Elizabeth Allen

picture of Elizabeth  Allen

Associate Professor, English
School of Humanities

Ph.D., University of Michigan

Phone: (949) 824-6712
Fax: (949) 824-2916
Email: eallen@uci.edu

University of California, Irvine
373 HIB
Mail Code: 2650
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Chaucer, Gower, fifteenth-century poetry; exemplary literature, romance, chronicle, episodic form; intersections between ethics and politics, politics and religion; hospitality, sovereignty, legal and constitutional history of England.
Research Abstract
I am finishing a book, Uncertain Refuge: Ideas of Sanctuary in the Literature of Medieval England. I have also published a book on exemplarity (False Fables and Exemplary Truth, Palgrave 2005) and assorted essays on Chaucer, the Gawain-poet, and medieval romance, among other topics. I am interested in stories--how they are formed from tradition and innovation, who tells them and how they are told, what moral and political purposes they serve, how they reflect and influence history. I write about narratives ranging ranging from saints’ lives to romance, sacred space, time and temporality, and the moral lessons of narrative.

I teach Arthurian romance, the Bible as Literature, Chaucer, and other topics courses on medieval (and sometimes later) literature. I am currently Program Coordinator for Composition and Course Director of WR 39B.


Uncertain Refuge: Ideas of Sanctuary in Medieval English Literature, book in progress

False Fables and Exemplary Truth in Later Middle English Literature, Palgrave, 2005

“Death and Romance in Sir Orfeo,” in Narrating Death, eds. Daniel Jernigan and Walter Wadiak, Routledge, expected 2018.
“A Once and Future King: Sanctuary, Sovereignty, and the Politics of Pity in the Histories of Perkin Warbeck,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 47:2 (2017): 327-358.
“Teaching Pearl and Landscape,” Approaches to Teaching the Middle English Pearl, ed. Jane Beal and Mark Bradshaw Busbee, Modern Language Association of America, 2017.
“Sanctuary and Sovereignty: Hubert de Burgh in the Chronica Majora,” New Medieval Literatures 15 (2014 for 2013).
“Flowing Backward to the Source: Criseyde’s Promises and the Ethics of Allusion,” Speculum 88.3 (June 2013).
“ ‘As mote in at a munster dor’: Sanctuary and Love of This World,” Philological Quarterly 87 (2008): 105-133.
“Episodes,” Twenty-first Century Approaches to Literature: Middle English, ed. Paul Strohm (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 191-206.
"Newfangled Readers in Gower's Apollonius of Tyre," Studies in the Age of Chaucer 29 (2007), 419-64.
"Chaucer Answers Gower: Constance and the Trouble With Reading," English Literary History 63 (1997).
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