BA, Westfield State University
MA, Clark University
Ph.D., Fordham University (2017)
Field of Study: Medieval
Texts and Contexts: Return From Avalon, King Arthur in the Middle Ages
Texts and Contexts: Masculinities, Violence, and Medieval Literature
Knightly Male Bodies and Violence in Middle English Romance
Steven's dissertation explores the social significance of developed male bodies in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and argues that representations of knightly physicality in late medieval England are the vehicle for expressing anxieties about militarized bodies. His study begins with an analysis of two popular didactic texts, Knyghthode and Battaile and Secreta Secretorum, before closely analyzing three Middle English romances: the anonymous Sir Gowther, Chaucer's Knight's Tale, and Malory's Morte D'Arthure, in order to understand how and why that body and identity could register as both desirable and frightening to medieval audiences.