Murray Evans

Professor Emeritus


BA (Hons), MA, PhD

Murray Evans is known for his impeccable scholarship, discipline, and humour. Throughout his 40-year career, he has chosen to interpret the most difficult of classic texts, and has carefully synthesized them to ease the way for all readers after him. He has served his discipline of literary studies with the highest distinction, by breaking new ground and gaining international recognition in two fields of study: medieval literature, with specific attention to Malory’s King Arthur stories, Langland, and Chaucer; and romanticism, with a special focus on Samuel Taylor Coleridge, author of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. He has also published on twentieth century adaptations of romance narratives, with a focus on the Narnia books of C.S. Lewis.

Evans’s greatest accomplishment as a literary scholar lies in his remarkably lucid commentaries on Coleridge’s Opus Maximus. Evans began to share his richly informed insights into the complexities of the work through numerous conference papers, publications, and essays that culminated in his published magisterial work, Sublime Coleridge: the Opus Maximum. His scholarship on Coleridge quickly established his international reputation as an informed, insightful, and lucid commentator on Coleridge’s theological, philosophical, and aesthetic thought. Notwithstanding his recent retirement, Evans remains active in research and is currently preparing a second monograph on Coleridge.

Evans’s previous work devoted to Malory and other medieval romances was highly original in the way it combined reflection on narrative structure with careful attention to scribal practices and details of textual layout and decoration in manuscripts. His publications on Malory have earned much praise from Middle English scholars for his novel approach, as has his monograph Rereading Middle English Romance that incorporated computer-assisted analysis of manuscript features. Evans’s early reputation as a medievalist earned him a visiting fellowship at Robinson College, Cambridge University in the UK.

A consummate scholar, Evans has garnered the respect of his students, colleagues, and peers. He has mentored generations of students with his talent and ability to teach difficult theoretical topics in an open and engaged manner.

Well known on campus, Evans has served in numerous administrative capacities, including the co-design of UWinnipeg’s Master of Arts in Cultural Studies. He also had a major role in creating the institution’s writing program (now the Department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications). He has served as Acting Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences, and as Chair of the Department of English. In addition to his teaching, Evans has frequently moderated conference sessions and reviewed books in his fields and submissions to academic journals.

The University of Winnipeg honours Murray Evans as Professor Emeritus for his passionate research, scholarship, and contributions to the study of literature.