About

My primary research and teaching interests include Old and Middle English, Anglo-Latin, Old Saxon and Old Norse-Icelandic literature, as well as folkloric and modern receptions of the medieval world. I am particularly interested in poetics, violence, domesticity, animals and the natural world.

As part of my postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto, I completed revisions to a monograph based on my PhD thesis, entitled Weaving Words and Binding Bodies: The Poetics of Human Experience in Old English Literature. In addition, I continued to research other medieval languages and literatures, exploring in particular Old Norse-Icelandic, Anglo-Saxon (Old English and Anglo-Latin) and Middle English literary examples in which textile workers are associated with deception and violence. During this time, I also co-founded ‘The Riddle Ages’, a blog about Anglo-Saxon riddles. The aim of this project is to provide public access to translations and commentary of the Exeter Book riddles. See http://theriddleages.wordpress.com/.

As a Junior Research Fellow at Durham University and Departmental Lecturer at Oxford University, I began working on a project that engages with the emerging field of interdisciplinary animal studies. The publications resulting from this study will highlight the way perceptions of a range of animals from spiders to wolves are shaped by the human writers of literature and shed light on broader, cultural implications that are relevant today. I am continuing this project as a Birmingham Fellow.

Publications

Monograph

Journal Articles and Notes

  • ‘Arachnophobia and Early English Literature’, New Medieval Literatures 18 (2018): 1-43

  • ‘The Igil and Exeter Book Riddle 15’, Notes and Queries 64.2 (2017): 206-10

  • ‘Powerful Patens in the Anglo-Saxon Medical Tradition and Exeter Book Riddle 48’, Neophilologus 101 (2017): 129-38, open access: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11061-016-9490-8

  • ‘Sails, Veils and Tents: The Segl and Tabernacle of Old English Christ III and Exodus’, Medieval Clothing and Textiles 12 (2016): 27-39

  • ‘Formulaic Friþuwebban: Reexamining Peace-weaving in the Light of Old English Poetics’, Journal of English and Germanic Philology 114 (2015): 355-72

  • ‘The Binding of Religious Heroes in Andreas and The Hêliand’, English Studies 96 (2015): 507-24

  • ‘Constructing the Monstrous Body in Beowulf’, Anglo-Saxon England 43 (2014): 155-81

  • ‘Sounding the Horn in Exeter Book Riddle 14’, The Explicator 72 (2014): 324-7

  • ‘Old English ‘Wundenlocc’ Hair in Context’, Medium Ævum 82 (2013): 119-25, open access: http://mediumaevum.modhist.ox.ac.uk/82/1

  • ‘Looming Danger and Dangerous Looms: Violence and Weaving in Exeter Book Riddle 56’, Leeds Studies in English 42 (2011): 29-42, open access: http://digital.library.leeds.ac.uk/9989/

Blog Posts

    Megan Cavell

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