New Position

Wes þu hal,

I am happy to announce that I have accepted a position as Assistant Professor of English at Fort Hays State University. In this role, I will be teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in grammar, linguistics, History of the English Language, and Old English. My family and I will be relocating to Hays, Kansas in July. While I have enjoyed my time at Baylor greatly, I am excited to begin this new chapter in my life and career.

As part of this position, I will be leading my first “English Grammar” course in the fall. Look for the syllabus for this course on the “Teaching” section of this website in the coming weeks.



8/10 ADDENDUM: I have uploaded my syllabus for ENG482-English Grammar onto the “Teaching” section of the site.

ICMS 2022: A Tolkien Addendum

Wes þu hal,

I am beyond happy to say that both the “Studies in the Heliand” paper panel and the “Teaching the Old Saxon Heliand” roundtable were fantastic. Both papers truly added something to the discussion of the text, and I can honestly the conversation about teaching was one of the most enjoyable academic discussion that I have had in some time. I’m already looking forward to next year’s panels!

While I was not a presenter at this year’s “Studies in the Heliand” session, I am taking part in today’s “New Readings of the Lord of the Rings” panel at 5:00 conference time. My presentation, “Tolkien, Augustinian Theodicy, and ‘Lovecraftian’ Evil” will discuss how Ungoliant (an important figure in Tolkien’s setting) seems to push against Tolkien’s typical Augustinian view of evil and instead reflects some of the ideas about evil championed by American horror author H.P. Lovecraft. I had a chance to pilot the first half of this study last month at the national Popular Culture Association conference, and I am looking forward to talking about the idea with the Tolkien and Augustine experts at Kalamazoo.

On the topic of Tolkien, I am also happy to announce that my essay “Tolkien, the Medieval Robin Hood, and the ‘Matter of the Greenwood'” has been accepted for publication in this year’s volume of Tolkien Studies. I will give more information about this once the final publication details are ironed out.



Old Saxon at Kalamazoo 2022!

Wes þu hal,

This week is the International Congress on Medieval Studies, and “Old Saxon at Kalamazoo” has two excellent sessions lined up. If you are attending the conference, I would certainly recommend making the time for them!

First, I will be presiding over our annual “Studies in the Heliand” research panel:

Studies in the Heliand
Thursday, May 12, 5:00 PM EDT

“The Traditional Theme of ‘Exile’ in the Old Saxon Heliand” – Paul Battles, Hanover College

“Baptizing Uurd in the Heliand.” – David G. Pedersen, College of the Ozarks

In addition to the research panel, this year we are delighted to hold a roundtable centered around the theme of “Teaching the Heliand.” The table is packed with some amazing participants, and I am looking forward to sharing in conversation with them.

Teaching the Old Saxon Heliand (A Roundtable)
Thursday, May 12, 7:00 PM EDT

Presider: Paul Battles, Hanover College

Participants: David M. Whitford, Baylor Univ.; Marc Pierce, Univ. of Texas – Austin; Collin Brown, Old Dominion Univ.; David Eugene Clark, Suffolk County Community College; Perry Neil Harrison, Fort Hays State Univ.; Kenneth C. Hawley, Lubbock Christian Univ.; Rick McDonald, Utah Valley Univ.

Both of these panels are are shaping up very nicely, and I am looking forward to each of them!



Call for Papers: Studies on the Heliand at Kalamazoo 2022

Wes þu hal,

To get things started, I am thrilled to announce that my essay “Teaching the Ninth-Century Heliand in the Twenty-First-Century Classroom” was recently published in the spring 2021 issue of Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching. You can find the proof version of this article in the “Research” section of this website.

I am also happy to announce that Old Saxon at Kalamazoo will be making a return at the 2022 International Congress on Medieval Studies. While the COVID-19 pandemic prevented us from hosting panels in 2021, we are happy to say that both our traditional paper panel and a roundtable discussing “Teaching the Old Saxon Heliand” will take place at the 2022 Congress. Past paper panels have included excellent work by scholars from a wide range of disciplines, and we hope 2022 will be no exception. You can find the call for papers below, and I hope you will consider submitting an abstract.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Studies in the Heliand: Special Session for the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University, hosted online 9-14 May 2022

The Heliand is the primary surviving text written in the Old Saxon language. In this remarkable work, the poet adapts Tatian’s Diatessaron into a Germanic epic by, among other things, adopting alliterative verse and refiguring Jesus as a Germanic lord. While all topics and approaches are welcome, we are especially interested in: the relationship between the Heliand, its sources, and other Germanic translations of the Diatessaron; the poet’s choices while adapting the text; and the Heliand‘s relationship to works of Old English literature.

You can submit your abstract and information at https://icms.confex.com/icms/2022am/cfp.cgi.

Submission deadline: Wednesday, September 15

For questions, please contact Perry Neil Harrison: pnharrison@fhsu.edu.



Call for Papers: 2021 International Association for Robin Hood Studies Virtual Conference

Here is the call for papers (originally posted by Leslie Coote) for this year’s virtual meeting of the International Association for Robin Hood Studies, tentatively scheduled for December 3-5:

The Biennial Conference of the International Association for Robin Hood Studies

Tentative Date: 3-5 December 2021.


