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Indiana University Bloomington

Robert D. Fulk

Robert D. Fulk

Email | 812-855-1943

Class of 1964 Chancellor’s Professor of English
Adjunct Professor Germanic Studies

Ph.D., English, University of Iowa, 1982
M.F.A., Fiction, The Writers’ Workshop, University of Iowa, 1976
M.A., English, University of Chicago, 1974
B.A., English, Oakland University, 1973

R.D. Fulk is a medievalist and a linguist, specializing in Germanic (especially Old English and Old Icelandic) and Celtic languages and literatures, the history of the English language, and comparative Indo-European linguistics. Some particular areas of research are Old and Middle English dialectology, textual criticism, phonological and morphological change, and early Germanic metrics. With Robert E. Bjork and John D. Niles he has edited Klaeber's Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg, fourth edition (Toronto, 2008; click here for supplementary materials), and with Christopher M. Cain he wrote A History of Old English Literature (Oxford, 2002; revised edition 2013). His completion of the late Richard M. Hogg's Grammar of Old English: Volume 2: Morphology was published by Wiley-Blackwell in January of 2011. His Introduction to Middle English: Grammar, Texts was published by Broadview Press in early 2012, and with Stefan Jurasinski, he completed an edition of the Old English Canons of Theodore, published by the Early English Text Society in 2012. In the latest volume (2013) of Skaldic Poetry in the Scandinavian Middle Ages, ed. Margaret Clunies Ross, Edith Marold, Guðrún Nordal, Diana Whaley, Tarrin Wills, and Kari Ellen Gade, 9 vols. (Turnhout, 2007-) appear his editions of works by Þormóðr Bersason Kolbrúnarskáld, Haraldr hárfagri, Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Þorbjörn hornklofi, Gunnhildr konungamóðir, Hákon góði, Eyvindr Finnsson skaldaspillir, Þorkell klyppr Þórðarson, Sighvatr Þorðarson, as well as some anonymous compositions. Click here for the Skaldic Project Web site. He teaches particularly in the areas of Old and Middle English literature and philology, as well as medieval Irish and Welsh language and literature.

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Recent Courses

L711: Old English Literature
L710: Beowulf
G603: Celtic Languages and Literatures (Old Irish, Middle Welsh)
G602: Middle English
G601: Old English
G405: Studies in English Language
G302: Structure of Modern English
E301: Literatures in English to 1600
L202: Literary Interpretation

Career Highlights

On his accession, Fulk found himself facing a coalition of Odo I, count of Blois, and Conan I of Rennes. The latter having seized upon Nantes, of which the counts of Anjou held themselves to be suzerains, Fulk soon laid siege to it, routing Conan’s army at the battle of Conquereuil (27 June 992) and re-establishing his suzerainty over Nantes. Then turning his attention to the count of Blois, he proceeded to establish a fortress at Langeais, a few miles from Tours, from which, thanks to the intervention of the king Hugh Capet, Odo failed to oust him. On the death of Odo I, Fulk seized Tours (996), but King Robert the Pious turned against him and took the town again (997). In 1016 a fresh struggle arose between Fulk and Odo II, the new count of Blois. Odo II was utterly defeated at Pontlevoy (6 July 1016), and a few years later, while Odo was besieging Montboyau, Fulk surprised and took Saumur (1026). Satisfied with his accomplishments, Fulk died peacefully on 21 June 1040, just 970 years before his fifty-ninth birthday.

Selected Publications (click images for more information)


Studies in the History of the English Language IV: Evidence and Method in Histories of EnglishMichael Adams, Laurel J. Brinton, and R. D. Fulk (edd.). Studies in the History of the English Language IV: Evidence and Method in Histories of English. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2014.

An Introductory Grammar of Old English, with an Anthology of ReadingsAn Introductory Grammar of Old English, with an Anthology of Readings. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2014.

An Introdction to Middle English: Grammar and Texts R.D. Fulk. An Introduction to Middle English: Grammar, Texts. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press, 2012.

