Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Ian Cornelius

Associate Professor



I study medieval English poetry, especially William Langland’s Piers Plowman and other Middle English alliterative verse. I also study texts and contexts of literary education in medieval Europe, and the medieval and early modern reception of Boethius’s Consolatio philosophiae. Much of my work concerns poetics, literary language, and the transmission of texts. I am also interested in the long histories of thinking about these topics.

At Loyola I regularly teach an introduction to literary reading and a first-year interdisciplinary humanities survey (antiquity and Middle Ages), plus upper-division courses in medieval English and European literature. My graduate teaching has included seminars on Piers Plowman, an introduction to Old English language and literature, and a ten-week seminar at the Newberry Library on Boethius’s Consolatio and its afterlife.

I am currently engaged in two large projects: a digital documentary edition of the text of Piers Plowman in New Haven, Beinecke Library, Takamiya MS 23, and an on-line repository of medieval manuscript materials held in smaller institutional collections in the American Midwest. The digital edition is a collaboration with James Eric Ensley and intended for the Piers Plowman Electronic Archive. The on-line repository is a collaboration with Sarah Noonan, Elizabeth Hebbard, and Michelle Dalmau, funded by a three-year grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources.


  • BA, Washington University in St. Louis
  • PhD, The University of Pennsylvania

Program Areas

  • British Literature and Culture
  • Medieval and Early Modern Literature and Culture
  • Textual Studies and Digital Humanities
  • Poetry and Poetics

Research Interests

  • Medieval British literature
  • Old and Middle English
  • Alliterative Poetry and Poetic Meter
  • Textual Studies and Editing
  • Medieval Literary Education
  • Latin Grammar and Rhetoric
  • Piers Plowman
  • Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy

Selected Publications


  • Reconstructing Alliterative Verse: The Pursuit of a Medieval Meter (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Articles and Book Chapters:

  • The Lay Folks’ Catechism, Alliterative Verse, and Cursus’, The Review of English Studies 70.293 (2019): 14–36. <doi.org/10.1093/res/hgy107>
  • ‘An Edition of the Archetype of Piers Plowman B’ [review of The ‘Piers Plowman’ Electronic Archive, Vol. 9: The B-Version Archetype, ed. by John Burrow and Thorlac Turville-Petre (SEENET: 2014; 2018)] The Yearbook of Langland Studies 32 (2018): 395–419. <doi.org/10.1484/J.YLS.5.116161>
  • ‘Versification’, in Approaches to Teaching Langland’s ‘Piers Plowman’, ed. by Thomas Goodmann (The Modern Language Association, 2018), pp. 60–66.
  • ‘Grammars and Rhetorics’, in The Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature in Britain, ed. by Siân Echard and Richard Rouse (John Wiley & Sons, 2017), pp. 912–25.
  • ‘Boethius’ Consolatio’, in The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature, Vol. 1: The Middle Ages, ed. by Rita Copeland (Oxford University Press, 2016), pp. 269–98.
  • ‘Gower and the Peasants’ Revolt’, Representations 131 (2015): 22–51. <doi.org/10.1525/rep.2015.131.1.22>
  • Passus secundus de Dobest: On the Genesis of a Rubric in the Archetype of Piers Plowman B’, Medium Ævum 84.1 (2015): 1–15.
  • ‘The Accentual Paradigm in Early English Metrics’, The Journal of English and Germanic Philology 114.4 (2015): 459–81. <doi.org/10.5406/jenglgermphil.114.4.0459>
  • ‘The Rhetoric of Advancement: Ars dictaminis, Cursus, and Clerical Careerism in Late Medieval England’, New Medieval Literatures 12 (2010): 289–330. <doi.org/10.1484/J.NML.1.102189>