Michael Johnston

Michael Johnston

Associate Professor // English
Faculty


Office and Contact

Room: HEAV 412

Email: mjohnst@purdue.edu


 

Specialization

British Literature

Research Areas:
Middle English literature, the history of the book, romance, Piers Plowman

 

I completed my BA in English at John Carroll University in 2000, my M.Litt. in Mediaeval English at the University of St Andrews (Scotland) in 2002, and my Ph.D. at Ohio State in 2007. My first book, Romance and the Gentry in Late Medieval England, appeared with Oxford University Press in 2014. This book studies the circulation of Middle English romance among household of the gentry in fifteenth-century England. I have also edited three collections of essays: a special volume on teaching the history of the book for Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching (vol. 19.1, Spring 2012); with Susanna Fein, Robert Thornton and His Books: Essays on the Lincoln and London Thornton Manuscripts (York Medieval Press, 2014); and with Michael Van Dussen, The Medieval Manuscript Book: Cultural Approaches (Cambridge University Press, 2015). As a side project, I have long been interested in the authorship of Piers Plowman, with two essays on this, here and here. My current book project, Scribes and Readers: The Middle English Book, 1350–1500, looks at patterns in the production and dissemination of Middle English literature. In this book I examine the manuscripts of The Prick of Conscience, Piers Plowman, and the short poetry of John Lydgate. I recently completed a draft of this book while taking up the Kent R. Mullikin Fellowship at the National Humanities Center (2020–21). Early iterations of this project have appeared in The Proceedings of the Harlaxton Symposium and Speculum.

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