Texas Tech University

Julie Nelson Couch

Julie Nelson Couch specializes in Middle English literature, manuscript studies, cultural game theory, and the modern reception of medieval literature. She has published on the manuscript context of Middle English romances and “Childhood of Christ” poems, on the agency of child characters in the Middle English Amis and Amiloun and Havelok the Dane, on Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur, and on Howard Pyle's retellings of King Arthur and Robin Hood stories. Dr. Nelson Couch has also edited two Marian miracle tales, “The Christian Child Slain by Jews,” and “The Jewish Boy” two “cultural artifacts” of the persecution of Jews in medieval England. Dr. Nelson Couch has written a book, with Kimberly K. Bell, that combines medieval manuscript study with contemporary cultural game theory to show how the romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, set within its manuscript context, launches a multidimensional game with the reader.  

Ph.D. Brown University, 2000

Selected Publications and Research

Book Project

Gaming the Medieval English Text: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the Cotton Nero A.x Manuscript, with Kimberly K. Bell. (Submitted. Accepted for peer review by Medieval Institute Publications for their Ludic Cultures, 1100–1700 series) 

Edited Collection

The Texts and Contexts of Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 108: The Shaping of English Vernacular Narrative. Edited with Kimberly K. Bell. Brill. 2011. xxi pp., 328 pp., 12 unpaginated figures. 

Articles and Book Chapters 

“Fun and Games: The Avowyng of Arthur as a Ludic Text,” Studies in the Literary Imagination, Forthcoming. 

“Figural Agency: Reading the Child in Amis and Amiloun.” Literary Cultures and Medieval and Early Modern Childhoods. Eds. Naomi Miller and Diane Purkiss. Palgrave MacMillan, 2019. pp. 153-168. 

“Apocryphal Romance in the London Thornton Manuscript.” Robert Thornton And His Books: Essays on the Lincoln and London Thornton Manuscripts. Eds. Susanna Fein and Michael Johnston. York  Medieval Press, 2014. pp. 205-234. 

“The Magic of Englishness in St. Kenelm and Havelok the Dane." The Texts and Contexts of Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 108: The Shaping of English Vernacular Narrative. Eds. Kimberly K. Bell and Julie Nelson Couch. Brill, 2011. pp. 223-250. 

“Death as ‘Neglect of Duty' in Howard Pyle's The Story of the Grail and the Passing of Arthur." The Arthurian Way of Death: The English Tradition. Eds. Karen Cherewatuk and K. S. Whetter. D. S. Brewer, 2009, pp. 206-225. 

“Defiant Devotion in MS Laud Misc. 108: The Narrator of Havelok the Dane and Affective Piety." Parergon: Journal of the Australian & New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 2008. 25(1), 53-79. 

“The Vulnerable Hero: Havelok and the Revision of Romance.” Chaucer Review, 2008. 42(3), 330-352. 

“Misbehaving God: The Case of the Christ Child in MS Laud Misc. 108 Infancy of Jesus Christ.” Mindful Spirit in Late Medieval Literature: Essays in Honor of Elizabeth D. Kirk. Ed. Bonnie Wheeler. Palgrave MacMillan, 2006, pp. 31-43. 

“Howard Pyle's Story of King Arthur and His Knights and the Bourgeois Boy Reader.” Arthuriana, 2003. 13(2), 38-53. 


“The Christian Child Slain by Jews,” and “The Jewish Boy.” Editions and Critical Introduction. Medieval Literature For Children. Ed. Daniel T. Kline. Routledge, 2003, pp. 204-226. 

Recent Presentations

“Performing Sir Thopas: Incipits and Explicits,” with Kimberly K. Bell, sponsored by the Game Cultures Society, 57th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, May 2022 
“Travel makes Race: Medieval Pilgrimage as a Racializing Mode,” sponsored by The Medieval Academy of America, 31st Annual Conference of the Texas Medieval Association, Rice University, Fall 2021.


Mid-Career Faculty Grant, Sponsored by the TTU College of Arts & Sciences, 2022. 
TTU's Women Faculty Writing Program, member, Fall 2021. 
Humanities Center Working Group Grant, member of Medieval and Renaissance Studies Center (MRSC) Working Group, 2020-23 

TTU Scholarship Catalyst Program, Sponsored by Offices of the President, Provost, and Vice President for  Research, TTU (2021) 

National Humanities Center 2020 Summer Residential Fellowship. June, 2020. [cancelled due to  COVID] 

2018 Alumni College Fellowship, Sponsored by Humanities Center at TTU 

Faculty Spotlight Award 2017, TTU Teaching, Learning, & Professional Development Center. 

Recent Courses

ENGL 5303, Holy Romance! Middle English Romances in Three Medieval Manuscripts 
MRST 5301, Methods in Medieval and Renaissance Studies 

ENGL 5302, Many Tongues: Translating Middle English Literature, Fall 2021
ENGL 4311, Race and the Middle Ages, Spring 2021 

ENGL 5303, Camelot and Gomorrah: Playing the Poems of the Pearl Poet, Spring 2020 

ENGL 3303, Medieval Literature in England: Magic & Miracle, Heroes & Saints, Fall 2020


Associate Professor
Early British Literature, Medieval

Email: julie.couch@ttu.edu
Office: HUMA 431