William Revere, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of English

Contact Information

  • wrevere@unca.edu
  • 251-6602
  • 219 Karpen Hall

Office Hours

  • Wednesday 8:30 am - 10:30 am
  • Friday 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Note:

I came to UNCA in fall 2016, and and it’s a joy to be part of our public liberal arts community.

I research and write about medieval English literature and culture, and the reception of medieval literary traditions in early modernity and beyond.  I’m particularly interested in the late fourteenth-century visionary poem Piers Plowman and its afterlife through the English Reformations of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  I’m also broadly interested in the intersections of literature and philosophy (particularly the philosophy of action, virtue ethics, ordinary language philosophy, and hermeneutics), medieval and early modern religious cultures and theological traditions, the history of drama and dramatic theory to the present, the intellectual and social history of work, classical literature and reception, and agrarian/peasant studies.  My current book project, Hidden Virtues, explores the imaginative life of virtues of individual judgment and mutual recognition across a range of reformist writing from the late fourteenth century to the late seventeenth century in England.  I’ve also begun a new project on “medieval futures” in contemporary Anglophone speculative fiction.

At UNCA, I teach courses ranging from our Liberal Arts Core (HUM 124, HUM 214, LANG 120) to a host of classes in our English major, including our introduction to literature (LIT 240), our opening survey of western literary history (LIT 334), and upper-level courses on drama and dramatic theory (LIT 325), our seminar in Literary Theory and Criticism (LIT 440), a seminar on medieval and modern apocalyptic fiction from Piers Plowman to the contemporary Anglo-American novel (e.g., Cormac McCarthy, Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler) (LIT 484), and a major author seminar on Geoffrey Chaucer (LIT 488).  I’ve also been involved with our Prison Education Program at UNCA, leading a class in our Humanities program with incarcerated students at Avery-Mitchell Correctional Institution.  In the English Department, I facilitate the Critical Perspectives visiting speaker series.  And I’m the faculty liaison for our Literature Club (come join!).

My scholarly writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Exemplaria, The Journal of English and Germanic Philology, The Shakespeare Quarterly, The Journal of Religion, The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and New Chaucer Studies: Pedagogy & Profession.

My professional background also includes a range of editorial work, from assistantships at the literary journal The Southwest Review (Southern Methodist University), the scholarly journal The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (Duke), and a university press (SMU Press), to freelance work with Harcourt School Publishers (K-6) and on scholarly book projects published by several university presses, including those of Oxford, Cornell, Northwestern, and Notre Dame.

When I’m not buried in books (which happens every now and then), I like to play basketball, pretend I’m at the beach, spend time with my wife and son, teach my dog selective obedience, and get my hands dirty in one way or another.

Select Publications & Papers

“Life with Concepts: Allegory, Recognition, and Adaptation,” New Chaucer Studies: Pedagogy and Profession 3.1 (2022): 19-30.

“Uses of Literary History: Premodern Forms, Reading, and (Re-)Writing in the Classroom,” University of Southern Denmark, “Uses of Literature” Conference, November 2021

“The Unfinished Premodern: Adaptation, Translation, and Hermeneutics in the Classroom,” Duke University Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, “Pedagogy and the Premodern” conference, March 2020

“The Conditions of Mercy: Bunyan, Labor, and the Literal Sense,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 50.2 (2020): 403-429.

“Imagining Contingency in Medieval Fictions,” New Chaucer Society, University of Toronto, July 2018

“Mercy and ‘Myhte’: Virtue and Power in Piers Plowman,” International Piers Plowman Society, University of Washington, July 2015

“Conscience’s Ironies, Irony’s Conscience: Satire in Langland and Bunyan,”

International Congress on Medieval Studies, University of Western Michigan, Kalamazoo, May 2013

“‘Not to be reckoned amongst their Neighbours’: Church, Neighborhood, and Conscience in Bunyan’s Satiric Imagination,” International John Bunyan Society Conference, Princeton University, August 2013

“Advise or Consent?: Conscience and Power in Mum and the Sothsegger,” Exemplaria: Medieval, Early Modern, Theory 24.1-2 (2012): 147-142.

“Thomas Aquinas and William Langland on Conscience, Friendship, and Charity,”

Mellon Symposium on Medieval Subjectivity (by invitation from Barbara Newman), Northwestern University, July 2011

“Conscience, Law, and Martyrdom in Mum and the Sothsegger,” International Piers Plowman Society, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, April 2011

“‘This prayer shal he have of me’: Parody and Property in the House of Fame,” Sewanee Medieval Colloquium, University of the South, April 2006

Courses Taught

LANG 120: Academic Writing and Critical Inquiry (“Arts of Attention”)
HUM 124: Ancient World
HUM 214: Communities and Selves/Medieval to Renaissance
LIT 240: Introduction to Literature
LIT 334: Western Literature I, Ancient to Renaissance
LIT 325: Readings in Drama
LIT 440: Seminar in Literary Theory and Criticism
LIT 484: Studies in a Major Literary Period (“Visions of the End”)
LIT 488: Studies in a Major Author (“Geoffrey Chaucer”)
LIT 499 (independent study): Contemporary Speculative Fiction


B.A., University of Central Florida
M.A., Southern Methodist University
M.A.R., Yale University, summa cum laude
Ph.D., Duke University

Office Hours

W: 12:45-1:45pm
F: 12:45-2:45pm