Lisa H. Cooper

Position title: Professor of English


Website: Lisa H. Cooper's website

Languages: English.

Research Interests: My research and teaching interests span the 12th-15th centuries in western Europe, but especially in England and, in some cases, France and Italy. I have a particular investment in the intertwined histories of labor, technology, science, material culture, and the practices of daily life (farming, hunting, cooking, medicine, time-keeping, and more). I teach undergraduate and graduate courses on medieval romance, the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer and his contemporaries as well as successors, medieval drama, and medieval travel narrative. I also frequently teach “Literature and Culture 1” (English 241), a foundational course for undergraduate English majors that covers the Middle Ages through the early 18th century.

Education: Ph.D., English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University; B.A., English and Art History, Amherst College.

Departments: Department of English (departmental profile here).

Selected Publications:

  • Artisans and Narrative Craft in Late Medieval England. Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  • Ed., with Andrea Denny-Brown. The Arma Christi in Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture, with a Critical Edition of ‘O Vernicle’ (by Ann Eljenholm Nichols). Farnham, Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing, 2014.
  • Ed., with Andrea Denny-Brown. Lydgate Matters: Poetry and Material Culture in the Fifteenth Century. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

Selected Essays

  • “Agronomy and Affect in Duke Humfrey’s On Husbondrie.” Speculum 95/1 (January 2020): 36-88.
  • “Figures for ‘Gretter Knowing’: Forms in the Treatise on the Astrolabe.” Chaucer and the Subversion of Form, ed. Thomas Prendergast and Jessica Rosenfeld. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 99–124.
  • “Nothing Was Funny in the Late Middle Ages: The ‘Tale of Ryght Nought’ and British Library MS Egerton 1995,” The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 47.2 (2017): 221-53.
  • “Recipes for the Realm: John Lydgate’s ‘Soteltes’ and The Debate of the Horse, Goose, and Sheep.” In Essays on Aesthetics in Medieval Literature in Honor of Howell Chickering. Ed. John M. Hill, Bonnie Wheeler, and R.F. Yeager. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2014. 194-215.
  • “Crafting Memory.” Middle English Literature: Criticism and Debate. Ed. Holly Crocker and D. Vance Smith. New York and London: Routledge, 2014. 183-91.
  • “‘His guttys wer out shake’: Illness and Indigence in Lydgate’s ‘Letter to Gloucester’ and Fabula duorum mercatorum” Studies in the Age of Chaucer (2008): 303-34.
  • “Making Space for History: Galbert of Bruges and the Murder of Charles the Good,” in Place, Space, and Landscape in Medieval Narrative, ed. Laura L. Howes (University of Tennessee Press, 2008), pp. 1-36.
  • “The Poetics of Practicality,” in 21st-Century Approaches to Literature: Middle English, ed. Paul Strohm (Oxford, 2008), pp. 501-14.
  • “Bed, Boat, and Beyond: Fictional Furnishing in La Queste del Saint Graal,” Arthuriana 15.3 (2005): 26-50.

Current Projects

My first book (Artisans and Narrative Craft, Cambridge 2011) examined images of artisanal practice across a wide range of medieval genres. I am working on a second book that explores the relationship of medieval poetics and practical instruction in the later Middle Ages (tentatively entitled The Poetics of Practicality); this project has received support from the Vice Chancellor’s office for Research and Graduate Education, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. For a little more information, see here: