William Schipper


Full Professor


  • PhD (Queen’s University)
  • MA (University of Windsor)

Contact Information


  • Life member, Clare Hall, Cambridge (since 2005)
  • Visiting Fellow, Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies (2018-19)

Research Interests

Old English; Carolingian studies; Biblical commentaries; Hrabanus Maurus

Selected Recent Publications

Articles and Book Chapters

  • “‘Unpublished’ Biblical Commentaries by Hrabanus Maurus.” Journal of Medieval Latin, vol. 27, 2017, pp. 223-301.
  • “Secretive Bodies and Passionate Souls: Transgressive Sexuality among the Carolingians.” Conjunctions of Mind, Soul and Body from Plato to the Enlightenment, edited by Danijela Kambaskovic, Studies in the History of Philosophy of Mind 15, Springer, 2014, pp. 173-199.
  • “Bede’s Commentary on the Apocalypse and the Carolingians.” Das spätkarolingische Fragment eines illustrierten Apokalypse-Kommentars in der Mainzer Stadtbibliothek: Bilanz einer interdisciplinären Annäherung, edited by Annelen Ottermann. Veröffentlichen der Bibliotheken der Stadt Mainz 60, Landeshauptstadt Mainz, 2014, pp. 148-171.
  • “The Mainz Martinus Bibliothek Bifolium (D/378) of Hrabanus’s De rerum naturis and its Relatives,” in Bibliotheca S.Martini Moguntina: Alte Bücher – Neue Funde, ed. Helmut Hinkel. Publikationen Bistum Mainz, Zeidler, 2012, pp. 87-103.

Conference Presentations and Lectures

  • “The Hermeneutic Mind: Hrabanus Maurus and his Biblical Commentaries.” Keynote address, Atlantic Medieval Association, 3 Oct. 2015, University of Prince Enward Island, Canada.
  • “Hrabanus Maurus’s Unpublished Biblical Commentaries." 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 8 May 2014, Western Michigan University, USA.
  • “Changing Views: A New Ninth-Century Fragment of Hrabanus Maurus’s De rerum naturis and Its Implications.” 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies. May 11, 2012, Western Michigan University, USA.
  • “Bede’s Commentary on the Apocalypse and Carolingian Commentaries,” Wissenschaftliche Stadtbibliothek Mainz, 30 November 2012, Mainz, Germany.
  • “Some implications of the newly discovered fragment of Bede’s commentary on the Apocalypse.” Faculty of Arts, 27 November 2012, University of Winchester, UK.
  • “Manuscript Fragments.” Invited lecture to the Faculty of Humanities, Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, 16 April 2012, Urbino, Italy.
  • “The Early Transmission of De rerum naturis and the newly discovered Mainz fragment.” Martinus-Biblothek, Mainz, 7 July 2011, Mainz, Germany.
  • “Hrabanus Maurus and the Clavis Melitonis.” Canadian Society of Medievalists Conference, 31 May 2010, Montreal, Canada.

Public Seminars

  • “Hrabanus’s Confiscated Libellum and Sources for His Encyclopedia.” Medieval and Early Modern Lecture Series, 26 March 2018.
  • “Hrabanus Maurus’s Commentary on Acts.” Research Seminar, Department of Religious Studies, Memorial University, 15 April 2016.
  • “Hrabanus’s Unpublished Biblical Commentaries.” Research Seminar, Department of Religious Studies, Memorial University, 11 April 2015.
  • “An Early illustrated copy of the venerable Bede’s Expositio Apocalypseos: A recent discovery, a problem, and a solution.” Research Seminar, Department of Religious Studies, Memorial University, 28 March 2012.
  • “Some Problems Editing Hrabanus Maurus’s De rerum naturis.” Seminar at the Mittellateinische Institut, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Nürnberg-Erlangen, Germany, 6 April 2012.

Current Research Projects

  • Critical edition of Hrabanus Maurus, De rerum naturis (theological encyclopedia, compiled between 843 and 846; length ca. 1200 pages; to appear in 2 volumes in the series Corpus Christianorum, Series medieavalis)
  • Critical edition of Tractatus Rabani supra Actuum Apostolorum (commentary ascribed to Hrabanus Maurus; under consideration, Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies Publications, Toronto)

Other Professional Activities

  • Member of MUN Senate 1998-2017
  • Member of MUNFA Executive Committee (since 1997; President, 2001-08)

Regularly Taught Courses


  • English 1090: Critical Reading and Writing: Telling Stories
  • English 3500: Old English
  • English 3600: Chaucer
  • English 4600: Medieval Romance
  • Medieval Studies 2000: Cultural Legacy of the Middle Ages


  • English 7100: Authors of Medieval Romance [Malory]

Honours And Graduate Supervision

  • Old and Middle English