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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Contact Information

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Office Hours

  • Wednesdays 10:00-12:00 and 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 film, 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

  • "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.
  • "Histories." The Cambridge History of Early Medieval English Literature. Ed. Clare A. Lees. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 232-56.
  • "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.

Edited Books

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

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Journal Articles

  • "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. <>.
  • "Ruins in the Realm of Thoughts: Reading as Constellation in Anglo-Saxon Poetry." JEGP 108.2 (2009): 141-67.
  • "Before and After Theory: Seeing through the Body in Early Medieval England." postmedieval 1.3 (2010): 1 Nov. 2010. < >.

Website Articles

Works in Progress

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