Dr Graham Williams
School of English
Senior Lecturer in the History of English
+44 114 222 8460
Full contact details
School of English
1 Upper Hanover Street
Originally from the climes of Upstate New York, Sheffield has been home since joining the School of English as Lecturer in the History of English in 2012. Prior to coming to England, I completed my PhD under Professor Jeremy J. Smith and Dr. Alison Wiggins at University of Glasgow.
- Research interests
Broadly speaking, I work on medieval and early modern Englishes, but I am also interested in Anglo-Norman, Scots, Old Norse and Latin, and how these languages have impacted on the history of English language and literature. More particularly, my perspective tends to be of a pragmatic or stylistic bent, and most recently I have been exploring how these areas interact with the history of emotions. I maintain an especial interest in historical letters, but my research deals with texts of all types, from Old English homilies to late medieval verse.
I also have strong research interests in manuscript studies, paleography, digital editing and corpora - in particular, the implications these perspectives have for the historical study of English.
- Sincerity in Medieval English Language and Literature. Palgrave Macmillan UK.
- Women's Epistolary Utterance A Study of the Letters of Joan and Maria Thynne, 1575-1611. John Benjamins Publishing Company. View this article in WRRO
- Sincerity and epistolarity: Multilingual historical pragmatic perspectives. Multilingua, 39(1), 1-9. View this article in WRRO
- Performative speech act verbs and sincerity in Anglo-Norman and Middle English letters. Multilingua, 39(1), 11-31.
- wine min Unferð. Courtly speech and a reconsideration of (supposed) sarcasm in Beowulf. Journal of Historical Pragmatics, 18(2), 175-194. View this article in WRRO
- “My evil favoured writing” : Uglyography, Disease, and the Epistolary Networks of George Talbot, Sixth Earl of Shrewsbury. Huntington Library Quarterly, 79(3), 387-409. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Written like a 'Gwd' Scotswoman: Margaret Tudor's Use of Scots'. Scottish Language, 35.
- The language of Queen Elizabeth I: A sociolinguistic perspective on royal style and identity by Mel Evans. Language, 90(4), 961-963.
- Glossing over the Lamb: Phonaesthetic GL- in Middle English and Aural Scepticism in Pearl. The Review of English Studies, 65(271), 596-618. View this article in WRRO
- “That thought never ytt entered my harte”: Rhetoricalities of Sincerity in Early Modern English. English Studies, 93(7), 809-832.
- 'Searching for verbal irony in historical corpora (?): a pilot study of mock and scorn in the Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse'. Studies in Variation, Contacts and Change in English, Proceedings of the Helsinki Corpus Festival Pre-conference Event.
- " I haue trobled with a tedious discours": Sincerity, Sarcasm and Seriousness in the Letters of Maria Thynne, c. 1601-1610, 169-193. View this article in WRRO
- Language In Brown P (Ed.), A New Companion to Chaucer Wiley-Blackwell
- "yr Scribe Can proove no nessecarye Consiquence for you"?: The Social and Linguistic Implications of Joan Thynne's Using a Scribe in Letters to Her Son, 1607-1610" In Hardman P & Lawrence-Mathers A (Ed.), Women and Writing, C.1340-c.1650: The Domestication of Prin Culture (pp. 131-145). Boydell and Brewer
- Research group
I would be happy to supervise students with an interest in any area of my research expertise.
- Teaching activities
I convene and/or contribute teaching to the following modules:
- ELL114 - History of English (convener)
- ELL118 - Early Englishes
- LIT108 - Studying Poetry
- ELL236 - Introduction to Middle English (convener)
- ELL360 - Historical Pragmatics (convener)
- ELL364 - Constructed Languages
I also teach historical linguistics options on the MA in English Language and Linguistics
- Professional activities and memberships
I am strongly committed to sharing experience and expertise with the wider public and have featured as a speaker on BBC Radio Scotland, and worked with National Trust volunteers at Hardwick Hall as part of my role in the AHRC Letters of Bess of Hardwick Project. I have also spoken about areas of my research at public events such as Sheffield's annual Festival of the Mind.