Dr Ben Parsons

parsons, benBA (University Leeds), MA, PhD (Sheffield)

Lecturer in English

Contact Details:

Research Interests

Dr Parsons specialises in late medieval and early modern literature. He has published on various aspects of medieval and Renaissance culture, including drama, folklore, education, exegesis, notions of adolescence, and the intersections between English and continental literature. He is particularly interested in the functions of violence in the later Middle Ages, especially in the contexts of education and literary representation. These concerns formed the basis of his PhD thesis, and have been further explored in his recent AHRC-funded research project, 'Violence in the Late Medieval Classroom', about which more can be heard here. He is co-author of the critical anthology "Comic Drama in the Low Countries", and is consulting editor for the academic journal Peer English.

Teaching and Administration

I am currently Admissions Tutor and Senior Tutor for Student Support for the School of English, and sit on the Learning and Teaching Committee.

Recent Publications

‘The Way of the Rod: the Functions of Violence in Late Medieval Pedagogy’, Modern Philology 113 (2015): 1-26.

‘Beaten for a Book: Domestic and Pedagogic Violence in the Wife of Bath’s Prologue’: Studies in the Age of Chaucer 37 (2015): 163-94.

‘Fantasy and Fallacy in the Old French Land of Cockaigne’, Viator 46.3 (2015): 1-21.

‘“In Which Land Were You Born?”: Cultural Transmission in the Historie van Jan van Beverley’, with Bas Jongenelen, Medieval English Theatre 36 (2014): 30-76.

The English Fabliau in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries’, Literature Compass 10 (2013): 544-58.

Comic Drama in the Low Countries, 1400-1560, with Bas Jongenelen (Boydell and Brewer, 2012).

  • "very informative...worthy of being commended": Laura Iseppi De Filippis, Medieval Review.
  • "an extremely valuable publication": Charlotte Steenbrugge, Modern Language Review.
  • "a useful window into the Renaissance theatrical tradition": Andrew Fleck, Comitatus.

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