Kathryn Kerby-Fulton

Professor Emerita, English

Affiliate Professor, University of Victoria

Professor Emerita, English
233 Decio Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556



Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, FSA, specializes in Medieval English literature and its Latin intellectual history, including religious and political censorship, apocalyptic thought, visionary writing, and women’s mysticism. She also works in the area of Manuscript Studies, especially of medieval England and Anglo-Ireland, history of the book and reading practices before print, and including marginalia, text-image relations and formalist design. Yet another area of her research has been the history of dance (17th c. to the present), contemporary dance criticism, and she currently serves as a Director on the Board of Ballet Victoria. More recently, with her co-editor Doreen Kerby, and with the research assistance of Andrew Klein, she is working on a 19th-c. Canadian wilderness narrative, the unpublished journals of William Archibald Robertson’s early explorations of coastal BC.

Selected Honors and Awards

  •  Elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (December, 2019)
  • ACLS (American Council of Learned Societies) Fellowship, 2016-17
  • NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) Fellowship, 2013
  • Elected Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America (March, 2012)
  • Medieval Academy of America Charles Homer Haskins Gold Medal in 2010 for Books Under Suspicion: Censorship and Tolerance of Revelatory Writing in Late Medieval England
  • John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship 2008
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (multiple awards between 1986 and 2005)
  • Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, School of Historical Studies fellowships in 1996, 1998, and 1999-2000.
  • 1996 University of Victoria Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching


Representative publications


Reformist Apocalypticism and Piers Plowman. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. -1994 winner of the John Nicholas Brown Prize from the Medieval Academy of America 

Iconography and the Professional Reader: The Politics of Book Production in the Douce Piers Plowman, with Denise Despres (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999) 

Books Under Suspicion: Censorship and Tolerance of Revelatory Writing in Late Medieval England (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2006) -winner of the 2010 Haskins Medal from the Medieval Academy of America, and of the Snow Prize for the North American British Studies Association

Opening Up Medieval English Manuscripts: Literary and Visual Approaches, lead author, with Maidie Hilmo and Linda Olson (Cornell U. Press, 2012) - elected by Choice Magazine as an "Outstanding Academic Title" for 2013 

The Clerical Proletariat and the Resurgence of Medieval English Poetry (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021) - winner of the 2022 Margaret Wade Labarge Prize from the Canadian Society of Medievalists 

Edited Collections

Steven Justice and Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, eds., Written Work: Langland, Labour and Authorship, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997).

Kathryn Kerby-Fulton and Maidie Hilmo, eds., The Medieval Professional Reader at Work: Evidence from Manuscripts of Chaucer, Langland, Kempe and Gower (Victoria: English Literary Studies, 2001). 

The Medieval Reader, K. Kerby-Fulton and M. Hilmo, eds., a special issue of Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History, vol. 1, Third Series, (New York: AMS Press, 2002).

Linda Olson and Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, eds., Voices in Dialogue: Reading Women in the Middle Ages (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2005).

Women and the Divine in Literature before 1700: Essays in Memory of Margot Louis. Ed. K. Kerby-Fulton, for English Literary Series, University of Victoria (Victoria: E.L.S., 2009), 220pp.

“Something Fearful”: Dialogues and Essays on the “Religious Turn” in Literary Criticism, a special issue of Religion and Literature, co-edited by Kathryn Kerby-Fulton and Jonathan Juilfs, 42.1 and 42.2 (2010), 319 pp.

New Directions in Medieval Manuscript Studies and Reading Practices: Essays in Honour of Derek Pearsall, ed. Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, John Thompson and Sarah Baechle (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2014), 574 pages. Selections from the conference in the Honour of Derek Pearsall’s 80th Birthday, University of Notre Dame London Center, London, U.K., Oct. 20-22, 2011

Women Intellectuals and Leaders in the Middle Ages, ed. K. Kerby-Fulton, Katie Ann-Marie Bugyis and John Van Engen (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2020), 438 pages, now also in paperback

Poets and Scribes in Late Medieval England: Essays on Manuscripts and Meaning in Honour of Susanna Fein, ed. Michael Johnston, Kathryn Kerby-Fulton and Derek Pearsall, (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Press & De Gruyter, 2023), 237 pages.