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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Dr Mark Chinca

Dr Mark Chinca
Reader in Medieval and Early Modern German Literature
German & Dutch
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
+44 (0)1223 338 542

Trinity College
United Kingdom


Mark Chinca came to medieval and early modern literature through undergraduate studies in Cambridge and Kiel, where he encountered literatures in French, Occitan, and Old Norse as well as German. His interests span several genres, from courtly romance and lyric through chronicle to devotional writing. The common thread is a focus on language: the ways in which it is formed rhetorically and poetically, its capacity for world-making, the effects it produces in its audience. This fascination led to a PhD and publications on concepts of fiction in the German romance as well as to more recent comparative work on the relationship between texts and meditational practice in the medieval and early modern periods.

Teaching interests: 

Mark Chinca teaches medieval and early modern German literature and comparative medieval literature at all levels; he also teaches undergraduate courses in German historical linguistics. He has supervised numerous MPhil and PhD students in early German literature, and welcomes inquiries from students with research projects in this area.

Research interests: 

Reseach interests center on the languages of medieval literature, especially questions of poetics, form, and fiction; religious and devotional writing; minnesang; the Kaiserchronik; the beginnings of vernacular literature.

Recent research projects: 

Mark Chinca’s latest book, Meditating Death, is about meditation on death and the afterlife in medieval Christianity and how this devotional practice was informed and transformed by text from the middle of the thirteenth century through the Protestant Reformation to the end of the sixteenth century. A second project was funded by the AHRC, the Newton Trust, and the Schröder Fund from 2012 through 2018; in collaboration with a team of scholars in the UK and Germany, it has produced a digital edition of the Kaiserchronik, one of the first verse chronicles in any European vernacular.

Currently he is collaborating on a comparative project on the beginnings of vernacular literature in the European Middle Ages.

Published works: 

Mark Chinca’s recent publications include:


For a complete list of publications see [...]