Bobby Meyer-Lee

Bobby Meyer-Lee
Associate Professor of English
On Leave 2015-2016

Contact Information

Office Location: Wiekamp Hall, Room DW3163
Office Phone: (574) 520-4275

Go Here for current Office Hours


PhD Yale University, English, 2001
MA New York University, English, 1992
BA Williams College, Computer Science, 1986

I’ve been teaching at IU South Bend since the fall of 2008; before then I taught at Goshen College and Rhodes College (in Memphis). My specialty is early English literature, especially the literature of the late medieval period, from about 1350 through the early 1500s. In my teaching, I seek to foster students’ appreciation of both the familiarity and strangeness of these early texts, and how their very distance from us fruitfully complicates such basic questions about the literary enterprise as: what is literature, what do we claim to be its value and function, and how well, in practice, it lives up to these ideals. Such questions also lurk within my research interests, although my more immediate concerns have ranged from the relations of poetry and political power in the 1400s to the theoretical and practical implications of the way modern editors have put together Geoffrey’s Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.


Medieval English literature, culture, history, manuscripts
Early modern English literature
History of the English language and linguistics
Literary theory

Major Publications

Power and Poets


Poets and Power from Chaucer to Wyatt, Cambridge University Press, 2007; paperback edition, 2009

Annotated bibliography

“John Lydgate.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Medieval Studies. Ed. Paul E. Szarmach. New York: Oxford University Press, 30 September 2014.  Link.

Articles and Chapters

“Toward a Theory and Practice of Literary Valuing.”  New Literary History 46.2, Spring 2015, pp. 335-55

“Literary Value and the Customs House:   The Axiological Logic of Chaucer’s House of Fame.”  The Chaucer Review 48.4, April 2014, pp. 374-94

“The Problem of Tale Order.”  In Approaches to Teaching Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, 2nd ed., ed. Peter Travis and Frank Grady, The Modern Language Association, 2014, pp. 67-72

“In Praise of Power:  Prince and Poet in Fifteenth-Century Court Poetry.”  In The Blackwell Companion to British Literature, ed. Heesok Chang, Robert DeMaria Jr., and Samantha Zacher, Blackwell, 2014, pp. 369-83

“Abandon the Fragments,” Studies in the Age of Chaucer 35, 2013, pp. 47-83

“John Lydgate’s Major Poems," in A Companion to Fifteenth-Century Poetry, ed. Julia Boffey and A. S. G. Edwards, D. S. Brewer, 2013, pp. 59-71

“Conception Is a Blessing: Marian Devotion, Heresy, and the Literary in Skelton’s A Replycacion,” in Form and Reform: Reading Across the Fifteenth Century, ed. Shannon Gayk and Kathleen Tonry, The Ohio State University Press, 2011, pp. 133 58

“Fragments IV and V of the Canterbury Tales Do Not Exist,” The Chaucer Review 45.1, 2010

“The Emergence of the Literary in John Lydgate’s Life of Our Lady,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 109.3, 2010

"The Vatic Penitent: John Audelay’s Self Representation,” in My Wyl and My Wrytyng: Essays on John the Blind Audelay, ed. Susanna Fein, Medieval Institute Publications, 2009

"Manuscript Studies, Literary Value, and the Object of Chaucer Studies,” Studies in the Age of Chaucer 30, 2008

"A Defense of Ornament: The Supplement of Literary Language and Julia Spicher Kasdorf’s ‘Catholics’ and ‘Mennonites,’” Mennonite Quarterly Review 82.2, 2008

"Lydgate’s Laureate Pose,” in John Lydgate: Poetry, Culture, and Lancastrian England, ed. Larry Scanlon and James Simpson. University of Notre Dame Press, 2006

"Laureates and Beggars in Fifteenth Century English Poetry: The Case of George Ashby,” Speculum 79.3, 2004

"Hoccleve and the Apprehension of Money,” Exemplaria 13.1, 2001

"The Allure of the Phantom Popet,” The Chaucer Newsletter 22.2, 2000

Courses at IU South Bend

L501 Professional Literary Scholarship (the Chaucer version)
G660 Stylistics
D600/G301 History of the English Language
L305 Chaucer
E301 Literatures in English to 1600
T191 Heroes in Ancient and Medieval World Literature
T190 Imagining King Arthur
W131 Elementary Composition

Selected Awards

Medieval Academy Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize, 2003, for “Hoccleve and the Apprehension of Money”

New Chaucer Society Congress essay contest, 2000, for “The Allure of the Phantom Popet”

Editorial Appointments

Co-editor, Journal of English and Germanic Philology (JEGP)
Series Editor, the Chaucer Studies series, Boydell and Brewer
Editorial Board, The Chaucer Review
Advisory Board, Center for Mennonite Writing

Listen to an MP3 of ‘Laureates and Beggars: Poetry and Political Power,’ Goshen College Convocation, 26 March 2007 here