Lucas Wood

Photo of Lucas Wood

Visiting Assistant Professor of French | (812) 855-7812 | GA 3171

Research Areas

Medieval literature, with emphases on: courtly narrative (verse and prose); Arthurian/Grail traditions; gender and genre (especially chivalric masculinities); theory and practice of allegory; historiography and fiction


  • Ph.D., Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania, 2012
  • B.A., Humanities, Yale University, 2006


My research, based on a diverse corpus of medieval French texts dating mostly from the 12th and 13th centuries, explores hermeneutic, generic, and ideological tensions within the interlaced literary discourses of chivalry and courtliness. My current book project, “Allegory Effects: Romancing Redemption in the Queste del Saint Graal,” studies the literary and spiritual implications of open-ended allegorical interpretation in Old French narrative fiction. Focusing on a unique but exemplary Arthurian text, the 13th-century Queste del Saint Graal, I show how what I call “allegory effects”—localized and provisional gestures of self-interpretation that self-consciously foreground romance narrative’s capacity for representing, producing, and transmitting truth—turn the work of reading into a privileged form of ethical and spiritual experience while also redemptively rewriting the literary history of secular chivalric romance. In parallel to this project, I maintain an active research interest in the relationships between gender and genre, and especially in courtly literature as a vehicle for both the dissemination of ideology and the critique of courtliness as a literary and cultural ideal. Along these lines, I have published on medieval erotology and on the gender politics of werewolf narratives and tragic love stories, and I am currently looking at the 12th-13th century motif of the magical chastity test as a catalyst for the reimagining of courtly community.


Book Project

  • Allegory Effects: Romancing Redemption in the Queste del Saint Graal (manuscript in preparation)

Book Chapters

  • “Chevaliers ocirre: Manslaughter, Morality and Meaning in the Queste del Saint Graal.” In Murder Most Foul: Medieval and Early Modern Homicide, ed. Larissa Tracy. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer (forthcoming).


  • “Arthurian Romance between Parody and Unbridled Allegory: La Mule sanz frain.” Arthuriana (forthcoming).
  • “Love’s Illusions: Christine de Pizan’s Livre du Duc des vrais amans and La Chastelaine de Vergi.” French Forum (forthcoming).
  • “Of Werewolves and Wicked Women: Melion’s Misogyny Reconsidered.” Medium Ævum 84.1 (2015): 60-88.
  • “The Art of Clerkly Love: Drouart la Vache Translates Andreas Capellanus.” Medievalia et Humanistica n.s. 40 (2015): 113-49.
  • “The Ethics of Election in the Queste del Saint Graal.” New Medieval Literatures 15 (2013): 183-224.
  • “The Werewolf as Möbius Strip, or Becoming Bisclavret.” Romanic Review 102.1-2 (2011): 3-25.

Courses Taught

  • F361. La France médiévale (jusqu’à 1500)
  • F300. Écrire le moi / Writing the Self
  • F205. Théâtre(s) politique(s) / Theaters of Politics

Honors, Fellowships, and Awards

  • MLA Travel Grant, Modern Language Association, 2015
  • COFUND International Junior Research Fellowship, Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University, 2013-2015
  • Critical Writing Graduate Teaching Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 2011-2012
  • Andrew W. Mellon Graduate Research Fellowship, Penn Humanities Forum, University of Pennsylvania, 2011-2012
  • Postgraduate Travel Scholarship, International Arthurian Society, 2011
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