Berkeley English Faculty

Maura Nolan

Maura Nolan

Associate Professor

Wheeler Hall, room 230

Professional Statement

I work on late medieval English literature, with a special focus on the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and the vexed relationship between the “medieval” and the “Renaissance.”  I am especially interested in defining and articulating the role of the aesthetic in late medieval vernacular literature, particularly in relation to variable cultural understandings of sensation and cognition. I am currently working on two projects. The first focuses on the place of contingency and sensation in the work of John Gower, while the second addresses notions of the beautiful and the sublime in medieval literature as they relate to an emerging notion of literary style.  

Maura Nolan received her A.B. from Dartmouth College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University. Before coming to Berkeley in 2005, she taught at the University of Notre Dame.

John Lydgate and the Making of Public Culture
John Lydgate and the Making of Public Culture

During the fifteenth century John Lydgate was the most famous poet in England, filling commissions for the court, the aristocracy, and the guilds. He wrote for an elite London readership that was historically very small, but that saw itself as domin....(read more)

Selected Publications and Papers Delivered

“Medieval Habit, Modern Sensation:  Reading Manuscripts in the Digital Age.” Chaucer Review 47.4 (April, 2013): 465-76;  special issue on Medieval English Manuscripts:  Form, Aesthetics, and the Literary Text, ed. Alexandra Gillespie and Arthur Bahr.

“Aesthetics.&rdquoIn A Handbook of Middle English Studies. Ed. Marion Turner.  London: Blackwell, 2013. 223-38.

“Medieval Sensation and Modern Aesthetics:  Aquinas, Adorno, Chaucer.” The Minnesota Review 80 (2013): 145-58.

“Performing Lydgate’s Broken Back Meter.” In Interpretation and Performance: Essays in Honors of Alan T. Gaylord.  Ed. Susan Yager and Elise Morse Gagne. Provo, Utah: The Chaucer Studio Press, 2013. 141-59.

“Agency and the Poetics of Sensation in Gower’s Mirour de l’Omme.” In Answerable Style:  the Idea of the Literary in Medieval England. Ed. Andy Galloway and Frank Grady.  Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 2013. 214-243.

“The Poetics of Catastrophe:  Ovidian Allusions in Gower’s Vox Clamantis.”  Medieval Latin and Middle English Literature:  Essays in Honour of Jill Mann. Ed. Christopher Cannon and Maura Nolan.  Cambridge:  Boydell and Brewer, 2011. 113-133.

“Style.”Cultural Reformations: Medieval and Renaissance in Literary History. Oxford Twenty-First Century Approaches to Literature. Ed. Brian Cummings and James Simpson.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. 396-419.

“The New Fifteenth Century:  Humanism, Heresy, and Laureation.” Philological Quarterly  87 (2008): 174-192.

“Historicism after Historicism.” In The Post-Historical Middle Ages. Ed. Sylvia Federico and Elizabeth Scala.  New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2009. 63-85.

“The Fortunes of Piers Plowman and its Readers.” Yearbook of Langland Studies 20 (2007 for 2006): 1-41.

“Lydgate’s Worst Poem.”  In Lydgate Matters. Ed. Andrea Denny-Brown and Lisa Cooper.  New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2007. 71-87.

“Beauty.”  Twenty-First Century Approaches:  Medieval. Ed. Paul Strohm.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.  207-221.

English Department Classes