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Featured Member: Robin Norris (Carleton University)

11 Aug 2016 1:03 PM | Andrew Klein

April showers bring May flowers...and a new Medievalist of the Month, Robin Norris of Carleton University!

Would you like to be the next medievalist of the month? Get in touch at New medievalists currently sought for May, June, July, and August! 


B.A., English and Linguistcs double major at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, with a year at Trinity College Dublin. M.A., Ohio State. Ph.D., University of Toronto.

You’re arriving at an airport for a research trip and the border control agent asks what you do. How do you answer?

I am a professor in the English Department at Carleton. If they ask what I teach, I tell them I teach medieval literature and the history of the English language. Then there usually follows a love it or hate it reaction.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am collaborating with Johanna Kramer (University of Missouri) and Hugh Magennis (Queens University, Belfast) on a collection of 22 anonymous Old English saints’ lives to be published in 2017 by Harvard University Press for Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library. Each text has been reedited with an introduction and translation. This will likely require two volumes! I am responsible for six lives: Giles, James, Machutus, Mildred, Neot, Pantaleon. Over reading week, we three editors will meet at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library in Washington, DC, to finalize the project, which goes to press on July 1.

What do you think is the best part of being a medievalist?

One of the best things about being a medievalist is understanding where English came from and how the language has changed over time. This is also an interesting time to be teaching as a medievalist because our popular culture seems to be obsessed with the medieval world. 

Why did you join the CSM? What other societies do you belong to?

There are some amazing medievalists working in Canada. I also belong to ISAS and the Babel Working Group.

Where can we find/read some of your work?

I have published in a number of journals and edited collections. I have one piece online about film adaptations of Beowulf: “Resistance to Genocide in the Postmodern Beowulf.” Literature Compass 8 (2011): 435–8. I have a recent article out in Anglo-Saxon England 2014: “The Sevenfold-Fivefold-Threefold Litany of the Saints in the Leofric Missal and Beyond.” This question makes me wonder if I should get on…

Any final thoughts?

Marc Saurette and I co-founded a new minor in Medieval and Early Modern studies. He taught the first of our core courses this fall.


On July 1, I will become chair of my department. 

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