Rebecca A. Davis

Picture of Rebecca A. Davis
Associate Professor, English
School of Humanities
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 2006, English, Medieval Literature
University of California, Irvine
350 Humanities Instructional Building
Mail Code: 2650
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Old and Middle English literature; medieval Latin; Piers Plowman; medieval religious culture; gender studies, including medieval women’s writing; ecocriticism and environmental humanities; new formalism; cognitive approaches to literature
Research Abstract
My research focuses on Middle English literature. My first book, Piers Plowman and the Books of Nature (OUP, 2016), examines the representation of nature, creativity, and ethics in William Langland’s Middle English poem.

My ongoing research interests include representations of thought and interiority in medieval allegory, drama, and dream vision; form, especially the mechanics of motion and plastic or porous forms; the phenomenology of fiction; representations of body and soul; and medieval notions of freedom, vulnerability, and liberality.

I am currently completing a new book project on the ways that medieval concepts of grace move from theological and legal contexts to literary ones, producing dilatory narratives that resist closure and make space for transformative departures from fixed plots.

I served as co-editor of the Yearbook of Langland Studies from 2013-2016.
Awards and Honors
Anne Middleton Book Prize for 2015-16 (2019)
School of Humanities Teaching Award (2018)
Hellman Fellowship, UCI (2014 Fellow)
Professor of the Year, UCI (campus-wide teaching award, 2013)
Dean’s Honoree, Humanities Teaching Award, UCI (2013)

Piers Plowman and the Books of Nature (Oxford University Press, 2016)
“‘We axen leyser and espace’: Narrative Grace in Chaucer’s Franklin’s Tale and Melibee,” forthcoming in New Medieval Literatures
“The Book of Nature,” in Nature and Literary Studies. Eds. Peter Remein and Scott Slovic. Cambridge Critical Concepts. Cambridge University Press, 2022. 31-48.
“Accommodating Humankind: Theatrical Space, Poetic Form, and Dwelling in the Castle of Perseverance,” Chaucer Review 55.3 (2020): 245-78.
"'Noon other werke': The Work of Sleep in Chaucer's Book of the Duchess," in Chaucer's Book of the Duchess: Contexts and Interpretations, ed. Jamie C. Fumo (Boydell and Brewer, 2018). 51-70.
"Childish Things: Charity and the Liberal Arts," postmedieval 6.4 (2015): 457-66.
"Fugitive Poetics in Chaucer's House of Fame," Studies in the Age of Chaucer 37 (2015): 101-32.
“‘Save man allone’: Human Exceptionality in Piers Plowman and the Exemplarist Tradition,” Medieval Latin and Middle English Literature: Essays in Honour of Jill Mann. Ed. Chris Cannon and Maura Nolan. Cambridge, UK: Boydell and Brewer, 2011. 41-64.
“‘Fullynge’ Nature: Spiritual Charity and the Logic of Conversion in Piers Plowman,” Yearbook of Langland Studies 19 (2006): 59-79.
“More Evidence for Intertextuality and Humorous Intent in The Weddynge of Syr Gawen and Dame Ragnell,” Chaucer Review 35:4 (2001): 430-39.
Professional Societies
New Chaucer Society
International Piers Plowman Society
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