Fred Porcheddu '87

Fred Porcheddu ’87

Associate Professor
Position Type
- Present

Fred Porcheddu-Engel graduated from Denison during the second Punic War and returned somewhat later to wreak a terrible vengeance upon his alma mater. He teaches courses on medieval and Early Modern British and European literature, as well as on the history of the English Language, the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, children’s literature, and Queer Studies. He loves Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books, Vincent Price’s movies, and 1940s swing music. He pooh-poohed the invention of the fax machine (“Who would ever be in such a hurry to send a letter?” were his exact words), and still uses a flip-phone. He is nonetheless fascinated by information technologies of all kinds.

He has published essays and reviews on textual criticism, paleography and codicology, medieval manuscript collecting, and literary history, as well as on the ghost stories of the Edwardian antiquary M.R. James, especially with his pal Patrick J. Murphy of Miami University. In 2011 he became the inaugural recipient of the Dr. Viola J. Kleindienst Endowed Professorship. He lives in Granville with his husband Vince and their two cockatiels, Peaches and Featherstone.

B.A., Denison University; M.A., Ph.D., Ohio State University



Hopkins, Stephen, Patrick J. Murphy, and Fred Porcheddu. “The Manuscript of M.R. James’s ‘Ash-Tree’.” Notes and Queries 61.4 (2014) 583-585.

Murphy, Patrick J., and Fred Porcheddu. “Eumenides and ‘Newmenides’: Academic Furies in Edwardian Cambridge.” Forthcoming in Rebecca Kennedy, ed., Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Æschylus (Leiden: Brill, 2016).

Murphy, Patrick J., and Fred Porcheddu. “Robert Thornton, the Alliterative Morte Arthure, and Cambridge University Library MS Dd.11.45.” Modern Philology 114.1 (2016) 130-47.

Murphy, Patrick J., and Fred Porcheddu. “Lay of a Last Survivor: Beowulf, the Great War, and M.R. James’s ‘A Warning to the Curious’.” Review of English Studies 66 (2015) 205-22.

Murphy, Patrick J., and Fred Porcheddu. “‘And I’ll Come to You, My Lad’: Amateur Error, Templar Terror, and the Inscription of M.R. James’s Haunted Whistle.” Philological Quarterly 92.3 (2013) 389-415.

Murphy, Patrick J., and Fred Porcheddu. “Renovation and Resurrection in M.R. James’s ‘Episode of Cathedral History’.” Studies in Medievalism 22 (2013) 85-113.

Murphy, Patrick J., and Fred Porcheddu. “The Antiquarian Diaries of Thomas Hearne and Mr. Poynter in the Fiction of M.R. James: Duty Unfulfilled.” English Literature in Transition 55.3 (2012) 339-60.

Porcheddu, Fred. “Devilish Details: A New Record of the Towneley Plays.” Medium Ævum 83.1 (2014) 114-29.

Porcheddu, Fred. [Review.] Scott Gwara, Otto Ege’s Manuscripts: A Study of Ege’s Manuscript Collections, Portfolios, and Retail Trade, with a Comprehensive Handlist of Manuscripts Collected or Sold (Cayce, SC: De Brailes, 2013). Speculum 89.4 (2014) 1147-49.

Porcheddu, Fred. “Reassembling the Leaves: Otto Ege and the Potential of Technology.” Manuscripta 53.1 (2009) 29-48.

Porcheddu, Fred. “Mrs. Todd’s (Pastoral) Shortcut.” The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts 19.1 (2008) 5-24. (Repr. Jeffrey W. Hunter, ed., Contemporary Literary Criticism [Detroit: Gale, Cengage, 2012] 112-22; repr. Short Story Criticism, forthcoming 2017.)

Porcheddu, Fred. “Otto F. Ege: Teacher, Collector, Biblioclast.” Art Documentation 26.1 (2007) 4-15.

Porcheddu, Fred. “The Cloning of the Karlmagnússaga in Anglo-French Textual Criticism.” In Jennifer Weiss, ed., Sagas and Societies (University of Tübingen, 2002) 1-16.

Porcheddu, Fred. “Edited Text and Medieval Artifact: The Auchinleck Bookshop and ‘Charlemagne and Roland’ Theories, Fifty Years Later.” Philological Quarterly 80.4 (2001) 463-500.

Recent Conference Papers

“Five Previously Unknown Notebooks by William Alabaster.” 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 2015.

“The Surrogate Impulse in Agatha Christie’s Nemesis.” Queens of Crime, University College, London, June 2014.

“The Wanderings and Homes of Medieval Studies.” 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 2014.

“The Antiquary in Distress: Templar History in M.R. James’s ‘Oh Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad’.” 48th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 2013.

“‘Rupescissa and the Sorcerer’s Stone’: A New 15th-century Alchemical Manuscript in Central Ohio.” 46th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 2011.