Dr Janina Ramirez gained her degree in English literature and language (specializing in Old and Middle English) from St Anne’s College, Oxford. She then completed her post-graduate studies at the renowned Centre for Medieval Studies, York, where her love of medieval art flourished. While in York, she developed her Latin, Old English, paleography and archaeology skills; also giving vent to her creative side by directing ‘Beowulf’ and appearing in a number of medieval plays alongside the ‘Lords of Misrule’.
She completed a joint-funded cross-disciplinary art/literature PhD on the symbolism of birds, which led to a lectureship in York’s Art History department. This was followed by lecturing posts at Winchester, Warwick, and Oxford.
Janina is now course director for the Undergraduate Certificate in History of Art at the University of Oxford, and contributes to a number of courses, including a forthcoming seminar series on decoding symbols in art (Trinity 2012). She continues to publish her research, most recently in international art history journal Gesta.
Janina loves teaching, and has found enthusiastically sharing ideas face-to-face with students fed perfectly into television and media work. In 2010 she presented ‘Treasures of the Anglo-Saxons’ which aired on BBC Four, before going over to BBC Two.
This was followed by a documentary on Icelandic literature, ‘The Viking Sagas’, and an hour-long film on the stained glass of York Minster, ‘Britain’s Most Fragile Treasure’. She’s also appeared as an on-screen expert for documentaries, including ‘The Staffordshire Hoard’ for BBC One (West Midlands).
In 2012 Janina wrote and presented a three-part series on the Royal Manuscript collection of the British Library entitled ‘The Private Lives of Medieval Kings’. The series provided a unique opportunity to discover the personal books of England’s monarchs – from the earliest Anglo-Saxon kings to Henry VIII.
Her new series, The Hundred Years’ War, broadcast on BBC Four, explores explores the causes of the greatest and longest conflicts in medieval history.
She is currently working on a number of television and research projects. She lives in Oxfordshire with her husband, son, daughter and two cats. When she gets a quiet moment (rarely!) she likes to grow veg, listen to audiobooks, and watch old episodes of Inspector Morse…