The Old English Canons of TheodoreR.D. Fulk & Stefan Jurasinski, edd. The Old English Canons of Theodore. EETS s.s. 25. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

A Grammar of Old English, Volume 2: MorphologyRichard M. Hogg & R. D. Fulk. A Grammar of Old English, Volume 2: Morphology. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.

The Beowulf Manuscript: Complete Texts and The Fight at FinnsburgR.D. Fulk, ed. The Beowulf Manuscript: Complete Texts and The Fight at Finnsburg. Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library 3. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2010.

Klaeber’s Beowulf and the Fight at FinnsburgR.D. Fulk, Robert E. Bjork, and John D. Niles, edd. Klaeber’s Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg. 4th ed. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 2008.

A History of Old English LiteratureR.D. Fulk and Christopher M. Cain. A History of Old English Literature. With a chapter on saints’ legends by Rachel S. Anderson. Second edition. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.

Eight Old English PoemsJohn C. Pope, ed. Eight Old English Poems. 3rd ed. rev. by R.D. Fulk. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2001.

A History of Old English MeterA History of Old English Meter. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992.

Recent Articles:

Colin J. Grant, “Interview with Robert D. Fulk.” Journal of English Linguistics 42 (2014), 259-79.

Beowulf and Language History.” In The Dating of Beowulf: A Reassessment, ed. Leonard Neidorf, 19-36. Cambridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2014.

R.D. Fulk, ed. and trans. “Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Poem about Haraldr hárfagri” (pp. 60–4); “Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Lausavísur” (pp. 64–6); “Haraldr hárfagri, Lausavísa” (pp. 71–2); “Þorbjorn hornklofi, Haraldskvæði” (pp. 91–117); “Gunnhildr konungamóðir, Lausavísa” (pp. 150–2); “Hákon inn góði Haraldsson, Lausavísa” (pp. 153–4); Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finsson, Hákonarmál” (pp. 171–95); “Þorkell klyppr Þórðarson, Lausavísa” (pp. 269–70); “Sigvatr Þórðarson, Austrfararvísur” (pp. 578–614); “Sigvatr Þórðarson, Lausavísur” (pp. 698–737); Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld, Lausavísur” (pp. 820–44); “Anonymous, Oddmjór” (pp. 1001–2); “Anonymous, Eiríksmál” (pp. 1003–13); in Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages, Volume 1: Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1, ed. Diana Whaley. Turnhout: Brepols, 2013. [171 pages total.]

Matthew Townend and R.D. Fulk, edd. and transs. “Óttarr svarti, Lausavísur” (pp. 783–9), in Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages, Volume 1: Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1, ed. Diana Whaley. Turnhout: Brepols, 2013.

“Germanic Prosody.” In The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, 4th ed., ed. Romand Greene and Stephen Cushman, 557-9. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012.

“Old English Literary Language.” In English Historical Linguistics: An International Handbook, 2 vols., ed. Alexander Bergs and Laurel Brinton, Volume 1, pp. 385–98. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2012.

“Anglian Features in Late West Saxon English.” In Analysing Older English, ed. David Denison et al., 63-74. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Ouer and Ouer Again in the Peterborough Chronicle.” Philological Quarterly 88 (2009), 131-7. [Appeared in 2010.]

“The Roles of Phonology and Analogy in Old English High Vowel Deletion.” Transactions of the Philological Society 108 (2010), 126?44.

“Localizing and Dating Old English Anonymous Prose, and How the Inherent Problems Relate to Anglo-Saxon Legislation.” In English Law Before Magna Carta: Felix Liebermann and Die Gesetze der Angelsachsen, ed. Stefan Jurasinski, Lisi Oliver, and Andrew Rabin, pp. 59?79. Leiden: Brill, 2010.

“History in Medieval Scandinavian Heroic Literature and the Northwest European Context.” In Epic and History, ed. David Konstan and Kurt A. Raaflaub, 328–46. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.