Deadline for Proposals: 11 October 2021

Call for Papers

Every country, every timespace, every culture has its outlaws, and each tells its own stories about them, in a variety of different genres and socio-cultural forms. As outlaw studies in general can be both a wide and a narrow field, we will consider any submission on any area of outlaw studies. Papers may present some aspect/s of outlaw culture in general, or Robin Hood/other outlaws in particular, from any period or any geographic or cultural background, in any media or literary format/genre. We encourage that submissions be classified using the following headings:

Society (including economics, law and crime); Literary culture (including documents and books) and Theory; Geography and Place; Play (including music and performance) and Leisure; Gender and Sexuality; Politics and political history; Cinematic and Digital Culture and Theory; Weapons, War and Fighting; Fantasy culture and Theory; Art, Archaeology and the Visual; Mystery, Superstition and Religion; Race and Ethnicity; Other Robin Hoods.In response to the extraordinary events of 2020 and the continuance of a really difficult situation into 2021, this year’s conference will be an online event. It will be co-hosted by Dr Lesley Coote (University of Hull, UK) and Dr Steve Basdeo (The American International University of Richmond, Leeds UK).

Please submit a single document by 11 October 2021, containing: 1. a brief (100 word) presenter biography, and 2. a brief abstract of 250 words, including proposed title and topic heading/s, as above.

Address proposals to both Dr. Lesley Coote FHEA, Fellow of the University of Hull (coote081@gmail.com) and Dr. Stephen Basdeo, FHEA, Richmond: The American International University (stephen.basdeo@outlook.com).

In the tradition of Robin Hood himself, and of other Robin Hoods, we expect the conference to be a free event. If there should be a cost, we would expect this to be minimal.

New Syllabi and Forthcoming Publication

Wes þu hal,

Last month I finished my first year as an assistant professor at Fort Hays State University. Needless to say, this year has been very different from anything I could have ever expected. There is very little I can write that has not already been written, so I will simply say that, despite the difficulties, I have greatly enjoyed being a part of the English faculty at FHSU. I really couldn’t ask for a better group of people to face these challenges alongside.

Circumstances aside, this spring I finished teaching my first section of “Introduction to Linguistic Science,” and I am currently in the throes of teaching (via Zoom) my first graduate seminar, “Medieval Literature.” I have posted the syllabi for both of these classes onto the “Teaching” section of my website. Feel free to take a look.

While quite a few things during my first year at FHSU have been unexpected, I am happy to say that my article, “Teaching the 9th-Century Heliand in the 21st-Century Classroom,” has been accepted for publication in Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching. This article details my approach to teaching the Heliand during my time at Baylor. I will be posting the publication information for this piece as soon as I hear from the editors.



Robin Hood and the Outlaw/ed Literary Canon Released

Wes þu hal,

I am pleased to say that today I received my long-anticipated contributor’s copy of Routledge’s Robin Hood and the Outlaw/ed Literary Canon. It has been a true pleasure working with Alex Kaufman and Leslie Coote as they put this collection together. My contribution, “‘Gone, the Song of Gamelyn’: John Keats and the Medieval Robin Hood”, argues that Keats drew upon the image of the medieval outlaw as a source of social commentary when composing his own Robin Hood poem.

In addition to my scholarly interests, this chapter also gave me a chance to combine my love of all things Robin Hood with the works of Keats, undeniably my favorite poet. I have added the citation information for the chapter to the “Research’ section of this site, and the book is available to purchase on Amazon.



10/5 ADDENDUM: At long last, I have now added my syllabus for World Literature to the “Teaching” section of this site.

Updates: New Position, New Scholarship, New Baby

Wes þu hal,

I have quite a bit of news, so let’s dive right into it.

First, I am happy to say that I successfully defended my dissertation, Divine and Diabolical Power in Old English and Old Saxon Literature, on April 10th. All of the necessary revisions and red-tape have been taken care of, and I will formally receive my PhD on August 11th. With my degree completed, I will be joining Baylor’s English Department this fall as a Lecturer. Relatedly, I will be updating the “Teaching” section of my website with a new syllabus from my first World Literature course soon.

In addition to these developments, I am pleased to announce that two of my articles about the Old Saxon Heliand have recently been published in Modern Philology (116.1, August 2018) and Neophilologus (102.2, April 2018). You can find links to the proofs of these articles in the “Research” section of this site. Also in Old Saxon news, the fourth annual “Studies in the Heliand” panel has been accepted for the 2019 International Congress on Medieval Studies. Look for a formal Call for Papers regarding this panel in the coming weeks.

Most importantly, I am thrilled to say that my wife and I welcomed Alexander Neil Harrison into the world on July 12th. In addition to the usual scholarly fair, I’ll keep everyone updated on him with my posts here over the coming months.



Old Saxon at Kalamazoo 2018!

Wes þu hal,

I would like to invite those who are traveling to this year’s International Congress on Medieval Studies to attend the third annual “Studies in the Heliand” panel. The event will take place on Thursday, May 10 at 10:00 AM in Schneider 1135. This year’s panel features three presenters:

“‘The Traveler Recognizes His Goal’: A Traditional Theme in Old English and Old Saxon Poetry” – Paul Battles, Hanover College

“Translating Nazareth for the North Sea: Poetic License and Emotional Language in the Heliand” – Michael G. Johnson, University of Dallas

“The Name ‘Jesus’ in the Old Saxon Heliand” – Perry Neil Harrison, Baylor University

The previous two years have featured some excellent papers, and this year promises to be no different. I am looking forward to hearing some high-quality research and chatting with others who are interested in Old Saxon studies!