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Dr. Scott Lightsey

To counteract the perception that the medieval period is harsh and distant, Scott often leads excursions into the strange, humorous, and offbeat corners of medieval culture and language. Whether comparing Chaucer's comic rooster Chaunticleer to a medieval clockwork, using illuminated maps to explain biblical narratives, or examining Augustine's prosthetic approach to redemption in The City of God, his eclectic approach to teaching allows students great freedom in coming to understand this sometimes demanding literature and its culture.

Scott's research interests revolve around the transmission of wonders in medieval texts and material culture, arguing that late medieval representations of mirabilia - such as Chaucer's flying Horse of Brass, the monstrous body of King Alexander, and Eastern wonders like Mandeville's automated peacocks - reflect the preliminary stages of what would become in the seventeenth century a "clockwork universe." A Chaucerian by training, his recent work focuses on the influence of mechanical marvels-from automata and public clocks to astronomical instruments-on civic culture and literary production.

Selected Publications:

Manmade Marvels in Medieval Culture and Literature, 2007, Palgrave-Macmillan's series, The New Middle Ages. Book Review

“The Pagan Past and Chaucer’s Christian Present.” Teaching Chaucer’s Troilus & Criseyde and the Minor Poems (New York: Modern Language Association). Forthcoming.

“Alliterative Poetry.” A Companion to Old and Middle English Literature, Eds. Robert T. Lambdin and Laura C. Lambdin. (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002) 37-49.

"Chaucer's Secular Marvels and the Medieval Economy of Wonder." Studies in the Age of Chaucer 23 (2001) 289-316.

"Lydgate's 'Stede of Bras,' A Chaucerian Analogue in Troy Book IV." English Language Notes 38.3 (March 2001) 33-40.


Scott Lightsey
Ph.D. University of Delaware, 2001
Associate Professor
Middle English Literature, Medieval Culture, History of the English Language

Contact Information
Scott Lightsey
Department of English
P.O. Box 3970
Atlanta, GA 30302-3970
Tel: 404.413.5831
Fax: 404.413.5830

Affiliate Faculty, Institute for Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies