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Kendra Slayton

PhD student


Kendra Slayton is a sixth-year doctoral candidate in medieval literature and a Fellow in Residence at the University of Tennessee Humanities Center for the 2018–2019 academic year. In her dissertation, she argues that Chaucer applies the terms of medieval theological debates on free will to social contexts in order to portray and indict the social determinism of women and its negative impact upon men, women, and the common good alike. As a Graduate Teaching Associate, Kendra has taught freshmen composition, English as a Second Language composition, and British Literature I (Beowulf–Johnson). Kendra has served for four years as the Graduate Teaching/Resident Assistant for the UTK Honors College study abroad program at Cambridge, from 2015–2018. In addition, she acted as Assistant Director of English as a Second Language from 2014–2015. Before beginning graduate school, Kendra was an Assistant Language Teacher in the Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Program, living and working in Yamanishi-shi, Japan from 2008–2011. In her free time, Kendra enjoys cooking, traveling, and recurve archery, and is a certified Level II USA Archery instructor.


  • Chaucer
  • Late Middle English literature
  • Medieval theology & free will
  • Feminist theory & literature
  • Habitus and sociological theory
  • Female liminality and monstrosity
  • Angela Carter
  • English as a Second Language pedagogy


Ph.D. University of Tennessee, expected May 2019

Dissertation Title: For commune profit sith it may availle: Gender, Circumscription, and the Common Good in Chaucer

M.A. University of Tennessee, 2013

B.A. Michigan State University, 2008


  • “Tied in ‘lusty leese’: Gender and Determinism in Troilus and Criseyde.” Forthcoming January 2019 in The Chaucer Review
  • "Review of Suzanne Verderber's The Medieval Fold: Power, Repression, and the Emergence of the Individual"in Comitatus 45, 2014.

Professional Service

  • Test Proctor and Grader, English Language Placement Exam (2014 – 2018)
  • Hodges Teaching Award Selection Committee Member (2015; 2017)
  • Volunteer, Medieval Day Outreach Event, Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (January 2016)
  • PhD Student Representative, Graduate Students in English Council (2015 – 2016)
  • English Department Representative, Graduate Student Senate (2012 – 2015)

 Academic Appointments

  • Study Abroad Program Graduate Assistant, UTK Honors at Cambridge (Summer 2015–2018)
  • Assistant Director of ESL (2014-2015)
  • Graduate Teaching Associate (2012-present)
  • Writing Center Tutor (Aug. 2011 – May 2012; Aug. 2015 – May 2016; Jan. – Apr. 2018)
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant (2011-2012)

Courses Taught

  • English 201: British Literature I: Beowulf to Johnson (Fall 2017)
  • ENG 102/132: English Composition II, Cross-Cultural Section (Spring 2015) Theme: Inquiry into the Gendered Hero(ine)
  • ENG 132: Composition for Non-Native Speakers (Fall 2015; Summer 2016) Themes: Inquiry into the Gendered Hero(ine); Dystopia
  • ENG 121: Academic English for Non-Native Speakers (Fall 2014; Spring 2016)
  • ENG 102: English Composition II (Spring 2013; Spring 2014) Theme: Inquiry into the Gendered Hero(ine)
  • ENG 101: English Composition I (Fall 2013; Fall 2012) Theme: Issues in Education


Awards, Honors & Grants

  • Humanities Center Graduate Student Dissertation Fellowship (2018–2019)
  • John Hurt Fisher Memorial Literature Prize (2017–2018)
  • Norman J. Sanders Dissertation Fellowship (2016 – 2017)
  • Joseph Trahern Medieval Dissertation Fellowship (2016 – 2017)
  • John C. Hodges Excellence in Teaching Award (2014)
  • Marco Keith Taylor Graduate Student Promise Award (2013 – 2014)
  • John C. Hodges Fellowship (2013 – 2014 & 2011 – 2012)

Associations & Organizations

  • UTK Medieval Latin Sight-reading Group, Member (2018)
  • Gender Studies Reading Group, Member (2015–2017)
  • Member: Modern Language Association
  • Member: Medieval Academy of America
  • Member: Southeastern Medieval Association

Conference Presentations

  • Unkyndeley enclynyng: Social Determinism in the House of Fame.” Southeastern Medieval Association Conference. University of Tennessee, October 2016.
  • “Assessing the Placement of L2 Writers: An Institutional Case Study of Student Perceptions.” Symposium of Second Language Writing. Arizona State University, November 2014.
  • “Transtextual Proverbial Wisdom: Reader Responsibility in the Tale of Melibee.” Medieval Association Conference. Clayton State University & Univ. of West Georgia, October 2014.
  • “Criseyde Tied in Lusty Leese.” Southeastern Medieval Association Conference. Appalachian State University, October 2013.
  • “Tied in Lusty Leese: Animalization and Agency in Troilus and Criseyde.” Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference, January 2013.

Contact Information

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