Curriculum Vitae

William James Simpson

Current Post:

  • Douglas P. and Katherine B. Loker Professor of English, Harvard University, 2006 - present
  • Harvard College Professor, 2008-2013
  • Life Fellow, Girton College Cambridge

Post School  Education and Degrees:

  • 2004: Harvard University, M.A. (by incorporation)
  • 1996: University of Cambridge, Ph.D.
  • 1995: University of Cambridge, M.Phil. (by incorporation)
  • 1980: University of Oxford, M.Phil., Distinction
  • 1976: University of Melbourne, B.A. (Honours), First Class

Post-Graduate Prizes, Awards:

  • Distinguished International Fellow, ARC Center of Excellence Program in the History of the Emotions, University of Melbourne, June 2015
  • Fletcher Jones Foundation Distinguished Fellow, Huntington Library, 2013-14
  • Walter Channing Cabot Fellowship, FAS, Harvard University, 2011-12, for Under the Hammer: Iconoclasm in the Anglo-American Tradition
  • 2008 Recipient of Silver Medal, 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards, for Burning to Read: English Fundamentalism and its Reformation Opponents (Religion category)
  • 2007 Recipient of British Academy Sir Israel Gollancz Prize, for Reform and Cultural Revolution
  • Honorary Fellow, Australian Academy of the Humanities, 2003
  • British Academy Two-Year Readership, 2003-2005, declined in favour of Harvard appointment
  • John Hurt Fisher Prize for “Significant Contribution to the Field of John Gower Studies,” awarded by the John Gower Society, 2003
  • Research Leave Award from Arts and Humanities Research Board, Easter Term, 1999
  • Jane Herbert Memorial Fellowship, Westfield College, University of   London, 1987
  • Paget Toynbee Dante Prize, Oxford University, 1980
  • Postgraduate Scholarship for Foreign Students (now ORS), from (British) Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, 1980
  • Travelling Scholarship, University of Melbourne, 1980

Previous Appointments

  • Professor of English and American Literature, Harvard University, 2004-2006
  • Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English, University of Cambridge, October 1999-2003 (endowed chair)
  • University Lecturer in English, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, October 1989-1999
  • Professorial Fellow, Girton College Cambridge, October 1999-2003
  • Visiting Fellow, Centre for Advanced Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India
  • Charles A. Owen Visiting Distinguished Professor, University of Connecticut, September 2003
  • Visiting Distinguished Professor, Stanford University, Fall Quarter, 1999
  • Official Fellow and College Lecturer, Girton College, Cambridge, 1989-1999
  • Visiting Professor, Chaucer-Langland National Endowment for the  Humanities Institute, Boulder, Colorado, July 1995
  • Visiting Distinguished Professor, University of Connecticut, September  1997
  •  Lecturer in English Literature, Westfield College, University of  London, 1981-89
  • Tutor in English Literature and Language, University of Melbourne, 1977-78

Endowed Lectures:

  • Doug Burger Lecture in Medieval and Early Modern Literature, University of Colorado at Boulder, March 2016
  • Distinguished International Fellow lecture, ARC Center of Excellence Program in the History of the Emotions, University of Melbourne, June 2015
  • Shakespeare Gesellschaft, Berlin April 2015, keynote speaker
  • New Chaucer Society, Plenary lecture, Reykjavik July 2014
  • Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellow Lecture, Huntington Library, March 2014
  • Distinguished Visitor Lecture, University of California at Berkeley, March 2014
  • Ferrari Symposia in the Humanities endowed lecture series, University of Rochester, New York, March 2013
  • History and Literature Distinguished Lecturer, Harvard University, October 18 2012
  • Literature and Social Justice Lecture, Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, March 2012
  • Religion and Literature and Henkels Interdisciplinary Lecture, University of Notre Dame, April 2011
  • G. L. Brook Lecture, University of Manchester, May 2010
  • Inaugural Lecturer for Texas Institute for Literary and Textual Studies, February 2010, University of Texas at Austin
  • Clarendon Lectures, Oxford University Press and University of Oxford, 5-14 May 2009 (4 Lectures)
  • Crabtree-Stewart Lecture, Furman University, South Carolina, March 2009
  • James Edwin Savage Lecture in the Renaissance, University of Mississippi, April, 2007
  • Sir Israel Gollancz Memorial Lecture, British Academy, March 2006
  • Landsdowne Fellow, University of Victoria, British Columbia, March 2002
  • Tucker-Cruse Lecturer, University of Bristol, October 1994

General Scholarly Contribution:

  • Founding Co-editor, with David Aers and Sarah Beckwith, ReFormations: Medieval and Early Modern, a monograph series published by University of  Notre Dame Press, 2006- (eleven books published by 2015)
  • Senior Editor, Oxford Handbooks Online in Literature, OUP, NY, 2012-15 (24 essays edited)
  • Founding initiator and developer of METRO (Middle English Teaching Resources Online), launched Fall 2010
  • Co-organiser of Conference for C. David Benson, October 2010, Harvard University
  • Advisory Board Member, National Chung Cheng University Center for Medieval Studies, Taiwan, 2009-
  • Organizer, Cultural Reformations Conference, Harvard University September 13-16 2008
  • Executive Board member of International Piers Plowman Society, 2008-2011, and Treasurer (2008-2010)
  • Founding Co-editor, with David Aers and Sarah Beckwith, ReFormations: Medieval and Early Modern, a monograph series published by University of Notre Dame Press, 2006- (two books published by 2009)
  • Co-organiser of “Conversion,” a conference at Harvard University, September 23-25, 2005
  • Trustee, New Chaucer Society, 2004-2006
  • Chair, Nominations Committee, New Chaucer Society, 2002-4
  • Initiator and organiser of “Suffering History: Martyrdom in England 1401-1573,” June 30-July2, Queens” College Cambridge 2002
  • - Co-organiser of the Second International Langland Conference, July 29 - July 31, 1999, University of North Carolina, Asheville
  • Co-organiser of “Images, Idolatry and Iconoclasm,” an interdisciplinary conference at King’s College Cambridge Research Centre, June 29-30, 1999
  • Tenure referee for the following universities: University of California at Berkeley (1995, 2000); University of Missouri, St Louis (1998); University of Richmond, Virginia (1999); Stanford University (2001); Florida International University (2001); Princeton University (2002); Duke University (2002); Yale (2004); Notre Dame (2004); Cornell (2004); University of Pennsylvania (2004), etc.
  • Member, Editorial Board, Parergon, 1999-
  • Co-Editor, Yearbook of Langland Studies, 1993-1996
  • General Editor, Piers Plowman Studies (published by Boydell and Brewer) (5 books published under editorship), 1991-1996
  • Member of Executive Committee, Society for the Study of  Mediaeval Languages and Literature, Oxford, 1989-94
  • Member of Editorial Board, Yearbook of Langland Studies, 1989-1993
  • Initiated and co-organised the First International Langland Conference (Queens” College, Cambridge), July 29 - August 1, 1993. 100 delegates attended.
  • Initiated and ran the London Old and Middle English Research Seminar, 1986-89
  • Secretary, London Medieval Society, 1987-89