Medieval Lit. Scholar Tenured

"Rising Star" Tapped to Fill Retirement Vacancies

Nicholas Watson, an English professor at Western Ontario University and an expert on medieval literature, will join the Harvard faculty as a tenured professor in the English department.

Watson was chosen in a year-long world-wide search to fill the gap in the English department faculty left by the recent retirement of noted medieval scholars Derek Pearsall, Gurney professor of English Literature, and Larry D. Benson, Higginson professor of English literature.

"Watson is a rising star in Medieval studies and a splendid teacher as well


as scholar and we are delighted that he will be joining us," English department

chair and Marquand professor of English Lawrence Buell wrote in an email.

Professor of English Daniel Donoghue, who served on the committee that selected Watson, said Watson was somewhat of an unlikely candidate given that he is only in his early forties. But, Donoghue said, he is nonetheless a well-respected scholar.

"We were highly impressed with everything we read by him," Donoghue said.

According to Buell, Watson is interested in religion and literature and in the rise of vernacular culture, which deals with the "re-emergence of English as a medium of expression in the later Medieval world after the Norman conquest," Buell wrote.

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