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prof. S.I. Sobecki

Professor of Medieval English Literature and Culture; Professor of Old Germanic (by courtesy)
  • PhD English, Cambridge University                                     
  • MPhil. Medieval and Renaissance Literature, Cambridge University  
  • BA English (Hons), Cambridge University                             
  • PGCE University of Buckingham

Prior to coming to the Netherlands, Sebastian Sobecki was an Assistant Professor in Later Medieval Literature at McGill University's English Department. He chaired Groningen’s English Department from 2010 to 2014, and sits on the Faculty of Arts Cluster Board 2 (Cultures, Languages, Literatures, and Politics). He was also on the Council of the Hakluyt Society (2015-2019) and sits on the Advisory Committee for the Index of Middle English Prose, and, among others, the editorial board of the book series Maritime Humanities, 1400-1800: Cultures of the Sea. He is also the Senior Edior for the Medieval and Early Modern England section of The Literary Encyclopedia. Together with Michelle Karnes, he is the editor of Studies in the Age of Chaucer, the periodical of The New Chaucer Society. Sobecki is the voice behind the popular Speke, Parott! YouTube video.

He has authored three books: Last Words: The Public Self and the Social Author in Late Medieval England (Oxford UP, 2019); Unwritten Verities: The Making of England’s Vernacular Legal Culture, 1463-1549 (Notre Dame UP, 2015); and The Sea and Medieval English Literature (D.S. Brewer, 2008). He has produced four editions of primary texts: Medieval English Travel: A Critical Anthology, ed. with Anthony Bale (Oxford UP, 2019), An Edition of Miles Hogarde’s A Mirroure of Myserie, 1557 (Punctum Books, 2020), and the first two volumes of a 14-volume edition of Richard Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations (Oxford UP, in press), which will include 70 of the medieval narratives and documents printed by Hakluyt, among them the voyages to Mongolia of William of Rubruck and John of Plano Carpini. He has also edited three collections and a special journal issue: The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Law and Literature, ed. with Candace Barrington (Cambridge UP, 2019); A Critical Companion to John Skelton, with John Scattergood (D.S. Brewer, 2018); The Sea and Englishness in the Middle Ages (D.S. Brewer, 2011); and, with Matthew Boyd Goldie, Our Seas of Islands: New Approaches to British Insularity in the Late Middle Ages, in Postmedieval 7:4 (2016). His articles have appeared in Speculum, English Literary History, Studies in the Age of Chaucer, Renaissance Studies, The English Historical Review, The Chaucer Review, and The Review of English Studies, among others.

Sobecki has received research grants and fellowships from All Souls College, Oxford; Yale University; Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC); the Huntington Library, San Marino (USA); the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO); Québec's FQRSC; the German Research Foundation (DFG); and SAUTE in Switzerland. In 2016, he was awarded the John Hurt Fisher Prize by the John Gower Society.

He is currently editing a substantial literary history, Global Medieval Travel Writing: A Literary History (Cambridge UP), the first book dedicated to global medieval travel and geographical literature from Iceland to China.

Last modified:24 June 2020 10.47 a.m.

Contact information

Oude Kijk in 't Jatstraat 26
9712 EK Groningen
The Netherlands

Prof. Sebastian Sobecki Department of English Language and Culture

Job title:
Professor of Medieval English Literature and Culture; Professor of Old Germanic (by courtesy)

Members of Chair Group