Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois

Renée R. Trilling

Associate Professor of English, Medieval Studies, Criticism and Interpretive Theory, and Comparative and World Literature

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Office Hours

  • By appointment


Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 2004


Undergraduate courses include Old English language and literature, Chaucer, medieval women writers, historiography, modern medievalisms, and critical theory. Recent graduate seminars have focused on history, literature, and state formation in early medieval England; on Beowulf, the poem and its critical contexts; on forms of alterity in the Middle Ages; and on the poems of the Junius Manuscript.

Research Interests

Old and Middle English literature; theories of historiography and nationalism; linguistics and philology; new materialisms and body studies

Selected Publications


  • The Aesthetics of Nostalgia: Historical Representation in Old English Verse. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009.

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Book Contributions

  • "Heavenly Bodies: Paradoxes of Female Martyrdom in Ælfric’s Lives of Saints." Writing Women Saints in Anglo-Saxon England. Ed. Paul E. Szarmach. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013. 249-73.
  • "Histories." The Cambridge History of Early Medieval English Literature. Ed. Clare A. Lees. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 232-56.
  • "Sovereignty and Social Order: Archbishop Wulfstan and the Institutes of Polity." The Bishop Reformed: Studies in Episcopal Power and Culture in the Central Middle Ages. Ed. Anna T. Jones and John S. Ott. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007. 58-85.

Edited Books

  • Stodnick, Jacqueline, and Renée R. Trilling. A Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Studies. Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.

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Journal Articles

  • "Before and After Theory: Seeing through the Body in Early Medieval England." postmedieval 1.3 (2010): 1 Nov. 2010. < >.
  • "Ruins in the Realm of Thoughts: Reading as Constellation in Anglo-Saxon Poetry." JEGP 108.2 (2009): 141-67.
  • "Beyond Abjection: The Problem with Grendel's Mother Again." Parergon 24.1 (2007): 1-20.
  • "The Order of Things in Anglo-Saxon Studies: Categorization and the Construction of a Discipline." Literature Compass 5.3 (2008): 472-92. <>.

Works in Progress

  • A book-length study that draws on recent trends in neuroscience and related fields to to explore the role of the body in the production of subjectivity in Anglo-Saxon literature.