Dr Hannah Lucas

BA (Oxon), MPhil (Cantab), DPhil (Oxon)

Fellow (B), Assistant Tutor, Postgraduate Mentor

College Roles

  • Newby Trust Research Fellow (B)
  • Assistant Tutor (Undergraduates)
  • Postgraduate Mentor


Email: hal32@cam.ac.uk


Dr Hannah Lucas is a literary scholar specialising in contemplative writing, the philosophy of religion, and wellbeing in medieval English literature. Hannah read English at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, before moving to Emmanuel College in Cambridge for her MPhil in Medieval and Renaissance Literature. Hannah’s doctoral research was also based at the University of Oxford, and focused on the writings of fourteenth-century visionary theologian, Julian of Norwich. Her dissertation brought Julian’s texts into conversation with a post-Heideggerian phenomenology of health, to think through Julian’s insights into what it means to live and die well.

Hannah’s doctoral work won the Swapna Dev Memorial Prize in 2021 for the best dissertation in English at the University of Oxford. She joined Newnham as Junior Research Fellow in 2022.

Research Interests

Dr Hannah Lucas investigates the impact of contemplative practice on wellbeing. She is particularly interested in contemplation as an everyday, in-the-world practice, stretching beyond peak experiences like divine visions or revelations. The medieval paradigm shows how a contemplative approach rooted in embodiment and concentrated attention can dramatically shift the lived experience of, for instance, pain and illness. Hannah examines how such practices might be theorized and put into practice.

With this, Hannah also considers Middle English texts for their contributions to modern discourses of wellbeing. She is currently exploring the continuities and differences between medieval and postmodern thought, raising questions of genealogy between medieval theology and continental philosophy, and the insights—and irreconcilabilities—of such relationships.

Hannah has published on Julian of Norwich (Review of English Studies), Margery Kempe (Journal of Medieval Religious Literatures), Syon Abbey (Notes and Queries), and Thomas More (Moreana), and has contributed to numerous online publications, including Artsolation, on reading Julian during the pandemic. She is currently preparing a monograph, Julian of Norwich and the Phenomenology of Health, which will be the first book-length study to read the Julian texts with a phenomenological lens.

Photo by Dasha Tenditna