Ian has supervised PhD and MPhil research theses on Penitential theory and Middle English texts; coherence in medieval and modern narrative; Christian literary theory; and the literary articulation of an orthodox religious sensibility in later Middle English texts.


Forum for Modern Language StudiesBooks

Sovereign Textuality: Academic Discourse, Translation and the Middle English Life of Christ. Book on medieval literary theory and Middle English Vitae Christi (in preparation)

The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: Volume II: The Middle Ages,co-ed. with Alastair Minnis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), includes co-written Introduction, pp. 1-12


Scottish Texts: European Contexts, co-ed. with Nicola Royan. Special Issue of Forum for Modern Language Studies 38:4(2002) More information...

The Idea of the Vernacular: an Anthology of Middle English Literary Theory, 1280-1520, eds. Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, Nicholas Watson, Andrew Taylor and Ruth Evans (Exeter: Exeter University Press, 1999), contributions on Walton, Metham, Pecock (2), Wycliffite Bible, Bokenham, Speculum Devotorum, plus general materials


'The Non-Dissenting Vernacular and the Middle English Life of Christ: the Case of Love's Mirror', in The Medieval Translator 13, eds. Denis Renevey and Christiania Whitehead (Turnhout: Brepols, forthcoming 2009)

'Making the Consolation in Middle English', in Boethius in the Middle Ages, eds. Noel Harold Kaylor and Philip Edward Phillips (Leiden and New York: Brill, forthcoming 2009/10)

'The Ascending Soul and the Virtue of Hope: The Spiritual Temper of Chaucer's Boece and Retracciouns',in English Studies: A Journal of English Language and Literature, 88:3 (2007) pp. 245-61

'Xpmbn: The Gendered Ciphers of the Book of Brome and the Limits of Misogyny', Women: A Cultural Review, 18:2 (2007), pp. 145-61

'Authorial Self-Identification in the Acrostics of Walton's Boethius and the Question of John Bonejohn', Carmina Philosophiae: Journal of the International Boethius Society,15 (for 2006; published 2007), 1-12

'Vernacular Literary Consciousness c. 1100-c. 1500: French, German and English Evidence', with Kevin Brownlee, Tony Hunt, Alastair Minnis and Nigel F. Palmer, in The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: Volume II, eds. Alastair Minnis and Ian Johnson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 422-71


'Hellish Complexity in Henryson's Orpheus', in Scottish Texts: European Contexts, co-ed. with Nicola Royan. Special Issue of Forum for Modern Language Studies,38:4(2002), 412-19. More information...

'Placing Walton's Boethius', in Boethius in the Middle Ages: Latin and Vernacular Traditions of the 'Consolatio Philosophiae', eds. Lodi Nauta and Maarten J. F. M. Hoenen (Leiden: Brill, 1997), pp. 217-42

'Vernacular Valorising: Functions and Fashionings of Literary Theory in Middle English Translation of Authority', in Translation Theory and Practice in the Middle Ages, ed. Jeanette Beer (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute, 1997), pp. 239-54

'Language and Literary Expression', in An Illustrated History of Late-Medieval England, ed. Chris Given-Wilson (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996), pp. 127-51

'*Auctricitas? Holy Women and their Middle English Texts', in Prophets Abroad: The Reception of Continental Holy Women in Late-Medieval England, ed. Rosalynn Voaden (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1996), pp. 177-97

'New Evidence for the Authorship of Walton's Boethius', Notes and Queries,NS 43 (1996), pp. 19-21

'This Brigous Questioun: Translating Free Will and Predestination in Walton's Boethius and Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde', Carmina Philosophiae,3 (1994) [published 1996], pp. 1-21

'Tales of a True Translator: Anecdote, Autobiography and Medieval Literary Theory in Osbern Bokenham's Legendys of Hooly Wummen', in The Medieval Translator 4, eds. Roger Ellis and Ruth Evans (Exeter: Exeter University Press, 1994), pp. 104-124

'Prologue and Practice: Middle English Translations of the Life of Christ', in The Medieval Translator: The Theory and Practice of Translation in the Middle Ages: Papers read at a conference held 20-23 August 1987 at the University of Wales Conference Centre, Gregynog Hall, ed. Roger Ellis, ass. Jocelyn Price, Stephen Medcalf and Peter Meredith (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1989), pp. 69-85

'Walton's Sapient Orpheus', in The Medieval Boethius: Studies in the Vernacular Translations of De Consolatione Philosophiae, ed. A. J. Minnis (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1987), pp. 139-68

'The Latin Source of Nicholas Love's Mirrour of the Blessed Lyf of Jesu Christ: A Reconsideration', Notes and Queries, NS 33 (1986), pp. 157-60


Ian has reviewed books for the Times Higher Education Supplement, Yearbook of English Studies, Heythrop Journal, Chaucer Yearbook, Medium Aevum, Forum for Modern Language Studies.

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Dr Ian Johnson

Education and Experience

Ian Johnson received his BA(Hons) from the University of Oxford and a PhD from Bristol on the subject 'The Late-Medieval Theory and Practice of Translation with special reference to some Middle English Lives of Christ'. He was General Editor and Chair of Board for the Forum for Modern Language Studies, 1999-2008 and has been a Consultant for Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature. Ian is also co-director of the AHRC-funded project Geographies of Orthodoxy: Mapping English Pseudo-Bonaventuran Lives of Christ, 1350-1550 (2007-10).

Research Interests

Ian has published widely on Middle English literature, with particular interests in Latin and vernacular traditions of medieval literary theory. He is also interested in conceptions and practices of translation in the Middle Ages, Geoffrey Chaucer, Boethius and Boethianism (especially English versions of De Consolatione Philosophiae), gender and authority in the Middle Ages, medieval devotional works, orthodoxy and dissent in fourtheenth- and fifteenth-century English textual culture, and the Middle English tradition of Vitae Christi.


Dr Ian Johnson photo

Contact information

Room: KH 302
Phone: 2681

Consultation hours:
Wednesday 9-10am, Wednesday 1-2pm

Research Profile on PURE

School role

Disabilities Coordinator