Russell Peck

Russell A Peck

  • Professor Emeritus of English and John H. Deane Professor Emeritus of Rhetoric and Poetry
  • 1933 – 2023

PhD, Indiana University

Web Address

Curriculum Vitae

Research Overview

My main focus is currently the editing of Middle English Texts. The Middle English Texts Series, which I began in 1990, has now 60 volumes in print, with another 15 that should be completed by 2010; several of the forthcoming volumes will be texts of early English drama, medieval codices, popular romance, and saints lives. I am also working on folk and fairytale motifs in Middle English (the loathly woman, in particular), and I continue to develop my long-time commitments to Gower and Chaucer.

Research Interests

  • Middle English literature
  • medieval aesthetics
  • medieval intellectual history
  • myth and fairytale
  • history of drama and its performance
  • medievalism in British and American popular culture

Selected Publications

  • "Folklore and Powerful Women in Gower's 'Tale of Florent'," in The English 'Loathly Lady' Tales: Boundaries, Traditions, Motifs, ed. S. Elizabeth Passmore and Susan Carter, Medieval Institute Publications 2007, 100-45
  • John Gower: Confessio Amantis, 3 vols., Medieval Institute Publications 2000-2005 (editor)
  • "The Politics and Psychology of Governance in Gower: Ideas of Kingship and Real Kings," in A Companion to Gower, ed. Sian Echard, D.S. Brewer 2004, 215-38
  • "The Phenomenology of Make-Believe in Gower's Confessio Amantis," in Studies in Philology 91 (1994), 250-69
  • "Mike Nichols' Working Girl, Cinderella, and the New Jerusalem," in Christianity and Literature 42 (1993), 465-78
  • Heroic Women from the Old Testament in Middle English Verse, Medieval Institute Publications 1991
  • "Love, Politics, and Plot in Chaucer's Parlement of Fowles," in Chaucer Review 24 (1990), 14-29
  • Romance, Boece, Astrolabe, Equatorie, Lost Works, Chaucer Apocrypha in Chaucer Annotated Bibliographies, University of Toronto 1988
  • "Chaucer and the Imagination," in Studies in the Age of Chaucer: Proceedings 2 (1986), Fifth International Congress, 33-48 (keynote address)
  • "Social Conscience and the Poets," in Social Unrest in the Later Middle Ages, ed. Francis X. Newman, Binghamton 1986, 113-48
  • "Chaucer's Lyrics and Anelida and Arcite," in Chaucer Annotated Bibliographies, University of Toronto 1983


  • Courses in medieval intellectual history, romance literature, the construction of literary influence, conceptualizing voice, contemporary drama


  • John Hurt Fisher Prize, John Gower Society, 2006
  • Goergen Award for Distinguished Achievement and Artistry in Undergraduate Education, 1998
  • National Endowment for the Humanities grants for the Middle English Texts Series, 1995-2009 (5 three-year grants)
  • NEH Seminar for Teachers: Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, 1993 and 1994
  • Olive B. O'Connor Chair, Colgate University, 1991
  • Endowed Chair in the Humanities, College of St. Thomas, 1985-86
  • Professor of the Year 1985: Gold Medal, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education
  • NEH Seminar for Secondary Teachers: Chaucer (pilot program), 1983
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, 1980-81
  • E. Harris Harbison Award for Gifted Teaching, Danforth Foundation, 1972
  • Reckitt-Colman Professor of English, University of Hull (UK), 1967-68