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English Faculty

Megan Murton – Assistant Professor of English

Megan E. Murton is an Assistant Professor of English specializing in medieval English literature with a focus on Chaucer. After receiving her PhD from the University of Cambridge, she joined the CUA faculty in 2015. Her research interests include Chaucer and his contemporaries, religion and medieval literature, and the medieval reception of Classical literature and philosophy, especially as mediated by Boethius.

These interests are reflected in two current book projects. The first, based on her doctoral research, seeks to counter critical neglect of Chaucer’s engagement with contemporary orthodox religion. Taking prayer as its focal point, this study situates Chaucer in the context of the late-medieval rise in lay piety and examines his contribution to the growing repertoire of prayers in Middle English, as well as his imaginative engagement with pagan prayer in his Classical romances. The second project, currently in its early stages, re-evaluates Chaucer’s response to one of his principal sources, Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy. Drawing on new interpretations that see this text’s philosophical arguments as ultimately displaced by religious devotion, Dr. Murton argues that Chaucer similarly read the Consolation in devotional terms, and then explores the implications of this fact for an understanding of his Boethian borrowings and adaptations. In addition, two articles-in-progress examine Chaucer’s use of liturgical sources and his representations of time. Dr. Murton’s work has been published in The Chaucer Review and recognized in the Medium Aevum Essay Contest.

Dr. Murton has taught Middle English language and literature at Cambridge, as well as literature and academic writing courses at Xavier University and Miami University of Ohio. At CUA, she teaches undergraduate courses in English, including Chaucer and His Age I & II, as well as graduate seminars in medieval literature. Aside from Chaucer and his contemporaries, her teaching interests include Middle English mystical writings and religious drama, monstrous Others in medieval literature, medieval French romance, the history of the English language, and modern-day medievalism, especially in the works of JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. 

Dr. Murton received her PhD in 2014. She also holds a joint Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and French Literature from Harvard University (2008) and a Master’s degree in Medieval English Literature from the University of Oxford (2010).

Research

Selected Publications:

"Secular Consolation in Chaucer's Complaint of Mars" (forthcoming in Studies in the Age of Chaucer)

"Boethius and Chaucer: The Consolations of 'Trouthe'" (forthcoming in Carmina Philosophiae)

“Praying with Boethius in Troilus and Criseyde,” Chaucer Review 49.3 (2015): 294-319.

“Chaucer’s Ethical Poetic in the Canterbury Tales,” in Chaucer’s Poetry: Words, Authority, and Ethics, ed. Clíodhna Carney and Frances McCormack (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2013): 48-62.

Selected Presentations:

“‘Trouthe thee shal delivere’: Boethian ‘Trouthe’ and Chaucerian Lyric,” Kalamazoo Medieval Congress, International Boethius Society Session, 2015

“Chaucer and the Secular,” Canada Chaucer Seminar, 2015
“From the God of Love to the Love of God: ‘Inordinate’ Love in Troilus and Criseyde,” New Chaucer Society, 2014

“Chaucer’s Devotional Boethius,” Revisiting the Legacy of Boethius in the Middle Ages, Harvard University, 2014

“Chaucer’s Images of the Incarnation,” New Chaucer Society, 2012
 

Awards

Cambridge International Scholarship, 2010-2013

Marshall Scholarship, 2008-2010
 

Contact

Office: 236 Marist Annex 
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20064

Phone: 202-319-5153

E-mail: murton@cua.edu

 

Courses

  • ENG 231: The History of English Literature I
  • ENG 351: Chaucer and His Age I
  • ENG 352: Chaucer and His Age II
  • ENG 725: Readings in Medieval English Literature
  • ENG 853: Graduate Seminar: Medieval Monsters
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Education

Ph.D.: University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, 2014

M. Phil.: University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, 2010

B.A.: Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2008.

Areas of Expertise

  • The writings of Chaucer and his contemporaries
  • The influence of contemporary orthodox piety on Middle English literature
  • The medieval reception of Boethius
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