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Brandon Hawk

Craig-Lee Hall (CL) 149​
(401) 456-8675

Academic Background

B.A., Houghton College
M.A., Ph.D., University of Connecticut

With a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the University of Connecticut (2014), I joined the RIC English Department in 2015. My fields of expertise are Old and Middle English, Old Norse, history of the English language, digital humanities, the Bible as/in literature, translation, and the history of the book. Most of my interests in research and teaching encompass what might be called transmission studies: the afterlives of texts, including circulation, translations, adaptations, and representations in various cultures and media.

I enjoy reading a range of medieval literature, including Old English poetry like Beowulf and The Dream of the Rood; apocalyptic visions of heaven and hell like Dante’s Inferno; as well as Old Norse sagas about Vikings like Sigurd the Dragon-Slayer and Ragnar Shaggy-Breeches. I also appreciate being able to teach about literature more widely, such as contemporary speculative fiction, graphic novels, and the history of text technologies from medieval manuscripts to the digital age. In approaching all of these, I encourage thinking beyond the words on the page—to consider contexts like materiality, history, and culture that help us to understand literature.

I am currently working on my first book, tentatively titled Preaching Apocrypha in Anglo-Saxon England. In this project, I challenge normative assumptions about the use of non-canonical gospels, apostolic acts, and apocalypses in sermons—particularly Old English translations—suggesting that they are a substantial part of the apparatus of tradition inherited by Anglo-Saxons. I explore transmissions of Christian apocrypha as, on the one hand, hermeneutic in expanding and explaining biblical and doctrinal knowledge, and, on the other hand, ideological, institutional responses to local pedagogical needs.

In my free time, I take hikes, read books, binge-watch Netflix, hang out with my cat, and listen to music—especially selections from my vinyl record collection. You can check out my website and blog about teaching and research at Outside Link

Courses Taught

ENGL 122 Studies in Literature and the Canon
ENGL 201 Literary Studies: Analysis
ENGL 347 Literatures of Medieval Britain


"Psalm 151 in Anglo-Saxon England," Review of English Studies n.s. 66 (2015): 805-21.
"Teaching History of the English Language with the Blickling Homilies,"This Rough Magic (June 2015): Outside Link

“A Handwritten Prayer in the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Copy of Richard Hyrde’s Instruction of a Christen Woman,” Notes and Queries 62 (2015): 253-57.
“Isidorian Influences in Ælfric’s Preface to Genesis,” English Studies 95 (2014), 357-66.

"Project Report: Studying Judith in Anglo-Saxon England,"Old English Newsletter 45.1 (Spring 2014): Outside Link

"The Expositio in epistolas Beati Pauli ex operibus S. Augustini by Florus in Strasbourg, BNU MS.0.309,"Revue Bénédictine 124, fasc. 1 (2014): 109-13.

"A Fragment of Colossians with Hiberno-Latin Glosses in St. Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 1395," Sacris Erudiri 51 (2012): 233-56.

"A Greco-Latin Numerical List in a St. Gall Fragment,"Manuscripta 56 (2012): 28-46.

"‘Id est, crux Christi’: Tracing the Old English Motif of the Celestial Rood,"Anglo-Saxon England 40 (2011): 43-73.

"Staffordshire Hoard Item Number 550, a Ward Against Evil,"Notes and Queries 58 (2011): 1-3. ​​

Page last updated: January 18, 2019