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Photo of Taylor Cowdery, taken by Sarah Boyd

Assistant Professor of English

2016 Ph.D. English, Harvard University


I study late medieval and early modern poetry, with a particular research focus on the question of what premodern poets thought about the materiality of language and literature—or, put in the broadest terms, what they believed their poems were made of. My book project, Matter and the Making of Early English Literature, 1330-1586, explores the specific implications of this question for fifteenth- and sixteenth-century court poetry, which had a striking, but often overlooked, fixation upon the historical, textual, conceptual, and physical matter out of which poems and stories are made.

I’m also interested in literary theory, the politics of aesthetics, the history of gender and sexuality, and premodern intellectual history.

To read more, visit my website


  • “Lydgate.” Forthcoming in The Oxford History of Poetry in English, vol. 3: 1400-1500, ed. Julia Boffey and A.S.G. Edwards (Oxford: OUP).
  • “Lydgate and the Surplus of History.” ELH 85.3 (2018): 567-98.
  • “Translation for ‘Sentence’ in Middle English Poetry: the Case of John Walton.” In The Legacy of Boethius in Medieval England, ed. A.J. McMullen and Erica Weaver (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2017), 193-214.
  • “Hoccleve’s Poetics of Matter,” Studies in the Age of Chaucer (2016): 133-64.
  • “Humanist Styles of Reading in the Prologues and Epilogues of William Caxton.” In The Dark Side of Knowledge: Histories of Ignorance, 1400-1800, ed. Cornel Zwierlein (Leiden: Brill, 2016), 197-224.


  • A.W. Mellon Fellowship in Medieval Studies, Institute of Medieval Studies, University of Notre Dame (2017-18)

Courses Taught:

  • ENG 120: Introduction to British Literature, 800-1800
  • HNRS 355: Medieval Feminisms

Curriculum Vitae / Resume