Faculty Details

Faculty (Alphabetical) --- Faculty (by Research Interest)

Dr. David Watt

Associate Professor
Office: 256 St. John's College
Phone: (204) 474-8945
Email: David.Watt@umanitoba.ca

Education: D.Phil (St. Anne's College, Oxford), MA (University of Alberta), BA (University of Alberta)

Appointments: Director, University of Manitoba Institute for the Humanities

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Recent Courses:

  • ENGL 1200. Representative Literary Works (Writing Intensive)
  • ENGL 2080. Medieval Literature
  • ENGL 3000. Chaucer
  • ENGL 3800. King Arthur and the Matter of Britain
  • ENGL 3800. An Introduction to Manuscript Studies
  • ENGL 4630. Old Books, New Science
  • ENGL 7600. Bibliography
  • ENGL 7900. Heresy, Crusade, and the Definition of Belief in Late Medieval England
  • ENGL 7900. Awkwardness and Grace

Areas of Specialization:

Medieval Literature; Thomas Hoccleve; Manuscript Studies; Bibliography; Book History; Manuscripts and Rare Books at the University of Manitoba

Representative Publications:


  • The Making of Thomas Hoccleve’s Series. Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2013).

Articles and Book Chapters

  •  “The Study of Renaissance and Reformation Books on the Canadian Prairies.” Renaissance and Reformation Studies 37.3. (Forthcoming). Written with Sharon Wright and Paul Dyck.
  • “Thomas Hoccleve’s Particular Appeal.” Pedagogy 13.2 (Spring 2013): 337-355. Print.
  • “Thomas Hoccleve’s Regiment of Princes.” A Companion to Fifteenth-Century English Poetry. Eds. Julia Boffey and A. S. G. Edwards (Cambridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2013): 47-57. Print.
  • “Thomas Hoccleve’s La Male Regle in the Canterbury Cathedral Archives.” Opuscula: Short Texts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance 2:4 (2012): 1-11. Online.
  • “Compilation and Contemplation: Beholding Thomas Hoccleve’s Series in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Selden Supra 53.” The Journal of the Early Book Society 14 (2011): 1-30. Print.
  • “The Importance of Being Earnest about the Future of Print.” Feliciter 57.6 (2011): 189-90; 92. Print.
  • “Does Size Matter to Students Working with Manuscripts Today? A Case Study.” SMART: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching. 17.2 (Fall 2010): 27-46. Print.
Student Editions
  • Sir Thomas Malory. The Tale of Gareth. The Broadview Anthology of British Literature. Vol. 1, The Medieval Period, 2nd ed. Online Supplement. Edited by Joseph Black et al. (Peterborough: Broadview, 2012): 40 pages. Online.
  • Thomas Hoccleve. “Ballad on the Reburial of Richard II” and Complaint. The Broadview Anthology of British Literature. Vol. 1, The Medieval Period, 2nd ed. Edited by Joseph Black et al. (Peterborough: Broadview, 2009): 555-566. Print.
  • Thomas Hoccleve, “La Male Regle,” “Ballad for Master H. Somer,” “Another Poem about the Blessed Virgin,” and “The Letter of Cupid.” The Broadview Anthology of British Literature. Vol. 1, The Medieval Period, 2nd ed. Edited by Joseph Black et al. (Peterborough: Broadview, 2009): 20 pages. Online. 

Current Projects:

Maple Leaves: The Study of Manuscripts and Early Printed Books in Western Canada

Maple Leaves is designed to make the collection of manuscripts and early printed books in western Canada known to a wider audience, both public and scholarly. It is also designed to encourage others to see the early books in western Canada as a chance to understand their place historically. Finally, by making the collection and its value known, we hope to ensure that the books and the tools to study them will remain available to future generations.

Awkwardness and Grace in Late Medieval England

“We live,” writes Adam Kotsko, “in an awkward age.” Readers familiar with The Office and The 40-Year Old Virgin may be well situated to contemplate awkwardness in other ages. This seminar focuses on the later Middle Ages, a time when some of the most graceful writers—including the Gawain poet and Julian of Norwich—introduced remarkably awkward moments and when some of the most awkward moments—like those that appear in Thomas Hoccleve’s depiction of the fifteenth-century office and Margery Kempe’s attempt to be considered a virgin well after 40—arose out of a profound desire for grace. My teaching and research in this area explores a range of texts and genres in order to reflect critically on the relationship between awkwardness and grace in the later Middle Ages and our own.

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