Current Students

Laurie Atkinson

My doctoral thesis, which is provisionally entitled ‘Dreaming of Authors and Authoring Dreams: The “Fiction of Authorship” in the Medieval Dream-Poem after Chaucer’, considers the utilization in diverse literary projects of the ‘fiction of authorship’ encoded in the dream-framed type verse promulgated by Chaucer, as well as the reception and reproduction of that frame in manuscript and print. The fiction of authorship that I set out to describe is not specific to the dream-poem, it shares features with the framing narratives of other first-person and indeed some third-person medieval texts. I focus on the dream-frame, however, both for its huge popularity amongst vernacular writers and readers in this period, and as a mode for some of the most provocative experiments in the conceptualising of authoring and authority in late medieval English and Scottish literature. It is the contention of this thesis that by the close of the long fifteenth century, the dream-frame in English has accreted a multifaceted and quasi-paratextual capability: it provides both an internal account for the composition of the text being read; and in addition, it stipulates the existence of an external authorial agent who is in reality responsible for the making of the work.

Supervisory Team: Prof. Corinne Saunders, English Studies (Durham), Prof. Neil Cartlidge, English Studies (Durham).

Start Date: October 2017