Lorraine K. Stock

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Associate Professor

Professor Lorraine K. Stock
  • Phone: (713) 743-2958
  • Email: lstock@uh.edu
  • Office: 227B Roy Cullen Building

Lorraine Kochanske Stock earned a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies at Cornell University in 1975 and has been teaching at the University of Houston since 1976. She was the recipient of the UH Teaching Excellence Award in 1980 and 1996 and the HFAC College "Masterteacher" Award in 1995.

She has served as the President of the South Eastern Medieval Association (SEMA) and is currently an elected member of the Modern Language Association's Executive Committee of the Division on Middle English Language and Literature Excluding Chaucer.  She frequently adjudicates the Jacob K. Javits Graduate fellowship competition for the U. S. Department of Education.

Stock specializes in teaching the interplay between the hilstory, visual images, and literature of the late Middle Ages, including medieval English and Continental writers such as Geoffrey Chaucer, William Langland, the Gawain-poet, Dante, Chrétien de Troyes, and others. Recently, she developed a new Humanities course, Film and Literature: The Real/Reel Middle Ages, which studies the translation of medieval literature into contemporary films about King Arthur, Robin Hood, Joan of Arc, William Wallace, and other medieval heroes and topics.

Stock's current interdisciplinary research interests combine the visual arts, architecture, costume history, historiography, cultural history, and literary texts of the Middle Ages and medievalism in later centuries. She frequently presents papers based upon her research at national and international conference venues, and has been invited to lecture at other universities, and before local groups such as Houston Early Music and the Houston Culinary Historians about such topics as: the medieval Wild People and their analogues; the medieval Female Other; the Irish Sheela na Gig; the Green Man; the representation of medieval royalty, especially Emperor Wenceslas IV in Bohemia, King Charles VI in France, and King Richard II in England; medieval women in text and film; and King Arthur and Robin Hood in text and film, medieval food, and medieval gardens. Her publications include articles on these and other topics.  She is completing a book titled: The Medieval Wild Man: Primitivism and Civilization in Medieval Culture to be published by Palgrave-Macmillan Press in "The New Middle Ages" Series. In assembly stage are other book projects on such topics as: the Wild Man and the late medieval "royal image"; the medieval female Other; Robin Hood in texts and visual culture.


  • Ph.D., Cornell University
  • M.A., Cornell University
  • B.A., Herbert H. Lehman College (CUNY)

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Research Interests

Medieval Studies: Middle English, Old French, Chaucer, Arthurian Romance, Fourteenth and Fifteenth-Century British Literature; the medieval Wild People, the Green Man, the Sheela na Gig, the Female Other, medieval women writers, The Roman de Silence , medieval female warriors, Robin Hood and King Arthur in text and film.

Book in Progress

The Medieval Wild Man: Primitivism and Civilization in Medieval Culture. Under contract with Palgrave-Macmillan Press in their "New Middle Ages Series."

Working Synopsis: Cultural Primitivism registers the discontent of the civilized with civilization and proclaims that a simpler life, usually seen as a former or "golden" age, is desirable. My interdisciplinary project disputes the scholarly model posited by Richard Bernheimer in Wild Men in the Middle Ages, which traces the emergence of the competing cultural concepts of "civility" and "primitivism" in Western Europe to a turning point in the late 14c. Using the evidence of literary texts and visual images from 12c-16c, I trace the trajectory of the appearance of and developing medieval attitudes toward the mythic "Wild People"—an example of the "Monstrous Races," an analogue of the giant, and a subspecies categorized somewhere between human and beast—whose "wildness" contributed an antithesis necessary for the West's developing notion of "civilization." Rather than endorse the evolutionary "progress" from the negative homme sauvage to the positive "noble savage" argued by Bernheimer and his followers, I demonstrate instead Europe's continuous ambivalence about the binary of "nature" versus "culture," as expressed in their love/hate relationship with the Wild Man.

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Selected Publications


  • "Reassessing Relations Between Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Greene Knight." Medieval Perspectives 17.2 (2002): 119-41.
  • "Civilization and its Discontents: Cultural Primitivism and the Depiction of Merlin as a Wild Man in the Roman de Silence." Arthuriana 12.1 (2002): 22-36.
  • "What Gets Lost in Translation: The 'Englishing' of Froissart's Chroniques from the Sixteenth Century to the Present." Medieval Perspectives 16 (2001): 117-34.
  • "Froissart's Chroniques and its Illustrators: Historicity and Ficticity in the Verbal and Visual Imaging of Charles VI's 'Bal des Ardents'." Studies in Iconography 21 (2000): 123-80.
  • "The Importance of Being Gender 'Stable': Masculinity and Feminine Empowerment in the Roman de Silence." Arthuriana 7.2 (1997): 7-34.
  • "'Arms and the (Wo)man' in Medieval Romance: The Gendered Arming of Female Warriors in the Roman d'Eneas and Heldris's Roman de Silence." Arthuriana 5:4 (1995): 56-83.
  • "Before and After in Chaucer's 'The Former Age': Boethian Translation or Late Medieval Primitivism?." Carmina Philosophiae: Journal of the International Boethius Society 2 (1994): 1-37.
  • "Parable, Allegory, and History in Piers Plowman C." The Yearbook of Langland Studies 5 (1991): 143-64.
  • "The Two Mayings in Chaucer's Knight's Tale: Convention and Invention." Journal of English and Germanic Philology 85 (1986): 206-21.
  • "Medieval Gula in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus." Bulletin of Research in the Humanities 85 (1982): 372-86.
  • "Reversion for Conversion: Maternal Imagery in Dante's Commedia." Italian Quarterly 23 (1982): 5-16.


