Medieval literature and culture

The English Department has a long tradition of training and supporting medieval scholars. There are five medievalists in the department whose teaching and research cross several disciplines, spanning the linguistic spectrum (Old Norse, Anglo-Norman, Old English, Early and Later Middle English, and Middle Scots). Drawing together expertise in Manuscript Studies and Textual Editing, and possessing distinctive strengths in the study of Middle English Literature and Culture, we boast the largest and most vibrant medieval program in Western Canada.

A practical commitment to interdisciplinary studies is manifest in our participation in the University of Victoria Medieval Studies Program, and we make outreach a priority through the annual Medieval Workshop. An exciting series of visiting speakers sponsored by the Beck Trust and the Lansdowne Series has long made the English Department a destination for major scholars and critics in the field (e.g., Derek Pearsall, A. C. Spearing, James Simpson, Alcuin Blamires, Carol J. Clover, and James Graham-Campbell). The University of Victoria has occasionally hosted the Medieval Association of the Pacific, and we are currently co-sponsoring the annual meeting of the Medieval Academy of America (Vancouver, 2008). The university library holdings include a rich variety of manuscript resources, microfilm, and early printed books.

We offer a stimulating undergraduate program and a variety of graduate research opportunities.

Our students are introduced to debates over key topics in the field such as ethnicity, colonialism, language politics, ethics, and law in the undergraduate and graduate medieval curriculum, offering many points of comparison with other areas of the humanities.

Our teaching and research reflect emerging and established critical orientations within contemporary medieval studies including the following sorts of inquiry: ethnicity (e.g., the Welshness of Arthur, the influence of Jewish communities on English identity), nationalism (e.g., London as the New Troy), religious difference (e.g., Lollard heresy, Crusade-era representations of the other), ethics and aesthetics (e.g., Ciceronian rhetorical culture and didacticism), historiography (e.g., the Norman appropriation of the Anglo-Saxon heritage), literary politics and appropriation (e.g., the elite status of Anglo-Norman and Latin literatures, England as a multilingual culture), reception and censorship (e.g., the strategic adapting or bowdlerizing of women's mysticism in English translation), and textual transmission via early coterie or scribal reading communities (e.g., the fact that the scribe of the Ellesmere Chaucer was the scribe of the Trinity Langland). Several of our graduates have gone on to become professional medieval scholars who publish in related areas.

Our graduate students work on topics across the entire range of the field, and we welcome applicants working on any topic or from any perspective for consideration.

A monograph tentatively entitled Angles on a Kingdom: East Anglia in Anglo-Saxon Literature.

A Chapter on the eighth-century English hagiographer Felix (sometimes called Felix of Crowland), for the volume Guthlac of Crowland: Celebrating 1300 Years, edited by Jane Roberts and Alan Thacker.

An edited collection titled Women and the Divine in the Literature before 1700: Essays in Memory of Margot Louis for ELS Editions.

A study called Ethics in the Event of Middle English Literature for Palgrave's New Middle Ages Series (supported by a SSHRC Standard Research Grant).

An edition of Lydgate's Fall of Princes for the Middle English Texts Series.

A monograph called The Miracles of the Virgin in England: Law and Jewishness in Medieval Marian Legends for Boydell & Brewer.

A new translation of Mandeville's Travels from the Middle French accompanied by variants from other versions and languages.

Editing the journal Scandinavian-Canadian Studies, a publication of the Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies in Canada.

"Drohtin the Godo and Frea Allmectig: Pre-Christian Germanic Language in Continental Saxon Christian Literature and its Role in Clarifying Early Anglo-Saxon Christianity," by David Carlton (M.A., 2014)

"Temporal Cartography: Reading Here-and-Now in Chaucer's The House of Fame," by Serina Patterson (M.A., 2008)

"Jewish Ritual Murder Accusations in Pre- and Post-Explusion English Literature," by Gabrielle L'Archeveque (M.A., 2008)

"Through Perception and Belief: The Moral Teaching of 'The Preaching of the Swallow,'" by Ami Watanabe (M.A., 2008)

"The Magical Morgan le Fay in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," by Nicole Hillary (M.A. 2008)

"The Man of Steel: Bodily Discourses of Chivalric Masculinity in Middle English Romance," by Percy Koehl (M.A., 2008)

"Rhetoric of Martyrs: Transmission and Reception History of the Passion of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas," by Erin Ronsse (Ph.D., 2007)

King Arthur's Ghosts and the Question of Justice," by Ian Bingeman (M.A., 2005)

"The Same Old Story?: Sex, Women, and Morality in Geoffrey Chaucer's and Robert Henryson's 'Tale of the Cock and the Fox,'" by Laura Fanning (M.A., 2005)

"'Gydeth My Song': Divine Ventriloquism and Bodily Manipulation in 'The Prioress's Tale,'" by Bronwyn Welch (M.A., 2005)

"Christina of Markyate's Biographer and His Work," by Thea Mary Todd (Ph.D., 2004)

"Pre-Codex to Post-Code: Editorial Theory in the Second Incunabulum," by Patrick James Finn (PhD., 2003)

"'this was here procreation': The Storie of Asneth and Spiritual Marriage in the Middle Ages," by Heather Anne Reid (M.A., 2003)

"Images, Icons, and Texts: Illustrated English Literary Works from the Ruthwell Cross to the Ellesmere Chaucer," by Magdalena Anna Hilmo (Ph.D., 2001)

"The Character of Gawain in Middle English Romance," by Cory James Rushton (M.A., 2000)

"Knights, Kings, and Heroines: Disguise in Middle English Romances," by Julie Ann McClung (M.A., 2000)

"Parody and Satire in the Medieval Cultural Productions of the South West Midlands and Anglo-Ireland," by Deborah Louise Moore (M.A., 1998)

"From Scribe to Reader: A Study of the Marginal Annotations of Bodleian Library Digby 102," by Tanya Geraldine Schaap (M.A., 1996)

"Cato, Christ, and Piers: The Disticha Catonis and Christian Literacy in Piers Plowman," by Patricia Ann Baer (M.A., 1996)

"Celebrating the Mundane: The Feminine Influence in Early Middle English Prose," by Corinna M. Gilliland (M.A., 1996)

"The Textual Self: Autobiographical Self-Expression in Augustine's Confessiones," by Linda Anne Dawn Olson (M.A., 1993)

"From Creation to Desecration: The Marginal Annotations of Piers Plowman C Text HM 143," by Carl James Grindley (M.A., 1992)

"Articulating Ecstasy:  Image and Allegory in The Booke of Gostlye Grade of Mechtild of Hackeborn," by Rosalynn Voaden (M.A., 1990)