Researcher, teacher, maker

Based in Reading and York, UK

Here I’ve collected some of the things I most enjoy making and learning, and helping other people to make and learn. For everything, see my cv.

francesca dot allfrey at york dot ac dot uk

SUTTON HOO IN PUBLIC Representing the early Middle Ages in newspapers, television, and museums

I completed a PhD in May 2020, and I am currently turning my thesis into a book.

ETHNONATIONALISM AND MEDIEVALISM Reading affective ‘Anglo-Saxonism’ today with the discovery of Sutton Hoo postmedieval, 2021 [link].

OLD ENGLISH POETRY AND SUTTON HOO ON DISPLAY Creating ‘the Anglo-Saxons’ in museums
Forthcoming chapter [link].

AFTERLIVES OF THE SEAFARER Tracing twentieth- and twenty-first century lives of the tenth-century ‘Seafarer’ poem
Forthcoming article.


University of Reading

Spring 2022 - Medieval Otherworlds, Introduction to Old English Literature, Renaissance Texts and Cultures (Undergraduate).

King’s College London

2017-2021 - Medieval Literary Culture (Undergraduate).
Spring 2021 - The Contemporary Medieval (Postgraduate).

Queen Mary University London 2019 - Literatures in Time (Undergraduate).


The Courtauld
Designing and delivering digital skills training for over 200 volunteers digitising 1.5 million photographs of art and architecture.


Editing workshops for researchers and institutions.
I co-organise the #MedievalWiki project to improve Wikipedia coverage of women and people of colour related to medieval studies [link].


Collaborative translations

The Dream of the Rood.
The House of Fame.

A Gift for the Illuminated Sphere
Found texts and images, handmade book, edition of five.

Mechanics of Memory
Photographs and found text, edition of three.


True Songs
Official Selection for the Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2016.


The Courtauld

Digital Media blog audio.

Footnotes podcast
Interviews with humanities researchers.

A digitial project committed to sharing and archiving lives on the Strand, London.


From the moment of excavation in 1939, the seventh-century burial site Sutton Hoo has been instrumentalised to support ethno-nationalist narratives in England. Old English poetry has been intrinsic to this process. I am currently working on a book and articles drawing upon my thesis research on this topic.

I am also writing an article tracing a ‘creative network’ of contemporary remakings of the Old English ‘Seafarer’poem, examining work by poet Amy Kate Riach, illustrator Jila Peacock, and composer Sally Beamish. Finally, I have started a new project examining creative responses to Sutton Hoo, and the phenomenon of post-war commemorative medieval events, pageants, and community festivals.
The excavation of Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, 1939.

In 2017, I researched and designed a temporary display at the National Trust site, and facilitated learning activities on site. This included a poetry walk: visitors borrowed mp3 players to listen to ask they explored.

Sutton Hoo today.

Teaching Old English poetry in  Primary Schools, forthcoming article with Primary History.

I teach Medieval Literature at undergraduate and postgraduate level. My specialisms are Old English poetry, medievalism, medieval to modern translation, and multi-media archival research.

I have been an education facilitator at the British Museum since 2015, and contributed to National Lottery Heritage Funded workshops for public and schools audiences.

I run workshops (online and offline) on wikipedia editing, audio recording and editing skills, interviewer and interview skills, and wordpress editing.

Email me if you’d like me to join your project as a teacher, facilitator, resource producer, or to discuss your training needs.


The Courtauld

Between 2020-2021 I produced the Courtauld Digital Media Blog audio. I have introduced volunteers to basic recording skills, and I produce the final audio. You can find the blog here, and you can also listen to Spotify.

Footnotes podcast
Interviews with humanities researchers. Listen here.

Footnotes podcast, 2015-2017. I produced and hosted interviews with arts and humanities researchers. Listen here.

Mechanics of Memory, pages 28-29. See the digital book here.

Mechanics of Memory

Photographs (colour and self-developed black and white 35mm film) and found text. Handmade books, edition of three.

A Gift for the Illuminated Sphere

Gifted on the occassion of Caroline Bergvall’s residency at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK, 2015. Handmade books, edition of five. Shortlisted for the Ivan Juritz Prize.

A Gift for the Illuminated Sphere, pages 4-5. See the digital book here.
Allfrey, F. L., & Brooks, F. A. (2015). A Gift for the Illuminated Sphere. Textual Practice, 30(1), 15-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/0950236X.2016.1122261
A Gift for the Illuminated Sphere, pages 12-13. See the digital book here.


True Songs
Conversations with my nonna, and film exploring her photographs and ornaments. Official Selection for the Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2016.

Audio interviews with accompanying visuals for the Strandlines.london community website and social media.

︎Twitter (@francheskyia)