MemberAmity Reading

Amity Reading received her B.A. from the University of Chicago, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her primary area of specialization is Old English literature, with subspecialties in world literature, later medieval literature, and Shakespeare. She has published on pre-Conquest and later medieval religious poetry. Her research interests include philology and historicism, queer studies, and disability studies. She teaches courses on Old and Middle English, World Literature, and Shakespeare.

MemberMegan Cavell


Weaving Words and Binding Bodies: The Poetics of Human Experience in Old English Literature, Toronto Anglo-Saxon Series (University of Toronto Press, 2016)

Journal Articles and Notes

‘Arachnophobia and Early English Literature’, New Medieval Literatures 18 (2018): 1-43
‘The Igil and Exeter Book Riddle 15’, Notes and Queries 64.2 (2017): 206-10
‘Powerful Patens in the Anglo-Saxon Medical Tradition and Exeter Book Riddle 48’, Neophilologus 101 (2017): 129-38, open access:
‘Sails, Veils and Tents: The Segl and Tabernacle of Old English Christ III and Exodus’, Medieval Clothing and Textiles 12 (2016): 27-39
‘Formulaic Friþuwebban: Reexam…

My primary research and teaching interests include Old and Middle English, Anglo-Latin, Old Saxon and Old Norse-Icelandic literature, as well as folkloric and modern receptions of the medieval world. I am particularly interested in poetics, violence, domesticity, animals and the natural world. As part of my postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto, I completed revisions to a monograph based on my PhD thesis, entitled Weaving Words and Binding Bodies: The Poetics of Human Experience in Old English Literature. In addition, I continued to research other medieval languages and literatures, exploring in particular Old Norse-Icelandic, Anglo-Saxon (Old English and Anglo-Latin) and Middle English literary examples in which textile workers are associated with deception and violence. During this time, I also co-founded ‘The Riddle Ages’, a blog about Anglo-Saxon riddles. The aim of this project is to provide public access to translations and commentary of the Exeter Book riddles. See As a Junior Research Fellow at Durham University and Departmental Lecturer at Oxford University, I began working on a project that engages with the emerging field of interdisciplinary animal studies. The publications resulting from this study will highlight the way perceptions of a range of animals from spiders to wolves are shaped by the human writers of literature and shed light on broader, cultural implications that are relevant today. I am continuing this project as a Birmingham Fellow.