Dr David Clark

Personal details | Publications | Research | Teaching | Supervision | Media

Associate Professor in Old English, Old Norse, Middle English, MedievalismDavid Clark

Department: English

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2636

Email: dc147@le.ac.uk

Office: Room 1408, Attenborough Tower

Address: School of Arts, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH

Personal details


I am an Associate Professor in the English department, specialising in contemporary medievalism, Old English, Middle English, and Old Norse literatures. I came to Leicester in 2007, having taught previously for three years at the University of Oxford. I've taught widely across medieval literatures; history of the English language; critical theory; and creative writing. My current research interests are around medieval gender and sexuality; the literary history of friendship; and medievalism in contemporary children's literature.


  • MA, MSt, DPhil, University of Oxford
  • Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy

Administrative roles

  • Department level: Convenor of EN2030; EN2035 and MA English Studies
  • School level: Academic Conduct Co-ordinator; Equalities Committee
  • Medieval Research Centre Committee



  • Gender, Violence, and the Past in Edda and Saga (Oxford University Press, 2012).
  • It is in the later chapters on sagas that Clark’s work rises to its heights, redefining the way Modern readers may see especially thirteenth-century literary perceptions of women and men and their various relationships.
    (Anonymous Reader's Report for OUP 1)

    His confident, compelling theories on gender and sexuality, and illuminating close readings, make this book both stimulating (it may cause a stir) and at the same time highly readable and enjoyable.
    (Anonymous Reader's Report for OUP 2)

  • Between Medieval Men: Male Friendship and Desire in Early Medieval English Literature (Oxford University Press, 2009).
  • An important study. 
    (Mary Swan, University of Leeds, Year's Work in English Studies 2011)

    An important and timely topic... destined to be widely cited... [an] important study. 
    (Clare Lees, King's College, London, Gender & History)

    Smart, elegant and ambitious.  
    (Robert Mills, King's College, London, Times Higher Education Supplement) Full review

    Demonstrates qualities of scrupulous scholarship and careful thinking about difficult historical problems together with an alert sense of literary implications.  
    (A.S.G Edwards, De Montfort University, Times Literary Supplement)

    A sober, penetrating and comprehensive study of Anglo-Saxon literature… Clark’s scholarly acumen waves like a banner above the whole project… this is an impressive book by any standard, written by an equally impressive scholar.  
    (Bill Burgwinkle, King's College, Cambridge, Review of English Studies)


    Edited collections

    A powerful and often entertaining case for the myriad pathways by which the Anglo-Saxon past inhabits, enlivens and even transforms the cultural imagination of our present.
    (Eileen A. Joy, Southern Illinois University, Times Higher Education Supplement.) Full text

    (T)he editors are to be commended for producing a handsomely illustrated, rich collection. ENGLISH STUDIES

    This rich collection of essays looks back to the influence of Anglo-Saxon culture in nineteenth-century and modernist writers, and explores a diverse range of more contemporary "moments of intersection between past and present". MEDIUM AEVUM

    [The editors] have assembled a scholarly and unfailingly interesting foundation for a study of the impact of the Anglo-Saxon world on our own, as well as proving how much potential there is in the topic. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

    The book is physically beautiful, soundly edited, and intellectually stimulating from beginning to end. (...) Any medievalist who reads this volume will surely learn something new about the reception of Anglo- Saxon culture, be surprised by the extent of this reception, and get ideas for new research in this area. (...) It is an excellent book that will hopefully make a real intellectual and institutional impact. ANGLIA

    Articles and book chapters

    • ‘Norse medievalism in children’s literature’ in Pre-Christian Religions in the North, volume on Research and Reception, Gen. Ed. Professor Emerita Margaret Clunies Ross (Brepols, forthcoming).
    • ‘The Ideal of Friendship in Amis and Amiloun’, Nottingham Medieval Studies 60 (2016).
    • ‘Discourses of Masturbation: The (Non)solitary Pleasures of the (Medieval) Text’, in Men and Masculinities 2016, 1-29.
    • 'The Magical Middle Ages in Children's Fantasy', in Magical Tales: Myth, Legend, and Enchantment in Children's Books (Bodleian Library, 2013), pp. 81-112.

    This magical book is a bibliophile's delight.
    (W.P. Hogan, Eastern Michigan University, Choice)

    • 'Marlowe and Queer Theory', in Christopher Marlowe in Context, ed. Emily Bartels and Emma Smith (Cambridge: CUP, 2013), pp. 232-41.
    • 'The Semantic Range of Wine and Freond in Old English', in Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 114 (2013), 79-93.
    • 'Notes on the Medieval Ideal of Dying with One's Lord', in Notes and Queries 256 (2011), 475-84.
    • ‘Manslaughter and Misogyny: Women and Revenge in Sturlunga saga’, Saga-Book 33 ( 2009), 25-43.
    • Old English Literature and Same-Sex Desire: An Overview’Literature Compass 6 (2009), 573-84.
    • ‘Kin-slaying in the Poetic Edda: the End of the World?’ Viking and Medieval Scandinavia 3 (2008), 21-41.
    • ‘Old Norse Made New: Past and Present in Modern Children’s Literature,’ in Old Norse Made New (see above).
    • ‘Revisiting Gísla saga: sexual themes and the heroic past’, Journal of English and Germanic Philology 106 (2007)
    • ‘Relaunching the Hero: the Case of Scyld and Beowulf re-opened’, Neophilologus 90 (2006), 621-42.
    • ‘Revenge and Moderation: the Church and Vengeance in Medieval Iceland’, Leeds Studies in English n. s. 36 (2005), 133-56.
    • ‘Undermining and en-gendering vengeance: distancing and anti-feminism in the Poetic Edda’, Scandinavian Studies 77 (2005), 173-200.


    I specialise in medieval literature with current research interests in

    • medieval gender, sexuality, and identity
    • the modern reception of medieval literature


    • EN2030: Beginnings of English Literature
    • EN2035: Viking Myths and Sagas
    • I variously teach on EN2040: Medieval Literatures; EN1010; EN1035
    • Special Subjects in 'Medievalism in Contemporary Fiction', and 'Medieval Gender and Sexuality'
    • MA in English Studies


    I would welcome enquiries from postgraduate students interested in the following topics:

    • gender and sexuality in medieval literature
    • Old English and Old Norse literature
    • medievalism in contemporary fiction and/or film

    You can also learn more and apply for research degrees in English online.


    I am currently working on friendship in medieval European literature, medievalism in contemporary children's literature, and Beowulf in film and television.

    Recent publications for the general public include:

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