Katherine O'Brien O'Keeffe

Clyde and Evelyn Slusser Chair in English
Faculty Office: 427 Wheeler
T, W 10-11

Professional Statement

I specialize in the literary culture of Anglo-Saxon England. My research focuses on cultural transmission, editing in manuscript cultures, and questions of agency in early medieval culture.



Title Fields
O'brien o'keeffe cover Stealing Obedience: Narratives of Agency and Identity in Later Anglo-Saxon England
Stealing Obedience investigates works in Latin and Old English to pursue a series of questions about agency (here to use the term in its most general meaning) that emerge from my study of the discourses of Anglo-Saxon monastic life during the Benedictine Reform. By investigating a range of texts dealing with monastic life in Anglo-Saxon England: Osbern’s Vita of Dunstan, Ælfric&rsqu....

Selected Publications and Papers Delivered

Stealing Obedience: Narratives of Agency and Identity in Later Anglo-Saxon England. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012.

"Orality and Literacy." In Oral Literature of the Middle Ages, edited by Karl Reichl, 120-39. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2012.

"Goscelin, the Liber confortatorius and the Library of Peterborough." In Poetry, Place and Gender: Studies in Medieval Culture in Honor of Helen Damico, edited by Catherine E. Karkov, 151-70. Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 2009.

"Inside, Outside, Conduct and Judgment: King Alfred Reads the Regula pastoralis." In 'Un serto di fiori in man recando': Scritti in onore di Maria Amalia D'Aronco, vol. 2, edited by Patrizia Lendinara, 333-45. Udine: Forum, 2008.

"Goscelin and the Consecration of Eve." Anglo-Saxon England 35 (2006): 251-70.

"Leaving Wilton: Gunhild and the Phantoms of Agency." JEGP 106.2 (2006): 203-23.

"Edith's Choice." In Latin Learning, English Lore: Studies in Anglo-Saxon Literature for Michael Lapidge, edited by Katherine O'Brien O'Keeffe and Andy Orchard. 2 vols. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005, II: 253-74.

Lou Burnard, Katherine O'Brien O'Keeffe, and John Unsworth, eds. Electronc Textual Editing. New York: MLA, 2006.

Current Research

I am working on questions of agency in early medieval culture, particularly in Old English prose and in the writings of Osbern of Canterbury and Goscelin of Saint-Bertin. My next project looks at the work of miracle narratives in England in the decades after the Norman Conquest.

Recent English Courses Taught

Spring, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
205B/1 Old English: Anglo-Saxons and the Law Graduate Courses
Fall, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
45A/2 Literature in English: Through Milton Introductory Surveys
45A/201 -- discussion section Forbes-Macphail, Imogen

45A/202 -- discussion section Villagrana, José

104/1 Introduction to Old English Pre-1800 Requirement
English Language and Linguistics
Old English

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