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Dr Helen Cooney B.A., M.A. (Bristol), Ph.D. (Dublin).

Helen Cooney

Helen Cooney has been Lecturer in medieval and Renaissance English at Westfield College, University of London; Nottingham University; and Trinity College, Dublin. She currently teaches and supervises research on the MPhil in Medieval Languages, Literature and Culture ( Her chief research interests are: the works of Chaucer; 15th century English and Scottish poetry; Spenser’s Faerie Queene and Sidney’s Arcadia. She also works on medieval and Renaissance poetics/literary theory and aesthetics. 

She has published widely on these topics. Dr Cooney has edited two volumes of essays: Nation, Court and Culture: New Essays on Fifteenth Century English Poetry (2000); and Writings on Love in the English Middle Ages (2007). She has also  co-edited [with Mark Sweetnam] Enigma and Revelation in Renaissance English Literature (2012)

A monograph, Chaucer’s Theodicies of Love, will be published in late 2013; a second volume, on the quest for theodicy as a matrix for the Canterbury Tales, will follow. Dr Cooney is currently working on a series of allegories, from Lydgate to Hawes, which as well as constituting responses to, and corrections of, the writings of “father” Chaucer, constitute a lens through which one may trace the progression from medieval to Renaissance in English poetry.

Her additional cultural interests have been reflected in public lectures on “The Art Books of Henri Mattisse: Text and Image Made One” [Chester Beatty Library], and “The Poetry of Patrick Kavanagh and Edmund Burke’s Idea of the Sublime” [Kavanagh Centre, Iniskeen, Monaghan]; likewise, non-academic reviews include Seamus Heaney [translator], Henryson’s Testament of Cresseid and Some Fables [for ‘Poetry Ireland Review’], and A.C. Grayling, The Good Book: A Secular Bible [for ‘The Irish Times].


Last updated 11 March 2013 School of English (Email).