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Conrad van Dyk

Conrad van Dyk
Professor of English, Chair of Literature and Language, Faculty Lead of Office of Teaching and Learning

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

I specialize in Middle English literature and legal history. My 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. I have also made a major contribution to the Online Gower Bibliography (160+ entries), and in 2019 I received the John Hurt Fisher Prize for my contributions to Gower studies.

The last few years, much of my time has been taken up with creating The Nature of Writing (https://natureofwriting.com/), a free open-access writing guide that is now used in all of Concordia’s first-year courses. The Nature of Writing provides hundreds of videos, exercises, and tutorials on all aspects of academic writing.

In 2020, I received the Judith C. Meier Teaching Award for my contributions to teaching at Concordia. I have taught a broad range of subjects, including medieval literature, first year composition, children’s literature, critical theory, and contemporary British literature. I am usually happy to supervise an Independent Study (ENG 480) in these areas.

Select Publications:

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

van Dijk, Conrad. “Gottfried von Strassburg’s Tristan and the Allegory of Law.” Law and Poetics, Early Modern and Beyond, edited by Subha Mukherji, Palgrave, forthcoming.

– – –.  “John Gower and the Law: Legal Theory and Practice.” The Ashgate Research Companion to John Gower, edited by Ana Sáez-Hidalgo, Brian Gastle, and R. F. Yeager, Routledge, 2017, pp. 75-87.

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

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

– – –. “Vengeance and the Legal Person: John Gower’s Tale of Orestes.” Theorizing Legal Personhood in Late Medieval England, edited by Andreea Boboc, Brill, 2015, pp. 119-41.

– – –. “Giving each his due”: Gower, Langland, and the Question of Equity.” Journal of English and Germanic Philology, vol. 108, no. 3, 2009, pp. 310-35.