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Dr Brendan O'Connell B.A. (Dublin), Ph.D. (Dublin)Assistant Professor


Research and Teaching Interests

My teaching focuses primarily on Middle English literature, with a particular emphasis on the poets of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. I am the module co-ordinator for the Fresher module Imagining the Middle Ages, and I also contribute to the Fresher module on Cultures of Retelling, and to Trinity Electives in the Schools of English and Histories and Humanities. At Sophister level, I offer options on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Surviving Trauma in Medieval Literature; I also teach across a number of postgraduate modules on the MPhil in Medieval Studies, the MPhil in Literary Translation, and the MPhil in Identities and Cultures of Europe, including Chaucer and the Italian Trecento, Medieval Translation: Theory and Practice, and Medieval and Renaissance Foundations of Europe.

My research interests, which are aligned with the Long Room Hub’s research themes on ‘Manuscript, Book and Print Cultures’ and ‘Identities in Transformation’, focus primarily on the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, as well as the early modern reception and transmission of his works. My work on Chaucer reflects a particular interest in images of imitation, fraud and falsification in the Canterbury Tales, and the way in which his poetry draws on the works of Jean de Meun and Dante. I also have a strong interest in the reception of Chaucer’s work in later periods, up to and including the 21st century, but with a focus on the early modern period: I am especially interested in the reception of Chaucerian beast literature in the late medieval and early modern periods.

I have supervised doctoral theses on a range of topics, including a Lollard anthology in the Trinity collection, John Gower’s Confessio Amantis, the works of Thomas Hoccleve, and the Loathly Lady story in medieval literature. I am very happy to consider inquiries from prospective postgraduates interested in pursuing research in any aspect of Middle English Literature, or its reception in the early modern period.

In addition to my teaching and administrative roles within the School of English, I am a College Tutor, and tutees are always welcome to contact me if there are issues they would like to discuss.

Recent and Forthcoming Publications


  • Transmission and Generation in Medieval and Renaissance Literature: Essays in Honour of John Scattergood, eds. Brendan O’Connell and Karen Hodder (Dublin: Four Courts, 2012).


  • ‘Think of All the Differences!’: Mixed Marriages in Transcultural Adaptations of Chaucer’s ‘Man of Law’s Tale’, Adaptation (forthcoming in special issue on ‘Adaptation and Revision’; currently available here as an advance article).

  • ‘Teaching Literary Responses to the Black Death During the COVID 19 Pandemic’, The All Ireland Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (AISHE-J) 12.2 (2020).

  • ‘Chaucer’s “Beast Group” and Mother Hubberds Tale.’ In Rereading Chaucer and Spenser: Dan Geffrey with the New Poete, ed. Rachel Stenner, Tamsin Badcoe and Gareth Griffith (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2019).

  • ‘Putting the Plowman in His Place: Order and Genre in the Early Modern Canterbury Tales.’ Chaucer Review 53.4 (2018): 428-448.

  •  ‘The Erkenwald-poet.’ In Lost Souls of Horror and the Gothic, ed. Bernice M. Murphy and Elizabeth McCarthy (North Carolina: McFarland, 2016). 

  • ‘Geoffrey Chaucer.’ In Oxford Bibliographies in British and Irish Literature (September 2016).

  • ‘“Struglyng Wel and Myghtily”: Resisting Rape in the Man of Law's Tale.’ Medium Ævum 84.1 (2015): 16-39.

  • ‘Chaucer’s Counterfeit Exempla.’ In Chaucer's Poetry: Words, Authority and Ethics, ed. Clíodhna Carney and Frances McCormack (Dublin: Four Courts, 2013), pp. 134-45.

  • ‘The Poetics of Fraud: Jean de Meun, Dante and Chaucer.’ In Chaucer in Context: A Golden Age of English Poetry, ed. Gerald Morgan (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2012), pp. 261-78.

  • ‘Culture and Dispute in Dialogus de Scaccario.’ In Transmission and Generation in Medieval and Renaissance Literature: Essays in Honour of John Scattergood, ed. Brendan O’Connell and Karen Hodder (Dublin: Four Courts, 2012), pp. 52-64.

  • ‘“Ignotum per ignocius”: Alchemy, Analogy and Poetics in Fragment VIII of The Canterbury Tales’. In Transmission and Transformation in the Middle Ages: Texts and Contexts, ed. Kathy Cawsey and Jason Harris (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), pp. 131-56.

  • ‘Adam Scriveyn and the Falsifiers of Dante’s Inferno: A New Interpretation of Chaucer’s Wordes.’ Chaucer Review 40.1 (2005): 39-56.


Dr Brendan O'Connell
School of English
Trinity College
University of Dublin
Dublin 2

Office: Room 4039, Arts Building
+ 353 1 896 2597


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