Lynn Arner

Associate Professor

PhD, English
Graduate Certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies

Office: GLA 127
905 688 5550  x5673

Areas: Feminist theory; contemporary theory; British cultural studies; critical university studies (especially the professoriat and doctoral studies in the discipline of English in the US and Canada); class; women’s, gender, and sexuality studies; and late medieval English literature.

Professor Lynn Arner is currently writing on the professoriat in the discipline of English in Canada and the US. Aided by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and by her training in statistics, she recently conducted nationwide surveys of English professors in Canada and the US. Professor Arner is particularly interested in issues surrounding gender and class in doctoral studies and in the daily worklives and overall careers of faculty members. She has published various articles on first-generation university students who become university faculty and on gender and class in the professoriat.

Professor Arner’s first book, Chaucer, Gower, and the Vernacular Rising: Poetry and the Problem of the Populace after 1381 (Penn State University Press, 2013), examines the transmission of Greco-Roman and European literature into English during the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries while literacy was burgeoning among men and women from the nonruling classes. Focusing primarily on an overlooked sector of Chaucer’s and Gower’s early readership, namely, the upper strata of nonruling urban classes, this historiographical study examines Chaucer’s and Gower’s negotiations–often articulated at the sites of gender and female sexuality–over poetics, cultural expertise, and the roles that vernacular poetry should play in the late medieval social formation, positioning poetry to become a powerful participant in processes of social control. [For more information, see ].

Professor Arner guest-edited a special issue of Exemplaria and has published a series of articles on late medieval English literature.

Preceding her appointment at Brock, Professor Arner held a visiting faculty post for several years at the University of Pittsburgh. Professor Arner enjoys teaching at Brock in part because she grew up in this geographical region.

Chaucer, Gower, and the Vernacular Rising: Poetry and the Problem of the Populace after 1381. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2013.

A study of gender, class, and race in the professoriat and in doctoral studies in the discipline of English in Canada and the US.

Guest Editor, Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies 19.1 (Spring 2007).

“Feminism and the Academy: A Panel Discussion,” edited by Lynn Arner and Katherine French. Medieval Feminist Forum 29 (Spring 2000): 8-32.

“The Problem with Parity: Women Faculty and English Doctoral Programs in Canada.” Women’s Studies International Forum 90 (January-February 2022).

“Dirt Begets Dirt: Sexuality and Socioeconomic Status in the Middle Ages.” In Sexuality in the Middle Ages, edited by Michelle M. Sauer. York. UK: ARC Humanities Press, 2023 (forthcoming).

“Degrees of Separation:  Hiring Patterns and First-Generation University Students with English Doctorates in Canada.” The Minnesota Review 96 (May 2021): 101-34.

“Socioeconomic Status and Sexuality in the Middle Ages.” In The Encyclopedia of the Global Middle Ages. York, UK: ARC Humanities Press, 2021.

“Working-Class Women on the Tenure Track.” In Staging Women’s Lives: Gendered Life Stages in Language and Literature Workplaces, edited by Michelle Masse and Nan Bauer-Maglin, 69-81. SUNY Feminist Theory and Criticism Series. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2017.

“Chaucer and the Moving Image in Pre-World War II America.” In Chaucer on Screen: Absence, Presence, and Adapting the “Canterbury Tales”, edited by Tison Pugh and Kathleen Kelly, 69-87. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Press, 2016.

“Survival Strategies for Working-Class Women as Junior Faculty Members.” In Working in Class: Recognizing How Social Class Shapes Our Academic Work, edited by Allison L. Hurst and Sandi K. Nenga, 49-64. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.

“Working-Class Women at the MLA Interview.” Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge 27 (2014), Special Issue: “Working-Class Academics: Theories, Mythologies, Realities”;

“Civility and Gower’s Visio Anglie.” Accessus: A Journal of Premodern Literature and New Media 1.1 (2013);

Introduction, Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies 19.1 (Spring 2007): 1-15. Reprinted in Medieval Feminist Forum 43.1 (Summer 2007): 108-125.

“Trust No Man But Me: Women in Chaucer’s Short Poetry.” In Approaches to Teaching Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and the Shorter Poems, edited by Angela Jane Weisl and Tison Pugh, 71-75. New York: Modern Language Association, 2007.

“The Ends of Enchantment: Colonialism and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language 48:2 (Summer 2006): 79-101.

“History Lessons from the End of Time: Gower and the English Rising of 1381.” Clio: A Journal of Literature, History and the Philosophy of History 31 (2002): 237-255.

“Studied Indifference: Institutional Problems for Feminist Medievalists.” Medieval Feminist Forum 29 (Spring 2000): 8-12.

Review of Nowlin Steele, Chaucer, Gower, and the Affect of Invention. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2016. Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies 93.4 (October 2018): 1243-1244.

“Literacy.” The Chaucer Encyclopedia, edited by Richard Newhauser. Wiley-Blackwell, 2023 (forthcoming).

“Cupid.” The Chaucer Encyclopedia, edited by Richard Newhauser. Wiley-Blackwell, 2023 (forthcoming).

“Why do we care more about Chaucer than Gower?” January 3, 2015;

Graduate Courses:

  • Feminist Theory and Knowledge-Production
  • Theoretical Foundations
  • Historiography and the Middle Ages
  • Chaucer & the Beginnings of English Literature

Undergraduate Courses:

  • Feminist Theory
  • Queer Theory
  • Contemporary Theoretical Approaches
  • Structuralist & Post-Structuralist Theory
  • Introduction to Literary Theory
  • Medieval English Literature and Social Control
  • Medieval English Literature: Texts and Conquests
  • Chaucer

Professor Arner would be pleased to supervise graduate projects in the following areas: feminist theory, women’s and gender studies, British Cultural Studies, contemporary academe in Canada and the US, class or gender in the contemporary US, Chaucer, medieval English literature, late medieval English social history, and topics structured by queer theory, Marxist cultural theory, or Bourdieu’s writings.