Tim William Machan



Specialties: medieval language and literature, historical English linguistics

Degrees: BA, University of Wisconsin-Madison; MA, University of Durham; PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tim Machan’s teaching and research involve both medieval language and literature and historical English linguistics. Focusing on Norse, Latin, and French as well as English, his medieval scholarship has explored the interplay among a variety of theoretical and practical concerns, including the cultural nuances of physical documents, literary expression, linguistic conventions, multilingualism, contact between English and other traditions, and the historicity of critical approaches. In English linguistics, he has examined individual and institutional responses to language change, the shifting status of varieties within the English linguistic repertoire, and the persistence of language attitudes from the medieval period until the present. His current projects include the editing of a critical anthology Imagining Medieval English (Cambridge University Press) and researching and writing on both Standard English and the impact of Scandinavia on conceptions of the English Middle Ages.

Recent Publications

  • What Is English?: And Why Should We Care? Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • “Chaucer and the History of English,” Speculum 87 (2012): 147-75.
  • “Language Contact and Linguistic Attitudes in the Later Middle Ages,” in The Oxford Handbook of the History of English, ed. Terttu Nevalainen and Elizabeth Closs Traugott. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Pp. 518-27.
  • “Editorial Certainty and the Editor’s Choice,” in The Genesis of the Book: Studies in the Scribal Culture of Medieval England in Honour of A. N. Doane, ed. Matthew T. Hussey and John D. Niles. Turnhout: Brepols, 2011. Pp. 285-303.
  • “The Visual Pragmatics of Code-Switching in Late Middle English Literature,” in Code-Switching in Earlier English, ed. Herbert Schendl and Laura Wright. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2011. Pp. 303-33.
  • “Opportunity’s Knock and Chaucerian Textual Criticism,” Studies in the Age of Chaucer 32 (2010): 357-63.
  • “Robert Henryson and the Matter of Multilingualism,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology, 109 (2010): 52-70.
  • “When English Became Latin,” in Cultural Reformations: Medieval and Renaissance in Literary History, ed. Brian Cummings and James Simpson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Pp. 247-63.
  • Language Anxiety: Conflict and Change in the History of English.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • “French, English, and the Late Medieval Linguistic Repertoire,” in Language and Culture in Medieval Britain: The French of England c. 1100-c.1500. ed. Jocelyn Wogan-Browne et al.  York: York Medieval Press, 2009. Pp. 363-72.
  • “Manuscript Culture,” in Oxford History of Literary Translation in English, vol. 1, To 1550, ed. Roger Ellis. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Pp. 29-44.
  • Vafþrúðnismál. Second revised edition. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 2008.
  • Chaucer’s “Boece”: A Critical Edition Based on Cambridge University Library, MS Ii.3.21, ff. 9r-180v. Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 2008.


Contact Information
208 Decio Faculty Hall
(574) 631-7931

Postal address
Department of English
356 O’Shaughnessy
Notre Dame, IN 46556