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Humma Mouzam

Languages and Literature, University of Birmingham

Thesis title:

Beyond Britain: The Cross-Cultural Dragon in Medieval and Early Modern Arthurian Literature

My thesis explores the far-reaching literary and cultural influences, drawn from European and Arabic sources, which informed the development of the dragon as a cultural symbol in English Arthurian literature produced between the twelfth and sixteenth centuries. It traces literary-cultural transmission within and across medieval and early modern Arthurian works and considers wider political and sociocultural settings, in order to interrogate insular understandings of literary motifs. 

Research Area

  • Languages and Literature


-2021: Society for Renaissance Studies (SRS), Panel on 'Strange Places', Crowdcast Seminar. Paper given: 'Control and Conquer, Mounts and Monsters: Giant Spaces in the Prose Merlin and The Faerie Queene'.

-2020: Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference on 'Translation', University of Oxford, Zoom Webinar. Paper given: 'Translating Gerbert: William of Malmesbury, Pope Sylvester II and the lure of al-Andalus'. 

-2019: International Arthurian Society, British Branch Conference, Durham University. Paper given: 'Powerful Places and Stellar Skies: Medieval Britain and the astrological material of the Arab world' (revised).

-2019: EMREM Annual Symposium, University of Birmingham. Paper given: 'Powerful Places and Stellar Skies: Medieval Britain and the astrological material of the Arab world'.

Public Engagement & Impact

-2020: Livestream session with VALUE Foundation. Invited to provide Arthurian context and expertise on the newly released game, Pendragon, created by inkle, a BAFTA-nominated independent developer of narrative games and interactive stories.

-2019: Manuscript Workshop at the Cadbury Research Library (CRL). Co-organised a workshop featuring the CRL's Mingana Collection. Presentation given: 'Serpents and Dragons, Horses and Simurghs, Lions and Elephants: Fantastic Beasts and the Shahnameh'. 

Other Research Interests

My research interests include: Arthurian literatures, medieval motifs, literary-cultural transmission (specifically twelfth-century Latin translators, twelfth-century astronomical and astrological materials and twelfth-century translations of Arabic astrological works), supernatural monsters, cross-cultural borders, insular/ national identity, crusading and apocalyptic literatures. 


-Member of the student-led Literary Early Modern and Medieval research group (LEMMæ)

-Member of the Centre for the Study of the Middle Ages (CESMA)

-Member of the Centre for Reformation and Early Modern Studies (CREMS)

-Member of the International Arthurian Society, British Branch (IAS BB)

-Past member of the Research Team at Medieval and Early Modern Orients (MEMOs) (2020-1)


Blog 1: Flowering Folios and Medieval Manuscripts: Lambert’s Liber Floridus


Blog 2: Here be Dragons: Monsters of the Medieval Past, Prophetic Present and Apocalyptic Future