Skip to main content



Edward Donald Kennedy (Don), a member of the UNC Department of English and Comparative Literature for 45 years, taught courses in Arthurian romance, Chaucer, early and late medieval English literature, and medieval drama and directed 16 dissertations, 23 MA theses, and 11 honors theses.  He chaired the Curriculum of Comparative Literature for twelve years before it merged with the Department of English and edited UNC’s Studies in Philology, one of the oldest academic journals in the United States, for twelve years. He is the author, editor or co-editor of six books, most notably  Chronicles and Other Historical Writing (vol. 8 of  A Manual of the Writings in Middle English), which remains a standard reference work, and King Arthur: A Casebook, along with over 70 articles, primarily on international Arthurian literature and medieval chronicles, 50 book review essays, and 140 entries, ranging in length from a few hundred words to several thousand, for The Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle, The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, The Literary Encyclopedia,  The Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature in Britain, and The New Arthurian Encyclopedia. He was subject editor for over 350 entries on English and Scottish chronicles for The Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle, gen. ed. Graeme Dunphy (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2010) and continues to update these for its online version. His work is known internationally, and he has given invited plenary lectures at conferences in Munich (2), Utrecht, Jerusalem, Tokyo (2), Seoul (2) as well as at universities in the United States, including the University of Virginia at Wise, Penn State, and Dartmouth College. A Festschrift of essays in his honor was published as an issue of the journal Arthuriana when he retired (2012), and in 2017 the American Branch of the International Arthurian Society awarded him its Norris J. Lacy Prize, given once every two or three years to a North American scholar in recognition of important contributions to the study of Arthurian literature.


1967, PhD, English, The University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana

1962, MA. English, The University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana

1961, AB, Mathematics, West Virginia University


  • Middle English Chronicles and Other Historical Writing, vol 8 of A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, ed. Albert E. Hartung (New Haven, Conn.:  Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1989).
  • King Arthur: A Casebook, ed. (New York: Garland, 1996; paperback, New York: Routledge, 2002).
  • Short Scottish Prose Chronicles, co-ed. with Dan Embree and Kathleen Daly (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2012). 
  • “Malory’s ‘Noble Tale of Sir Launcelot du Lake,’ the Vulgate Lancelot, and the Post‑Vulgate Roman du Graal,Arthurian and Other Studies Presented to Shunichi Noguchi, ed. T. Suzuki and T. Mukai (Cambridge: Boydell and Brewer, 1993), pp. 107‑29.
  • “Malory’s Morte Darthur; A Politically Neutral English Adaptation of the Arthurian Story,’ Arthurian Literature 20 (2003), 145-69.
  • “Glastonbury” in The Arthur of Medieval Latin Literature, ed. Siân Echard (Cardiff: The University of Wales Press, 2011), pp. 109-


  • Summer Research Fellowship, Duke-UNC Cooperative Program in the Humanities, 1970
  • ACLS Travel Grant, 1979
  • ACLS Research Council Grant for academic year 1981-82
  • American Philosophical Society Research Grant, 1984
  • ACLS Grant-in-Aid, 1984
  • UNC Research Council Grants, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1992, 1994, 1998
  • University Institute for Arts & humanities Fellowship, 2005
  • UNC Medieval and Early Modern Studies Travel Grant, 2008
  • Session of papers and evening reception in honor of his approaching retirement, International Arthurian Society, Bristol England, 2011
  • Festschrift of essays in his honor, Arthuriana, 22.4, by authors from the U,S., Canada, Wales, England, Japan, and the Netherlands, 2012
  • Session of papers in his honor, organized by former students, South Eastern Medieval Association meeting in Boone, NC, 2013
  • The North American branch of the International Arthurian Society’s Norris J. Lacy Prize, 2017.