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Conrad van Dyk

Conrad van Dyk
Associate Professor of English

Office: HA317
Phone: (780) 378-8462
Email: conrad.vandyk@concordia.ab.ca

Education and Interests:

  • SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellow, 2008, Cornell University
  • PhD, English, 2007, University of Western Ontario
  • MA, English, 2003, University of Western Ontario
  • BA, English, 2002, University of the Fraser Valley

Conrad van Dyk specializes in Middle English literature and legal history.  His book John Gower and the Limits of the Law (Boydell and Brewer, 2013) deals with the intersection of law and literature in the fourteenth century, particularly in the works of John Gower. More recent articles explore such legal maxims as necessity knows no law as well as the theory of literature and law. He has also made a major contribution to the  Online Gower Bibliography, for which he has annotated 162 entries for the years prior to 1981.

At present, Dr. van Dyk is at work on creating an open access writing guide for students. The Nature of Writing combines prose and video instruction to teach all aspects of academic writing. This comprehensive free guide also comes with numerous practice exercises at various levels of difficulty.

Conrad van Dyk teaches a broad range of courses, including medieval literature, first year composition, children’s literature, critical theory, and contemporary British literature.


Representative Publications

van Dyk, Conrad. The Nature of Writing. http://www.natureofwriting.com/.

van Dijk, Conrad. “John Gower and the Law: Legal Theory and Practice.”  The Ashgate Research Companion to John Gower.  Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2017.

– – –.  “‘Nede hath no law’: The State of Exception in Gower and Langland.” Accessus: A Journal of Premodern Literature and New Media 2.2 (2015): article 2.  http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/accessus/vol2/iss2/2.

– – –.  John Gower and the Limits of the Law.  Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2013.

– – –. “Vengeance and the Legal Person: John Gower’s Tale of Orestes.” Theorizing Legal Personhood in Late Medieval England. Ed. Andreea Boboc. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming.  119-41.

– – –. “Giving each his due”: Gower, Langland, and the Question of Equity.” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 108.3 (2009): 310-35.

– – –.   “Simon Sudbury and Helenus in Gower’s Vox Clamantis.” Medium Aevum 77.2 (2008): 313-18.

– – –.   “Amused by Death?: Humour in Tristrams saga ok Ysoddar.” Saga-Book 32 (2008): 69-84.

– – –.   “‘Those Proud Towers’: Paradise Lost V.907.” Notes and Queries 51 (2004): 361-62.


Burgess, Glyn S., and Leslie C. Brook, ed. The Anglo-Norman Lay of Haveloc. The Medieval Review, November 1, 2016.

Tracy, Larissa.  Torture and Brutality in Medieval Literature: Negotiations of National Identity. The Medieval Review.  Web.  April 6, 2013.

Yeager, R. F. John Gower: The French Balades.  The Medieval Review.  March 18, 2012.  Web.

Yeager, R. F. and Brian Gastle.  Approaches to Teaching the Poetry of John Gower.  Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture 13.2 (2013): 383-85.  Print.

Bliss, Jane.  Naming and Namelessness in Medieval Romance.  Onomastica Canadiana 91.2 (2009): 45-48.

Lindeboom, B. W., Venus’ Owne Clerk: Chaucer’s Debt to the Confessio AmantisMedium Aevum 77.1 (2008): 129-130.

Ashton, Gail. Chaucer’s The Canterbury TalesH-Albion.  May 5, 2008.

Yeager, R.F. On John Gower: Essays at the MillenniumThe Medieval Review. Oct.17, 2008.


“Reaching Everyone: How to Create Better Open Access Resources for Language Learning.” Research Cluster in Linguistics and Language Education. Concordia University of Edmonton. Dec. 6, 2016.

“Inclusive Educational Web Design: Opportunities and Challenges.”  Inclusion Alberta workshop.  Edmonton.  August 23, 2016.

“Nede hath no law”: The State of Exception in Gower’s Confessio Amantis.”  The Third International Congress of the John Gower Society.  Rochester, New York.  June 30-July 3, 2014.

“Giving Audio Feedback in Essay Grading.”  Ninth Campus Alberta Writing Studies Colloquium.  Concordia University College of Alberta.  September 20, 2013.

“John Gower’s Legal Revisionism in the Dream of the Composite Statue.” “John Gower in Iberia: Six Hundred Years” – The Second International Congress of the John Gower Society. Valladolid, Spain. July 18-21, 2011.

“John Gower and the Poetics of Vengeance.” The 46th International Congress on Medieval Studies. Kalamazoo, Michigan. May 12-15, 2011.

“The Online Gower Bibliography and the Apologetic Tone of the Early Criticism.” The 44th International Congress on Medieval Studies. Kalamazoo, Michigan. May 6- 10, 2009.

“‘The skiles ben diverse’: Jurisdictional Questions in Book 2 of John Gower’s Confessio Amantis.” Fourteenth Annual ACMRS Conference. Law and Sovereignty in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Tempe, Arizona. February 14-16, 2008.

“The Judicial Exemplum in The Seven Sages of Rome and John Gower’s Confessio Amantis.” Medieval Seminar Series. Cornell University. Nov. 30, 2007.

“Equity and the Rigor of the Law in Langland and Gower.” Fourth International Conference for the Study of Piers Plowman. The University of Pennsylvania. May 17-9, 2007.

“Vengeance and the Law in John Gower’s Tale of Orestes.” The 42nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 10-13, 2007.