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R.D. Perry

R.D. Perry

Associate Professor


Professor Perry’s research ranges widely over the areas of medieval and early modern literature. His focus is primarily in English, though with sustained attention to French literature, and occasional glances in the way of Italian and Latin literature as well. He is also interested in the long history of philosophy, including varieties of contemporary critical and literary theory.

In literary studies, Professor Perry is particularly concerned with the relationship between form and history. His first book, Coterie Poetics and the Beginnings of the English Literary Tradition: Chaucer to Spenser, traces how the biographical links between poets surfaces formally in their work, and how that local form of intimacy is abstracted to create the English literary tradition. The next book concerns the aesthetic qualities of incomplete works, centered especially on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, but also encompassing other medieval works (like the Arabic One Thousand and One Nights) and works of modern aesthetic theory (like Immanuel Kant and Sianne Ngai). Some essays outlining a third book are coalescing into a study of the forms of horror in the Middle Ages, exploring the following question: if, from the point of view of modernity, the medieval as such is horrific, how did they express that category of experience as a unique genre?

In addition, Professor Perry has co-edited three essay collections, on Charles d’Orléans, on the literary history of the Hundred Years War, and on modern intellectuals engaging with the Middle Ages. He is also co-editing primary texts by Chaucer and John Lydgate.


  • PhD – University of California Berkeley in English and Medieval Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory
  • MA- University of Georgia, Athens in English
  • BA – University of Georgia, Athens in English and Philosophy



  • Coterie Poetics and the Beginnings of the English Literary Tradition: Chaucer to Spenser. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2024.

Edited Collections

  • Literatures of the Hundred Years War. Edited with Daniel Davies. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2024.
  • Thinking of the Medieval: Midcentury Intellectuals and the Middle Ages. Edited with Benjamin Saltzman. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022.
  • Charles d’Orléans’ English Aesthetic: The Form, Poetics, and Style of ‘Fortunes Stabilnes’. Edited with Mary-Jo Arn. Cambridge: Boydell Press, 2020.

Selected Articles and Essays

  • “Anticipated Trauma and Medieval Horror in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” Special Issue on “Rethinking Trauma and Theory in Premodern Literature.” Ed. Siobhain Calkin and Matthew Aiello. Exemplaria. Forthcoming.
  • “Hannah Arendt’s Middle Ages for the Left.” In Thinking of the Medieval: Midcentury Intellectuals and the Middle Ages. Ed. R. D. Perry and Benjamin Saltzman. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022. Pp. 106-27.
  • “Hoccleve and the Logic of Incompleteness.” In Thomas Hoccleve: New Approaches. Ed. Jenni Nuttall and David Watt. Cambridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2022. Pp. 65-84.
  • “Auctorite/Auctour.” In A New Companion to Critical Thinking on Chaucer. Ed. Stephanie Batkie, Matthew Irvin, and Lynn Shutters. Leeds, UK: Arc Humanities Press, 2021. Pp. 241-54.
  • “Chaucer’s Summoner’s Tale and the Logic of Literature.” Special Issue on “Logic and Literary Form.” Poetics Today 41 (2020): 37-57.
  • “Lydgate’s Virtual Coteries: Chaucer’s Family and Gower’s Pacifism in the Fifteenth Century.” Speculum 93 (2018): 669-98.
  • “Langland’s French Song.” Yearbook of Langland Studies 30 (2016): 277-96.
  • “The Earl of Suffolk’s French Poems and Shirley’s Virtual Coteries.” Special Colloquium on “Cambridge, Trinity College MS R.3.20: Cultures of Miscellany in Trilingual England.” Studies in the Age of Chaucer 38 (2016): 299-308.
  • “Lydgate’s Danse Macabre and the Trauma of the Hundred Years War.” Special Issue on “Medieval Trauma.” Literature and Medicine 33.2 (2015): 303-24.