  • "Recovering Reginald De Koven and Harry B. Smith's 1901 Light Opera, Maid Marian," in Images of Robin Hood (Newark: University of Delaware Press), forthcoming.
  • "The "Other" Women of Sherwood: The Construction of Difference and Gender in Cinematic Treatments of the Robin Hood Legend," co-authored with Candace Gregory, in Filming the Other Middle Ages: Race, Class, and Gender in Medieval Cinema, ed. Lynn Ramey and Tison Pugh (New York: Palgrave, 2007), (forthcoming).
  • "Chaucer's Early Poetry in Graduate Seminars: Opportunities for Training Future Chaucer Teachers and Molding 'yonge, fresshe folkes' into Publishing Scholars," in Approaches to Teaching Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde and the Shorter Poems, ed. Angela Weisl and Tison Pugh. New York: Modern Language Association, (forthcoming).
  • "Literature," in Arts & Humanities Through the Eras: Medieval Europe 814-1450, ed. John B. Friedman and Kristen Figg (Detroit; New York: Thomson Gale, 2005; reprinted 2006), pp. 144-208. [This 64-page large-format chapter surveys all major literary genres, writers and movements in all national literatures of Europe in the entire medieval period, including a timeline, glossary of terms, biographies of authors, thematic sidebars, and treatments in non-print media].
  • "The Ekphrasis of the Dreamers' Bedrooms in The Roman de la Rose and Chaucer's Book of the Duchess: An Exercise in Visual and Verbal Intertextuality,"in 'Seyd in forme and reverence': Essays in Memory of Emerson Brown, Jr. ed. Tom Burton and John Plummer (Provo, The Chaucer Studio, 2005), pp. 97-114.
  •  "'Slydyng' Critics: Changing Critical Constructions of Chaucer's Criseyde in the Past Century," in New Perspectives on Criseyde. Ed. Cindy Vitto and Marcia Smith Marzek. (Asheville: Pegasus Press, 2005), pp. 12-37. [Surveys critical treatments of Criseyde's character in the entire twentieth century].
  •  "The Hag of Castle Hautdesert: The Celtic Sheela Na Gig and the Auncian in "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,"in On Arthurian Women: Essays in Memory of Maureen Fries. Ed. Fiona Tolhurst and Bonnie Wheeler. Dallas: Scriptorium Press, 2001. 121-48. 7 plates.
  • "Lords of the Wildwood: The Wild Man, The Green Man, and Robin Hood,"in Robin Hood and Popular Culture: Violence, Transgression, and Justice. Ed. Thomas Hahn. Cambridge: Boydell Brewer, 2000. 239-50.

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Media Appearances


She was featured as a scholarly expert on Arthurian literature and films, in the documentary television program, History VS. Hollywood: King Arthur, evaluating the 2004 film King Arthur (prod. Jerry Bruckheimer; dir. Antoine Fuqua) for its fidelity to the historical and legendary Arthurian tradition and reflection of the historical Middle Ages. The hour-long program was broadcast on The History Channel, a division of A&E Television, on July 6, and July 10, 2004, then repeated on Dec. 13, 2004.

She was featured as an expert on the cultural contexts of the Crusades for the documentary television program, History VS. Hollywood: Kingdom of Heaven, evaluating the 2005 film Kingdom of Heaven (dir.Ridley Scott) for its accuracy about the Third Crusade and its general reflection of the historical Middle Ages. The hour-long program was broadcast on The History Channel, a division of A&E Television, on May 6, 2005 and is included as "Extras" in the commercial DVD of Kingdom of Heaven.


She was one of 5 Robin Hood scholars whose remarks were included by journalist Seth Feldman in his one-hour radio documentary titled Hunting for Robin Hood, which aired on the Canadian Broadcasting Company's weekly series, Ideas, on October 8, 2001. For the program, Feldman (along with producer Sara Wolch) was awarded the New York Festivals Gold World Medal for Radio Programming. The New York Festivals annually recognizes excellence in communications media that "touch the hearts and minds of readers, listeners and viewers worldwide."

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Undergraduate Course

  • ENGL 3304, Chaucer as a "Hybrid" course
  • ENGL 3396, Real/Reel Medieval Women
  • ENGL 2315, Film and Literature: The Real/Reel Middle Ages
  • ENGL 3396, Writing Medieval Women
  • ENGL 3396, Medieval Literature as Social History
  • ENGL 3304, Chaucer
  • ENGL 3302, Medieval Literature

Graduate Seminars

  • ENGL 7396, The Real/Reel Middle Ages
  • ENGL 7396, Writing Medieval Women
  • ENGL 7396, The "Other" World of Medieval Romance
  • ENGL 7396, Medieval Literature as Social History: Piers Plowman & The Canterbury Tales
  • ENGL 7263, Preseminar: Middle English
  • ENGL 8331, Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales
  • ENGL 8330, Chaucer: Troilus and Criseyde and the Minor Poems
  • ENGL 7396, Piers Plowman and its Contexts

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