Return to Directory

Edward Christie

Associate Professor

Ph.D., West Virginia University


Medieval Literature



Dr. Eddie Christie specializes in the Old English language & the literature of Early Medieval England. He regularly teaches History of the English language, and surveys in British and World Literature as well as graduate seminars in medieval English literature. He has published frequently about medieval textuality, literacy, and the symbolism of the book. Dr. Christie is interested in the study of meaning, and researches in areas where literary study overlaps with linguistics, philosophy,  and anthropology  in order to explain the conceptual problems of understanding the past. His current research project is a book tentatively titled The Unknown King: Violence and the Self in Early Medieval English literature. This work pursues new interests that include landscape and cultural geography, the connection between narrative form and conceptions of the self, anthropological notions of culture; it focuses on Old English texts like Beowulf, the Old English translation of Apollonius of Tyre, and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.  Dr. Christie’s research has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and he has twice been Lindsay Young Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Marco Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies (University of Tennessee-Knoxville).


“The Cryptographic Imagination: Revealing and Concealing in Anglo-Saxon Literature.” A Material History of Medieval and Early Modern Ciphers: Cryptography and the History of Literacy, ed. Katherine Ellison and Susan Kim. Routledge, 2017.

“Literacy.” The Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature in Britain, ed. Sian Echard and Robert Rouse (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017).

“Sméagol and Déagol: Secrecy, History, and Ethical Subjectivity in Tolkien’s World.” Reprinted in Baptism of Fire: The Birth of Modern British Fantasy in World War I edited by Janet Croft (Mythopoeic Press, 2015). Baptism of Fire nominated for British Science Fiction Association Best Non-Fiction Book.

“The Idea of an Elephant: Ælfric of Eynsham, Epistemology, and the Absent Animals of Anglo-Saxon

England.” Neophilologus 98.3 (2014): 465-79.

“‘An Unfollowable World’: Beowulf, English Poetry, and the Phenomenalization of Language.”

Literature Compass 10.7(2013): 519-34.

“Sméagol and Déagol: Secrecy, History, and Ethical Subjectivity in Tolkien’s World.” Mythlore 31.3/4 (2013): 83-101.

“Writing in Water.” postmedieval: A Journal of Medieval Cultural Studies 3.1 (2012): 27-45.

Special Issue on “Becoming-media.” Eds. Martin Foys and Jen Boyle.

“Writing.” A Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Studies. Eds. Jacqueline Stodnick and Renée Trilling.

Oxford: Blackwell, 2012. 281-294.

 “By Means of a Secret Alphabet: Dangerous Letters and the Semantics of Gebregdstafas (Solomon and Saturn I 2b).” Modern Philology 109.2 (2011): 1-26.