Kathleen Cawsey


Email: kathy.cawsey@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-6903
Mailing Address: 
Room 3198, McCain Building, 6135 University Avenue
PO BOX 15000, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Medieval Literature 1350-1500
  • Chaucer
  • Malory
  • Arthurian Literature
  • J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Medievalism
  • Modern Fantasy


  • BA (Wilfrid Laurier)
  • MPhil (Oxford)
  • PhD (University of Toronto)

Prof. Cawsey is the recipient of the 2021 Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Having completed a project on the ways medieval English people thought about language, I am becoming interested in the representations of gender and gender violence in Later Middle English writings. As well, I study the alt-right's appropriation and mis-appropriation of medieval symbols and stories. I am starting a project on Incel discourse and toxic masculinity in medieval romance.

My broader research includes most Later Middle English writing, such as Chaucer, Malory, Margery Kempe, the cycle dramas, and medieval romances; as well as modern medievalist fantasy such as J.R.R. Tolkien and Guy Gavriel Kay.

Selected Publications

  • Images of Language in Middle English Vernacular Writings, Boydell & Brewer, 2020. 
  • Twentieth Century Chaucer Criticism: Reading Audiences. Ashgate Press, 2010.
  • Co-ed. with Jason Harris, Transmission and Transformation in the Middle Ages: Texts and Contexts (Four Courts Press, 2007).
  • “When the ‘Event’ Happens: Teaching Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘Wife of Bath’s Tale’ in the context of the Dalhousie Dentistry Scandal.” Dissonant Methods: Pedagogy against Disciplines. Ed. Kit Dobson and Ada Jaarsma. (Calgary: University of Alberta Press, 2018).
  • “Could Gollum Be Singing a Sonnet? The Poetic Project of The Lord of the RingsTolkien Studies 14 (2017), 53-69.
  • “The Once and Future Childslayer: Guy Gavriel Kay’s Inversion of Malory’s Morte Darthur.” Arthuriana. 25.2 (2015), 67-73.
  • “When Polemic Trumps Poetry: Buried Medieval Poem(s) in the Protestant Print I Playne Piers.” Renaissance Retrospections: Tudor Views of the Middle Ages. Ed. Sarah Kelen. Kalamazoo, Medieval Institute Publications, 2013. 37-69.
  •  “Disorienting Orientalism: Finding Saracens in Strange Places in Late Medieval English Manuscripts.” Exemplaria 21.4, Winter 2009. 380-398.
  • “An Online Poetry Course (for Carol)” in Teaching Literature and Language Online, Ian Lancashire, ed. (Modern Language Association of America, 2009).
  • “Tutivillus and the ‘Kyrkchaterars’: Strategies of Control in the Middle Ages,” Studies in Philology 102.4 (2005).
  • “‘Alum de glas’ or ‘Alymed glas’? Manuscript Reading in Book III of the House of Fame,” The University of Toronto Quarterly 73.4 (2004).
  • “Merlin’s Magical Writing,” Arthuriana 11:3 (2001).
  • “The Hanged Man: Lancelot and Guinevere in Malory’s Morte Darthur.” British and American StudiesVII (2001).
  • “Shepherds, Regents and Lecherous Widows: The Strategies of Power in Middle English Literature.” The AnaChronist (2000).