skip to content


Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Professor Mark Chinca

Dr Mark Chinca
Professor of Medieval and Early Modern German Literature
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
+44 (0)1223 338 542

Trinity College
United Kingdom


Mark Chinca studied in Cambridge and Kiel, where he encountered literatures in French, Occitan, and Old Norse as well as German. A PhD on the poetics of Gottfried von Strassburg’s Tristan romance led to further publications on concepts of fiction in medieval romance as well as to more recent comparative work on the relationship between rhetoric, textuality, 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 (Oxford 2020), 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.

Recently Mark Chinca has completed a comparative project on the emergence of written literatures in the vernacular languages of medieval Europe, from Iceland and Iberia to Byzantium and Rus; the resulting volume, Literary Beginnings in the European Middle Ages, will be published by Cambridge University Press in spring 2022.

Published works: 

Recent and forthcoming publications include:

Literary Beginnings in the European Middle Ages. Edited by Mark Chinca and Christopher Young. Cambridge University Press, 2022.

Meditating Death in Medieval and Early Modern Devotional Writing: From Bonaventure to Luther. Oxford University Press, 2020.

Kaiserchronik. Elektronische Ausgabe. Edited by Mark Chinca, Helen Hunter, Jürgen Wolf, Christopher Young. Heidelberg: Universitätsbibliothek, 2018.

Medieval Studies and Digital Philology in the German-Speaking World. Edited by Mark Chinca and Christopher Young. Special issue of Digital Philology 6, no. 2 (Fall, 2017).

For a complete list of publications see here.