Affiliate Spotlight: Ryan Naughton

Dr. Ryan Naughton is a medievalist whose research focuses on knighthood and chivalry in Middle English romances, with special emphasis on knightly identity construction and natural nobility. He routinely presents his work at national and international conferences and has published an article entitled “Peace, Justice and Retinue-Building in Malory’s ‘The Tale of Sir Gareth of Orkney’” (Arthurian Literature, vol. 29) and a book review on an edition of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (The Medieval Review, June 2012). Ryan has an article entitled “The Primacy of Natural Nobility in the Cambridge Octavian” forthcoming in The Journal of English and German Philology, and his revised doctoral dissertation is under review at Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies Press.

Ryan earned a BA in English with a minor in history at Arizona State University (2001), where his love of the Middle Ages really took root. He then pursued an MA in Medieval History at The University of York, UK (2003), where he had the opportunity to learn about historical events and then visit many of the places where they transpired. His MA thesis was on the knighting ceremony in three chivalric texts and solidified his interest in knighthood and chivalry. Ryan then completed a PhD in English Literary Studies at Purdue University (2010), with a primary emphasis in Middle English Language and Literature and a secondary one in Old English Language and Literature. He also took courses in rhetoric and composition, general British literature, and iconography. After earning his PhD, Ryan taught at Ohio University as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Medieval Literature and then at Schreiner University as an Assistant Professor of British and World Literature before coming to Arizona State University as a Writing Programs Instructor in Fall 2016.

While at Schreiner and Ohio, Ryan taught a range of British and World literature courses, like Shakespeare on Film, The Arthurian Legend, The Rise of the English Novel, Robin Hood and Other Medieval Outlaws, and Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, in addition to History of the English Language and composition. Ryan has also taught several sections of British Literature I, which is his absolute favorite course to teach because he can introduce students to some of the world’s greatest texts, including Beowulf, The Lais of Marie de France, Le Morte Darthur, Twelfth Night, and Paradise Lost.

A native Arizonan, Ryan is happy to be back in the Valley after being gone for 11 years. He enjoys spending time with his wife, four children, and extended family. In his spare time, he reads young adult fantasy novels, plays European board games, and watches Netflix.