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James McNelis III


First Year at Wilmington College:



Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle (1996) M.A., University of Washington (1991) B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz (1982)


  • 1994: ‘Layamon as Auctor,’ in Françoise le Saux, ed., _The Text and Tradition of Layamon’s Brut_ (Suffolk: D.S. Brewer):253-272.
  • 1996: ‘The Pen Mightier than the Sword? Hrothgar’s Hilt, Theory, and Philology,’ in M. J. Toswell, ed., _’Doubt Wisely’: A Festschrift in Honour of E. G. Stanley_ (London and New York: Routledge).
  • 1997: ‘A Greyhound Should Have ‘Ears in the Manner of a Serpent’: Bestiary Material in the Hunting Manuals Livre de chasse and The Master of Game,’ in L. A. J. R. Houwen, ed., _Animals and the Symbolic in Mediaeval Art and Literature_, in the series Mediaevalia Groningana.
  • 2000: ‘Index of Middle English Verse 3910.5: A Misidentified Envoy to The Master of Game,’ _Notes and Queries_ 245 [n.s. 47] no. 2 (2000): 171-2.
  • 2001: ‘The Worship of Technology’, from Stuart Lee’s online book, _Dragons in the Sky: English-Speaking Communities at the Close of the Millenia_.
  • 2001: ‘The Goose and the Golden Egg: Intellectual Property in Higher Education,’ in _Perspectives: The Bulletin of the American Historical Association_ (April 2001).
  • 2001: ‘Parallel Manuscript Readings in the CT Retraction and Edward of Norwich’s Master of Game,’ _The Chaucer Review_ 36 (2001): 87-90.
  • 2006: ‘ ‘The tree took me up from the ground and carried me off’: A Source for Tolkien’s Ents in Ludvig Holberg’s Journey of Niels Klim to the World Underground,’ in _Tolkien Studies_ 3 (2006).
  • 2007: Entries on ‘Arts and Crafts’ and Piers Plowman in _The J.R R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment_. Ed. Michael D. C. Drout. Associate editors: Douglas A. Anderson, Marjorie Burns, Verlyn Flieger, and Thomas Shippey. New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2007.
  • “Teaching the Critical Debate over The Lord of the Rings,” in Donovan, Leslie A. ed., _Approaches to Teaching Tolkien’s _The Lord of the Rings_ and Other Works_. MLA Approaches to Teaching World Literature series. New York: Modern Language Association, 2015, pp. 44-49.

Awards, Honors, & Certifications:

  • 2000: National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar, ‘Constructing Subjects in Anglo-Saxon England,’ University of Notre Dame.
  • 2004: National Endowment for the Humanities Institute, ‘Anglo-Saxon England,’ at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.
  • 2005: Invited lecture to the English Ph.D. program on the topic of interviewing for jobs in teaching-intensive small colleges, at Ohio University.
  • 2006: Two (sequential) invited lectures to the crosslisted graduate/undergrad. course, ‘Nature in the Middle Ages,’ at the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Ohio State University.
  • 2007: Invited lecture on Tolkien and his reception in the 1960’s, in a crosslisted graduate/undergrad. course, ‘The Two Rings: Wagner and Tolkien,’ at Cleveland State University.
  • 2010: Invited lecture on medieval hunting, bestiaries, and forest law to the crosslisted graduate/undergrad. course, ‘Nature in the Middle Ages,’ at the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Ohio State University.


Medieval British literature; philology; linguistics; History of the English Language; compositon/rhetoric; scientific and technical writing.

Professional Interests:

Anglo-Saxon and Norse literature; Chaucer; medieval hunting; fantasy and science fiction (including Tolkien, Rowling, and zombies); Japanese popular culture and study abroad; Hiroshima and literature of the atomic bomb; film studies.


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