Arts & Humanities

Faculty - Arts and Humanities

Jonathon Watson

Dr. Jonathan Watson

Associate Professor  of English

Dr. Jonathan Watson arrived at Manchester University in 1998, with a Ph.D. in Old and Middle English literature from Indiana University. At Manchester, he teaches a broad range of courses, medieval and other, including History of the English Language, British Literature I, Arthurian Literature, J.R.R. Tolkien, Romantics and Victorians, and Cinema for Social Change. His interests sweep wide: film studies, jazz studies, and creative writing. In 1993-94, Professor Watson was a Fulbright scholar to Iceland, where he studied Old Norse eddic poetry. More recently, he has studied fiction writing at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Ripton, Vt., and jazz performance at the Stanford Jazz Workshop.

Professor Watson’s primary research centers on Beowulf, the Finnsburh Fragment, Lawman’s Brut—the first text to recount the story of King Arthur in English—and the Icelandic sagas. His work has appeared in journals such as JEGP, Oral Tradition, and Arthuriana. An essay on residual orality in Lawman’s Brut appeared in the 2005 collection New Directions in Oral Theory: Essays on Ancient and Medieval Literatures (MRTS), edited by Mark C. Amodio. Professor Watson’s current research focuses on the Beowulfmanuscript and grows out of an NEH Seminar “Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts and Texts,” which met at the New British Library in London, England, and at Cambridge University. Other recent travels include Norway, Cuba and Wales.

At Manchester, Professor Watson serves on the Fulbright Committee and the Athletics Committee, which he currently chairs. He was recently an “honorary coach” for the MU football team (and called the first play from scrimmage). As an undergraduate, Professor Watson played soccer in the SEC as a goalkeeper for Vanderbilt University. He has also worked as a carpenter on Cape Cod building post-and-beam houses, and still returns to Chatham, Mass., and his home state New Jersey in the summer, with his wife (Professor Ings) and three children: Olivia, Susannah and Dallas.