Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois

Robert W Barrett

Associate Professor of English and Medieval Studies

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Contact Information

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Office Hours

  • Monday, 2-3 p.m.,
  • Tuesday, 9:30-10:30 a.m.


Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2001; M.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1996; B.A., Trinity University, 1991

Teaching Interests

At the undergraduate level: British literary history, Chaucer, comics and graphic novels, early English drama, fantasy fiction, and global medieval literatures; at the graduate level: Chaucer, early English drama, ecocriticism, medieval literature, and theories of editing


Introduction to Fiction-ACP (ENGL 109, Summer II 2013), The Literature of Fantasy (ENGL 119, Spring 2014), Comics and Graphic Narratives (ENGL 121, Fall 2015), Medieval Literature and Culture (ENGL 202, Fall 2015), British Literature to 1798 (ENGL 209, Spring 2009), Writing about Literature: Legends of Modern Fantasy (ENGL 300, Spring 2010), Writing about Literature: Contemporary Fantasy Novels (ENGL 300, Spring 2015), Honors Seminar II: Festivity in Early English Drama (ENGL 397, Fall 2010), Chaucer (ENGL 411, Fall 2009), Medieval British Literatures (ENGL 412, Fall 2013), Seminar in Medieval Literature: Early English Drama and the Urban Imagination (ENGL 514, Fall 2007), Seminar in Medieval Literature: Ecocriticism and Early English Drama (ENGL 514, Fall 2012), Seminar in Theory: Textual Criticism and Theories of Editing (ENGL 581, Spring 2011)

Research Interests

Medieval British literature (esp. Middle English literature); early English drama (up to 1642); ecocriticism (esp. plants); region and locality (esp. Cheshire and Chester)

Selected Publications


  • Against All England: Regional Identity and Cheshire Writing, 1195-1656. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2009.

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Book Contributions

  • "Chester and Cheshire." Europe: A Literary History, 1348-1418. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. 240-55.
  • "Languages Low and High: Translation and the Creation of Community in the Chester Pentecost Play." Translating the Middle Ages. Ed. Karen L. Fresco and Charles D. Wright. Farnham: Ashgate, 2013. 65-79. <>.
  • "Leeks for Livery: Consuming Welsh Difference in the Chester Shepherds' Play." Mapping the Medieval City: Space, Place, and Identity in Chester, c. 1200-1600. Ed. Catherine A. Clarke. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2011. 184-210. <>.
  • "The Absent Triumphator in the 1610 Chester's Triumph in Honor of Her Prince." Spectacle and Public Performance in the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Ed. Robert E. Stillman. Leiden: Brill, 2006. 183-210. <>.

Journal Articles

  • "Royal Freight: City-Crown Negotiations in Anthony Munday’s 1610 London’s Love to the Royal Prince Henry." Research Opportunities in Medieval and Renaissance Drama 47 (2008): 1-24.

Works in Progress

  • The Chester Whitsun Plays (a critical edition for the TEAMS Middle English Texts Series).