Murray McGillivray


English Department Profile  |

I am currently looking for new MA or PhD students to begin our program in Fall 2013 and receive funding from my SSHRC grant as research associates of the Cotton Nero A.x. Project. Please contact me directly before or during the application season to discuss this possibility.

My current major sponsored research (twice SSHRC-funded) is The Cotton Nero A.x. Project, which is in the process of developing an online digital facsimile and close commented transcription (publication summer 2012) of this Middle English poetic manuscript, and also a new print-form critical edition (publication 2016 or so) of its famous poems, Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (see for more). I am also the principal editor of The Online Corpus of Old English Poetry (, for which I am currently finishing my edition of Beowulf (this project is not currently grant-sponsored), and I have recently published two textbooks on Old English, my Gentle Introduction to Old English and my Old English Reader (Broadview).

My research interests range broadly over Old and Middle English language and literature and digital humanities, and include the pedagogy of these fields. I teach Old English and Old Norse language and literature, Middle English literature, the history of the English language, and digital humanities, all at both undergraduate and graduate levels. I habitually structure the grants I get in such a way as to support graduate students financially and foster their careers. I have supervised several MA and PhD theses in which students have conducted research as funded research associates in the context of one of my larger research projects, research that has then been carried forward to result in a thesis. I also welcome and have funded graduate students in all areas of Old English, Middle English, and digital humanities, and am supervising or have supervised recently, for example, a thesis on the Middle English romances from a postcolonial perspective, one on the performance possibilities of a narrative text from a performance studies point of view, and one on the implications of depictions of landscape in early poetry taking an ecocritical stance. Please see my personal home page for more detail, my full CV with publications, and links to some of my projects.

Past and Current Supervisions

Honours Theses:

  • Sheila McManus, “The Hero in the Work and Death of Patrick Pearce.”
  • Dale Schierbeck, “The Authority of Fiction: Reality and its Representation in Mary Stewart’s Crystal Cave Trilogy.”
  • Heidi Kurtz, “Speculations about Margery Kempe: An Analysis of ‘This Creature’ [Winner national honours-student essay competition]
  • Alan Born, “Julian of Norwich’s Challenge to Traditional Notions of the Body.”
  • Siobhan Thomas, “Reclaiming Femininity: Symbols of the Goddess in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon.”
  • Lorelee Kippen, “Towards an Architectonics of Sex: Christine de Pizan’s Rewriting of Virtue and the Verboten.” [Presented at Leeds International Medieval Conference]
  • Marta Juzwiak, “The Middle English Pearl: an Electronic Edition.”
  • Adam Pendlebury, “Mearc-stapa, Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell: Liminality in Theme and Composition in Beowulf.”
  • Mary Rambaran-Olm, “The Dream of the Rood: an Electronic Edition.”
  • Irena Aligizakis, “A Gift of Bones” [poem based on the Caedmon story; co-supervised with Nicole Markotic].
  • Marilyn Dann, “The Language of Praise in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.”
  • Erin Laxton, “Monsters and Heroism in Beowulf.”
  • Lindsay Bec, “Interconnective Networks: Visioning Textuality Through Hypertext and Generative Art.”
  • Stephanie Bedin, “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight lines 995-1507: A Critical and Diplomatic Edition.”
  • Allie Watson, “Bodiless Users and Broken Links: Reconnecting the (Post)Human Subject to Hypertextual Networks.”

MA Theses:

  • Lynette Chong, “Chaucer’s Book of the Duchess: A Transcription and Edition Based on Fairfax 16 with Paleographic, Textual and Explanatory Notes.”
  • Catherine Radimer, “Disrupting ‘Male’ Narratives: Subversive Female Characters in the Works of Chaucer.”
  • James Bazant, “Richard Coeur de Lion: An Edition Based on MS. Gonville & Caius 175/96.”
  • Christine Hoffos, “Chaucer’s Book of the Duchess: Transcriptions of MS Bodley 638, MS Tanner 346, and Thynne’s print edition of 1532, with Collation and Proposed Stemma.”
  • Heidi Kurtz, “‘Mysmetre for Defaute of Tonge’: Generative Metrics and the Editing of Chaucer.”
  • Lars Hedlund, “Sir Eglamour and its Performance Possibilities.”

PhD Theses:

  • Kenna Olsen, “An Edition of Middle English poem Cleanness  and an Analysis of the Scribal Writing System.”
  • Angela Abdou, “The Canterbury Trail, a novel.” Co-supervised with Suzette Mayr.
  • Jenna Stook, “Troubled Identities: Saracen Alterity and Cultural Hybridity in Middle English Romance.”

Graduate Courses Taught

  • Beowulf
  • Geoffrey Chaucer (once a survey of the works, twice more pointed as “and the Anti-Feminist Tradition”)
  • Cybertext/Humanities Computing/Digital Humanities
  • The Exeter Book of Old English Poetry
  • Middle English Literature
  • Old Norse
  • Old English Poetry
  • The Works of the Pearl-Poet