Wendy Matlock

MatlockProfessor / Graduate Faculty
Ph.D. 2003, Ohio State University

Email: wmatlock@ksu.edu
Office: English/Counseling Services Bldg. 237

Fields of interest:
Medieval Literature and Culture, Critical Theory, Cultural Studies, Humanities, Linguistics/English Language, Poetry, Women's Studies, Feminism/Gender/Sexuality.

Having earned a B.A. from Northwestern University, an M.A. from the University of Wyoming, and a Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, Wendy A. Matlock spent five years on the tenure track at California State University, Sacramento, before joining the K-State English Department in 2008.

Dr. Matlock’s teaching interests range from introductory composition and literature courses to advanced studies of medieval literature and modern medievalisms. Recent courses include “Literature of the Global Middle Ages,” “Anonymous as a Major Author,” and “Dragons, Damsels, Death.” In the classroom, she strives to build communities that support intellectual creativity and risk taking and to explore literature as a voice from distant times and places that still speaks to us here and now.

Her pedagogy has garnered awards including K-State’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the Student Association of Graduates in English (SAGE) Graduate Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award. She is active on Instagram and Bluesky and loves to see where their adventures have taken former students.

Matlock’s research concentrates on poetic disputes that flourished in Middle English from The Owl and the Nightingale (c. 1275) to The Debate of the Carpenter’s Tools (c. 1500). She is currently completing a monograph, Debating Households in Middle English Poetry, arguing that the collision between the literary/intellectual form of the debate poem and social/economic unit of the household in late medieval England confronts us with narrative conventions markedly different from modern expectations and the inescapable truth that the lived household is always unstable and the ideal household always a negotiation.

She is also beginning two new projects. One considers the role proverbs play when modern poets like Patience Agbabi and Leila Chatti adapt medieval voices and genres to chronicle the experiences of refugees and immigrants to the U.S. and U.K. The second maintains that reading anonymous literature from the Middle Ages confronts us with the mutability of literary canons.

Recent publications:

“Demande d’amour.” The Chaucer Encyclopedia. Ed. Richard Newhauser et al. Wiley-Blackwell, 2023.

“‘Follow Your Heart’: Disney on Ice as Post-Modern and Medieval Pastiche.” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly vol. 45, no. 4, 2020, pp. 328-345.

Disney on Ice

“Ventriloquizing Mothers: Chaucer’s Poetic Authority in the Tale of Melibee and the Manciple’s Tale.” Chaucer Review vol. 55, no. 4, 2020, pp. 462-483.

“Belligerent Mothers and the Power of Feminine Speech in The Owl and the Nightingale.” Medieval Feminist Forum, vol. 54, no. 1, 2018, pp. 79-93. https://ir.uiowa.edu/mff/vol54/iss1/7/.

“Reading Family in the Rate Manuscript’s Saint Eustace and Sir Isumbras.” The Chaucer Review vol. 53, no. 3, 2018, pp. 350-373. Project MUSE, muse.jhu.edu/article/698335.