James Simpson is the Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Professor of English at Harvard University (2004-). He was formerly based at the University of Cambridge, where he was a University Lecturer in English (1989-1999) and Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English (1999-2003). He is a Life Fellow of Girton College and an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Prof. Simpson was educated at Scotch College Melbourne, Melbourne University (BA) and the University of Oxford (MPhil). He holds a doctorate from the University of Cambridge. His books include: Piers Plowman: An Introduction to the B-Text (Longman, 1990) (second, revised edition, 2007); Sciences and the Self in Medieval Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 1995); Reform and Cultural Revolution, volume 2 in the Oxford English Literary History (Oxford University Press, 2002) (winner of the British Academy Sir Israel Gollancz Prize, 2007); and Burning to Read: English Fundamentalism and its Reformation Opponents (Harvard University Press, 2007). His book Under the Hammer: Iconoclasm in the Anglo-American Tradition was recently published by Oxford University Press (2010).

B.A. 1976 University of Melbourne
M. Phil. 1980 University of Oxford
M. Phil. 1995 University of Cambridge (by incorporation)
Ph.D. 1996 University of Cambridge
M.A. 2004 Harvard University (by incorporation)

Late medieval Western European Literature, 1150-1550; images and idolatry; hermeneutics and the history of reading.