Professor of English

(812) 866-7208


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.


Ph.D. (1998) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; M.A. (1992) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; B.A. (1990) Vanderbilt University.

Teaching Areas / Expertise / Specializations

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


“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.

Paul Battles