval readers. I then look at the role of the gendered reader by investigating how the Orcherd-translator adapts his source for a female audience, the Bridgettine nuns at Syon Abbey, and how he modifies the language and spiritual concerns of Catherine's text.




  • School of Critical Studies Research Support, School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow (May 2024; £243.61)
  • Research Training Support Grant, Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (October 2023; £592.32)
  • Research Training Support Grant, Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (June 2023; £552.23)
  • Research Training Support Grant, Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (May 2023; £595.30)
  • Engagement Fund, Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (February 2023; £2270.16 and three-month addition to stipendiary period) 
  • Research Travel Bursary, Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature (June 2022; £1,000)
  • SGSAH Visiting Doctoral Researcher Fund, Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (September 2021; £730)
  • Strategic Research Support Fund 2021 R2, School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow (June 2021; £500)
  • Major Grant, The Bibliographical Society (February 2021; £1,152.92)
  • AHRC DTP Scholarship, Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (October 2020–
     March 2024; fees and maintenance award for 3.5 years)


  • Bursary, Gender and Medieval Studies (March 2024; £300 bursary towards costs for attending 2024 GMS conference)
  • Bibliographical Society Bursary, London Rare Books School & The Bibliographical Society (May 2021; £200 tuition waiver for LRBS 'Introduction to Incunabula')
  • Sambrook Award Bursary, London International Palaeography Summer School (May 2021; £150 tuition waiver for LIPSS 2021 'Italian Palaeography Part 1' and 'Italian Palaeography Part 2')
  • Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies Bursary, Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Durham University (July 2020; £300 tuition reduction for IMEMS Latin & Palaeography Summer School)


Upcoming conferences:

  • 'Gender, Connections and Reconnections' Gender and Medieval Studies Conference 2024, University of Lincoln, Lincoln (26-28 June 2024). Paper: 'With or without "a ring of his own flesh"? Catherine of Siena, Mystic Marriage, and the Foreskin Ring'; session: Women and Religion; 26/6/2024
  • Biennial Congress of the New Chaucer Society, The Westin, Pasadena (15-18 July 2024). Paper: 'What if the Dreamer in "The Book of the Duchess" was not Melancholic?'; session: Dreaming the New; 17/7/2024

Past conferences:

  • Santa Caterina d'Europa. Edizioni e traduzioni antiche e moderne degli scritti cateriniani (sec. XV-XX), Centro Internazionale di Studi Cateriniani, Rome (26-27 April 2024). Paper: 'Le lettrici inglesi di Caterina da Siena'; 26/4/2024 [proceedings forthcoming in Quaderni del Centro Internazionale di Studi Cateriniani]
  • 'Meaning, Memory, and the Making of Culture: Manuscripts and Books, 1350-1550' XVIII Biennial Conference of the Early Book Society, University of Limerick, Limerick (11-15 July 2023). Paper: '"[H]e impressed in her body the pryntes of his woundes": Wynkyn de Worde’s Woodcuts and the Reception of Catherine of Siena’s Stigmata in Sixteenth-century England'; session: Cultures of Print; 13/7/2023
  • International Medieval Congress 2023, Institute for Medieval Studies at the University of Leeds, Leeds (3-6 July 2023). Paper: 'Networks of Political Activism: William Flete and the English Legacy of Catherine of Siena's Active Ministry'; session: Medieval Mystics: Networks, Relationships, and Influences, I (Mysticism & Lived Exprience Network); 3/7/2023
  • 'Il Dialogo di Caterina da Siena. Per una nuova edizione critica: Filologia, tradizione, teologia' XVI Seminario di mistica 'Claudio Leonardi' della Fondazione 'Ezio Franceschini', Pontificia Università 'San Tommaso', Rome (2-3 December 2021). Paper: 'La patrona d'Italia fuori dall'Italia: la diffusione del Dialogo nell'Inghilterra medievale'; 3/12/2021 [proceedings published with SISMEL in 2023]
  • 56th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI (10-15 May 2021). Paper: 'A Mystic into a Saint: Catherine of Siena from Il dialogo della divina provvidenza to The Orcherd of Syon'; session: Translation and Translation Theory; 15/05/2021



Recognizing Excellence in Teaching Associate Fellowship (24/4/2024)

English Language & Linguistics:

  • History of English, guest lecture 'Text and Transmission' (12/3/2024)
  • English Language & Linguistics 1A: Language, Meaning, and Power, seminars (2022-2023)
  • English Language & Linguistics 1B: Language, Society, and Change, seminars (2022-2023)
  • English Language & Linguistics 2A: Language, People, and Culture, seminars for 'Early Medieval Culture in England and Iceland' module (2022-2023)
  • English Language & Linguistics 2B: Language, Mind, and Expression, seminars for 'Middle English' and 'Early Modern English' modules (2022-2023)


  • Medieval Literature: Other Worlds, guest lecture 'Spiritual Visions: The Book of Margery Kempe' (19/3/2024)
  • Medieval Multitudes: Exploring Middle English Texts, guest lectures 'Dream Visions: The Book of the Duchess' (17/10/2023) and 'Hagiography: Collection of Saints' Lives' (21/11/2023)
  • Western Iconography and the Cult of Saints, guest lectures 'Catherine of Siena: Writing and Depicting Late Medieval Lay Sanctity' (5/5/2023) and 'Catherine of Siena: Writing and Depicting the Stigmata' (8/5/2023) [course at Università degli Studi di Roma 'Tor Vergata' - L-FIL-LET/08]
  • Gender and Religion in Medieval Literature, guest lecture 'Catherine of Siena in England: Orcherd and Lyf' (22/03/2021) 
  • Medieval English Literature 2, guest lecture 'Pearl: Text and Contexts' (24/11/2020)


  • Italian Language 1 (Beginners), written class (2022-2023)


Additional Information

  • Research Intern at Società Internazionale per lo Studio del Medioevo Latino (April-June 2023). Three-month SGSAH-funded internship to collaborate on the Compendium Auctorum Latinorum Medii Aevi.
  • Visiting Doctoral Researcher at Università degli Studi di Roma 'Tor Vergata' for the academic year 2021-2022.