Paul Battles, Ph.D.

Professor of English
(812) 866-7208


– The Quest Archetype in Literature
– Seminar in Self-Publishing
– Grammar of the English Language
– Arthurian Literature
– Fiction and Its Genres
– Viking Myths & Legends
– Writing in the Digital Humanities

Learn more about Dr. Battles

Professor Battles joined the English department in 1999. He teaches courses in early and medieval literature, linguistics, literary theory, and fantasy and science fiction. His research interests include Old and Middle English poetry, genre, intertextuality, and Germanic myth.


medieval literature, classical literature, linguistics, Old English language and literature, Germanic myth and legend, literary theory, fantasy, science fiction


B.A., Vanderbilt University

M.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


2018, The Daryl R. Karns Award for Scholarly and Creative Activity


“Christian Traditional Themes and the Cynewulfian Sociolect in Old English Verse,” Studies in Philology 119.4 (2022): 555-578. (English)

“Of Graves, Caves, and Subterranean Dwellings: Eorðscræf and Eorðsele in The Wife’s Lament.” Philological Quarterly 73 (1994): 267-86.

This article has been reprinted in: Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism 55, ed. Jelena Krstovic (Detroit: The Gale Group, 2003), pp. 213-221.

“‘The Mark of the Beast’: Rudyard Kipling’s Apocalyptic Vision of Empire.” Studies in Short Fiction 33.2 (1996): 333-44.

The Christian Elements in Beowulf. (Translation of Friedrich Klaeber, “Die christlichen Elemente im Beowulf,” orig. publ. in Anglia 35 and 36.) OEN Subsidia 24. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1996. 92 pp.

“Chaucer and the Traditions of Dawn-Song.” The Chaucer Review 31 (1997): 317-38.

“Genesis A and the Anglo-Saxon Migration Myth.” Anglo-Saxon England 29 (2000): 45-68.

“Magic and Metafiction in The Franklin’s Tale: Chaucer’s Clerk of Orléans as Double of the Franklin.” In Timothy S. Jones and David A. Sprunger, eds., Marvels, Monsters, and Miracles: Studies in the Medieval and Early Modern Imagination. Studies in Medieval Culture 42. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 2002. 243-66.

“In Folly Ripe, in Reason Rotten: The Flower and the Leaf and the ‘Purgatory of Cruel Beauties.’” Medium Aevum 72 (2003): 238-58.

“Dwarfs in Germanic Literature: Deutsche Mythologie or Grimm’s Myths?” In T. A. Shippey, ed., The Shadow-walkers: Jacob Grimm’s Mythography of the Monstrous. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies 291. Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2005. 29-82.

“What is ‘Middle-Earth’? Origin, Evolution, and Mythic Function.” In Andrew Wawn, ed., Constructing Nations, Reconstructing Myth. Turnhout: Brepols, 2007. 319-42.

“Sir Gawain’s bryght and broun Diamonds (SGGK, l. 618).” Notes and Queries 252 (2007): 370-71.

“Building a Better Introduction to Medieval English Literature Course.” Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching 15 (2008): 39-46. (With Dominique Battles.)

“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Stanzas 32-34.” The Explicator 67 (2008): 22-24.

“Amended Texts, Emended Ladies: Female Agency and the Textual Editing of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” Forthcoming in The Chaucer Review.


“Cultural Difference and Material Culture in Middle English Romance: Saxons and Normans” (Routledge, 2013).

“The Medieval Tradition of Thebes: History and Narrative in the OF Roman de Thebes, Boccaccio, Chaucer and Lydgate” (Routledge, 2004).


“The Middle English Athelston and 1381: The Road to Rebellion,” Studies in Philology 117:3 (2020): 469-87. Winner of the 2020 Louis Round Wilson Prize for “Article of the Year” in Studies in Philology (for the two-article sequence).

“The Middle English Athelston and 1381: The Politics of Anglo-Saxon Identity,” Studies in Philology 117:1 (2020): 1-39.

“Melidor and the ‘wylde men of the west’ in the Middle English ‘Sir Degrevant’,” forthcoming in American Notes and Queries.

“The Middle English ‘Sir Degrevant’ and the Scottish Border,” Studies in Philology 113 (2016): 501-545.

“Re-Conquering England for the English in ‘Havelok the Dane,'” The Chaucer Review 47 (2012): 187-205.

“The City of Babylon in the Middle English ‘Floris and Blancheflour,'” Anglia: Zeitschrift fur englische Philologie 128 (2010): 75-82.

“Sir Orfeo and English Identity,” Studies in Philology 107 (2010): 79-93.

“The Chaucer Seminar: An Alternative to the Long Research Paper,” Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching 17 (2010): 101-112.

“The Heroic Voice in Gottfried von Strassburg’s Tristan,” Tristania 25 (2009): 1-24.

“The Literary Source of the minnegrotte in Gottfried von Strassburg’s Tristan,” Neophilologus 93 (2009): 465-469.

“Building a Better Introduction to Medieval Literature Course,” co-authored with Paul Battles, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching 15 (2008): 39-46.

“Boccaccio’s Teseida and the Destruction of Troy,” Medievalia et Humanistica, New Series 28 (2001): 73-99

“Trojan Elements in the OF Roman de Thebes,” Neophilologus 85 (2001): 163-176; reprint forthcoming in Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism (Thompson Publishing).

“Chaucer’s Franklin’s Tale and Boccaccio’s Filocolo Reconsidered,” Chaucer Review 34 (1999): 38-59.

“Narrative Duality in Robert the Monk: A Comparison of the Historia Hierosolimitana and the anonymous Gesta Francorum,” Romance Languages Annual 5 (1993): 136-41.