Stephen Hopkins

Assistant Professor
Stephen Hopkins

A scholar of early medieval language and literature, Stephen Hopkins specializes in translations and adaptations of religious literature from Latin into the various vernaculars of the North Sea (Old English, Old Norse, Middle Welsh and Old Irish). His research interests include the reception, transmission and transformation of Christian apocryphal literature, heroic and epic adaptations of scriptural narratives, and tracing syncretic and imaginative literary moments in writings from Late Antiquity and beyond. His dissertation explored how translations of apocryphal narratives about hell allowed early medieval North Sea Christians to localize and customize their beliefs, carving out identity niches within a new and globalizing faith, offering an explanatory framework for reevaluating sources of religious and literary creativity in early medieval literature.

Hopkins holds a Ph.D. in English literature from Indiana University, Bloomington (2019), and a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Linguistics from Miami University (OH) (2011). As a doctoral student at IU, Hopkins was awarded a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the Mellon Foundation and the ACLS (American Council of Learned Societies). From 2019 to 2023, he was an assistant professor of Old English and linguistics at the University of Central Florida. His book project, Translating Hell: Vernacular Theology and Apocrypha in the Medieval North Sea, is under contract with Manchester University Press, and will be supported in 2024 by a yearlong NEH Fellowship.

As an incoming assistant professor with the Department of English, Hopkins will assist with the Medieval and Renaissance studies minor, as well as the graduate certificate program in premodern cultures and communities. This fall, he will teach “Introduction to Old English Language and Literature” for graduate and advanced undergraduate students, as well as “The History of the English Language.”