Early modern English poetry, Milton, Spenser, early modern women writers, renaissance poetry, poetic theory, digital humanities.
I work primarily in early modern English poetry and non-dramatic prose, with a focus on Reformation politics and poetics; my Master’s thesis is on Donne’s first Satyre as prosopopoeia. My dissertation is titled _Making a Solemn Note: The Music and Meter of English Reformation Psalms_.Current (and ongoing) interests include the lyric poetry of Sidney and Donne, music in Milton, family dynamics in Shakespeare, Spenser’s shorter works and letters, and the science of cognitive poetics. My spare time is occupied by my beagle, Boswell, culinary debacles, penning a DIY column for thehairpin.com, and my violin.BM, Violin Performance, Florida State University (2005); MA, English and Comparative Literature, Columbia (2007); PhD, English Literature, University of Pennsylvania (2014).
Early modern English literature, sonnet sequences, seventeenth-century poetry, sectarian poetics, early modern cartography
Renaissance / early modern English literature & culture; modern and postmodern American poetry; poetics and historiography; literary & cultural theory; digital humanities.
Valerie Billing is Assistant Professor of English at Central College, where she teaches courses in Shakespeare, medieval and early modern English literature, world literature, LGBTQ+ literature, and disability literature. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Early Modern English Literature from the University of California, Davis. Valerie’s current research project investigates the erotics of size in a range of early modern drama, poetry, prose, and visual art.
Early Modern British Literature, Critical Bibliography, Speculative Fiction, Gender Studies, Poetry, Drama, LGBTQ Studies
Medieval English literature, anthropology, psychology, Shakespeare and screen writing.
I have published books, essays and articles on Old English heroic poetry, especially BEOWULF, on aesthetics, on Chaucer and on various works in the early modern, Romantic and Victorian periods. I teach undergraduates primarily and value a broad engagement with the run of English language and literature.
I teach and study the entire Medieval and Early Renaissance periods, but I specialize in Early Medieval Literature with a focus in Early Medieval England, medieval manuscripts, and a little Late Antiquity for good measure. My areas of interest for teaching and research purposes include (but often wander outside of): Early English codicology; Old English language and literature; memory studies; LA/medieval cultural geography, cosmography, and travel narratives; LA, medieval, and Early Modern ethnography and exploration; early Latin saint’s lives; Latin texts in English translation; monsters and teratology; Chaucerian dream poems; Renaissance poetry; and Ancient to modern drama. My current research interests include the textual and codicological history of the Beowulf-Manuscript (London, BL Cotton Vitellius A.xv, part 2), the earliest Latin St. Christopher legend, and the OE and Latin versions of Orosius’ History against the Pagans.
I teach and write about premodern English literature. My first book was English Alliterative Verse: Poetic Tradition and Literary History (Cambridge University Press, 2016), which won the 2018 English Association Beatrice White Prize. My second monograph is Meter and Modernity in English Verse, 1350-1650 (University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming). I edit the Yearbook of Langland Studies with Alastair Bennett and Katharine Breen. My writing on literature, politics, and higher education appears in The Atlantic, Vox, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and elsewhere. My research focuses on meter and poetics (what makes poetry tick). I am especially interested in poetry from the medieval period, which has led to an interest in periodization itself. All of my scholarship deals in one way or another with the historicity of early English literature: its forms and cultural meanings, and how those are mediated by modern disciplinary study. My recent work examines the relationships among poetry, social power, and human experiences of time and ventures across the medieval/modern boundary. In my work I write toward a historical understanding of literary forms. Specifically, I have proposed in various contexts that the history of literary forms generates the forms of literary history. These interests all converge on William Langland’s Piers Plowman, an enigmatic long alliterative poem of the fourteenth century.
Early modern drama, Shakespeare, performance studies, spatial theory, Restoration drama