Dr Janina Ramirez is a presenter, lecturer and researcher. She specialises in interpreting symbols, and examining art works within their historical context. Following a degree in English Language and Literature at St Anne’s College, Oxford, Nina went to the prestigious Centre for Medieval Studies in York. Here she completed an MA and PhD on birds in Anglo-Saxon art and literature.
Following her post-graduate study, she gained a lecturing post at the Department for Art History at York University. She has taught at Warwick and Winchester Universities, and is now Course Director for the Undergraduate Certificate in History of Art at the Department for Continuing Education, Oxford University. She also lectures for the Victoria and Albert Museum.
She has published widely on medieval art and literature, and is currently preparing a definitive cultural guide to Anglo-Saxon England. Nina has taught and researched across a broad chronological sweep, covering everything from the sculptures of antiquity to post-modern architecture. Her experience also stretches beyond the world of art, having lectured in archaeology, history, literature and language. She is a passionate and enthused academic driven by a desire to share ideas.
In terms of presenting, she has worked on a number of documentaries for BBC Four. Her first 60 minute programme – ‘Treasures of the Anglo-Saxons’ – aired in August 2010, and reached an audience of three million after being reshown on BBC2. It revealed the codes and messages hidden in Anglo-Saxon jewellery, manuscripts and sculpture.
In Spring 2011 Janina wrote and presented a further hour-long documentary for BBC Four, made with Century Films, entitled ‘The Icelandic Sagas’. It contributed to a season of films about Iceland, and was part of the ‘Free Your Imagination: Books on the BBC’ project.
A further 60-minute documentary – ‘Britain’s Most Fragile Treasure’ – gave unprecedented access to the East Window of York Minster as it underwent cutting-edge restoration. It aired in October 2011 to critical acclaim.
Janina wrote and presented a three-part series, ‘Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings’ with Oxford Film and Television, which went out on BBC Four in January 2012. She was able to handle and study the Royal Collection of manuscripts from the British Library as they were exhibited for the first time. The series gave a unique insight into the beauty and significance of medieval manuscripts and their illuminations.
A fifteen part series for Radio 4 and another three-part series for BBC Four are currently in production. Janina continues to combine her university and media work to bring cultural and historical insights to a wider audience.