Julie Wilson

Julie Wilson

Email: jwilso47@nd.edu

Areas of Interest:
Old and Middle English, books as physical objects (bibliography), late nineteenth-century America, reception history of medieval texts, English Renaissance drama

B.A. in English with a History minor, Vassar College (2018)
M.A. in English, University of Virginia (2021)


Julie Wilson is a first-year Ph.D. student in English literature at the University of Notre Dame. Her academic focus has shifted between texts over the years, jumping from Beowulf to Shakespeare’s history plays to Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur before landing back at Beowulf. In all the texts she examines, however, she seeks the answer the same questions: How and why do texts reference, recreate, and reveal the past? What role does a knowledge of the past have in these texts, such as a remembrance of historical figures in order to define kingship, or a recollection of previous lines of poetry in order to create alliteration or rhyme? Why is the regurgitation of this knowledge significant?

Her current research interest lies in the print history of Beowulf in the postbellum United States. From the early nineteenth century to the present, most readers have interacted with the poem as a printed text, not as a manuscript, yet few if any scholars have studied Beowulf as a physical object. By examining this obscure history, Julie hopes to demonstrate how Old English spread across the globe, how the Old English texts were printed and distributed, who actually read these texts, and how this information affects our current literary and political understanding of Old English today.

Recent Scholarly Activity:


(Re)Making Beowulf: Tracing the Influence of James Mercer Garnett’s Translation in Late Nineteenth-Century America. M.A. thesis. Supervised by Professor David Vander Meulen, University of Virginia. Submitted to the University of Virginia, May 2021.


Beowulf in Print: A History of Old English in the South…and the North.” UCLA Southland Conference, 10-11 Aug. 2021, held virtually. Presentation and panel discussion.

“Transforming Garnett’s Beowulf: Re-Printing and Reproducing Old English in Late Nineteenth-Century America.” Stony Brook University 32nd Annual English Graduate Conference, 26 Feb. 2021, held virtually. Presentation and panel discussion.

“Translations and Transformations of Beowulf in Late Nineteenth-Century America: A Bibliographical Study of James Mercer Garnett’s First Edition (1882) of the Poem.” University of Virginia English Graduate Convention, 3 Oct. 2020, held virtually. Presentation and panel discussion.

Positions Held

Research Assistant, English Department, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (Jan. 2020—May 2021). Worked as a research assistant with Professor Andrew Stauffer and Dr. Kristin Jensen on their project Book Traces (https://booktraces-public.lib.virginia.edu/), which records and analyzes how nineteenth-century American readers wrote in, doodled on, and physically interacted with their books.