Roberta Frank

Roberta Frank's picture
Marie Borroff Professor Emeritus of English

Ph.D., Comparative Literature, Harvard University, 1968
B.A., English and Comparative Literature, New York University, 1962

My research and teaching focus on all aspects (literary, historical, archaeological) of early England and Scandinavia, but I also belong to that crypto-group of poetry people attracted to verse of all periods and places. Looking back, I see that most of my essays have had a polemical purpose, exploring the hidden expressive powers of literatures that were new more than a millennium ago.

Selected Publications

- Old Norse Court Poetry (1978)

- “Some Uses of Paronomasia in Old English Scriptural Verse” (1972)

- “The Beowulf Poet’s Sense of History” (1982)

- “Viking Atrocity and Skaldic Verse: The Rite of the Blood-Eagle” (1984)

- “Germanic Legend in Old English Literature” (1991)

- “Beowulf and Sutton Hoo: The Odd Couple” (1992)

- “The Search for the Anglo-Saxon Oral Poet” (1993)

- “The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Philologist” (1997)

- “The Invention of the Viking Horned Helmet” (2000)

- “The Discreet Charm of the Old English Weak Adjective” (2003)

- “A Scandal in Toronto: The Dating of Beowulf a Quarter-Century On” (2007)

- “Like a Bridge of Stones,” The Yale Review 99/4 (October 2011), 170-177

- “Siegfried and Arminius: Scenes from a Marriage,” in Germania Remembered 1500-2009: Commemorating and Inventing a Germanic Past, ed. Christina Lee and Nicola McLelland, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies 425 (Tempe, AR: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 201 [2013], pp. 1-26.


Undergraduate: Major English Poets; Old English; Chronicles of the Vikings

Graduate: Introduction to Old English; Beowulf; Old Norse; Directed Reading in Advanced Old English and Old Norse