Associate Professor Mark Eugene Amsler

BA (Johns Hopkins), MA (Ohio State), PhD (Ohio State)


Prior to the University of Auckland, I taught English, Linguistics, and Medieval Studies at the University of Delaware, Eastern Michigan University, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

I currently serve on the editorial boards for Historiographia Linguistica and Language and History.

I am currently Director of the Europe Institute at the University of Auckland.

Research interests

Comparative medieval and early modern studies; English language and linguistics; critical literacy studies; critical discourse analysis; literary and cultural theory.


Research | Current

I currenly work in the areas of medieval studies, history of linguistics, and cultural theory, moving between earlier periods and the contemporary scene. I am especially interested in pragmatics and written discourses, focusing on interactions in spoken and written texts. Heretical, nonconformist, and alternative communities are of particular interest in my current work, as well as vague language, language mixing, and genre play.

I am also researching and doing archival work on the engagement of European colonials and missionaries with the peoples of the Americas in terms of language contact and its impact on the history of linguistics.

Teaching | Current

COMPLIT 202/303 Interpreting Folktales (Semester 2)



Postgraduate supervision

I have recently supervisd or co-supervised doctoral students working on:

1) linguistic hybridity in digital and print discourses in Pakistan, NZ, and the UK;

2) Old English prose and syntactic complexity (with special attention to Aelfric's Catholic Homilies);

3) translation, transcreation, feminism and language choice in post-1900 anglophone fiction from South Asia (Rushdie, Roy, Ghosh);

4) Rene Girard's theory of mimetic sacrifice and the narrative construction of Satan and demons in Gospel narratives.

5) Li Qiao's Wintry Niight Trilogy and the emergence of Taiwan nationalist sensibility

6) contemporary Maori women novelists

I invite proposals for Masters and Doctoral research projects in comparative literary and critical theory, literacy studies, medieval studies, history of linguistics (esp before 1900), and/or English sociolinguistics.


Phi Kappa Phi honorary society

Areas of expertise

Critical theory and semiotics. Medieval literatures. Sociolinguistics, esp. codeswitching, language change and variation, English linguistics. Literacy and history of the book.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Amsler, M. (2015). The Oxford Handbook of the History of Linguistics. LANGUAGE & HISTORY, 58 (1), 74-76.
  • Amsler, M. (2012). Poverty as a Mobile Signifier: Waldensians, Lollards, Dives and Pauper. Paper presented at 16th Annual Conference of the Perth-Medieval-and-Renaissance-Group on Poverty in the Medieval and Early Modern World, Perth, AUSTRALIA. 11 June - 12 June 2010. EXPERIENCES OF POVERTY IN LATE MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN ENGLAND AND FRANCE. (pp. 25).
  • Amsler, M. E. (2011). Critical Pedagogy in the English Classroom. Paper presented at Much Ado About English (International Federation of Teachers of English [IFTE] quadrennial meeting, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. 18 April - 21 April 2011.
  • Amsler, M. E. (2011). Affective Literacies: Writing and Multilingualism in the Late Middle Ages. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols.
  • Amsler, M. E. (2011). Does affect have grammar?. Paper presented at History of Emotions in the Medieval and Early Modern Worlds, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. 8 June - 11 June 2011.
  • Amsler, M. E. (2011). Bede's Literacy Casebook: Historia ecclesiastica, Book 4. Paper presented at Australia-New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (ANZAMEMS): Eighth Biennial Conference, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. 2 February - 5 February 2011.
  • Amsler, M. E. (2011). First catch your question: critical language awareness and crossing lines in the classroom. Paper presented at Society of Auckland Gifted Educators (SAGE) annual meeting, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Amsler, M. E. (2011). Same as it ever was: universities then and now. Paper presented at Globalization, Higher Education and the Knowledge Economy: Refiguring subjects and spaces in the neo-liberal university, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. 1 December - 2 December 2011.

Contact details

  • Media Contact

Office hours

Sem 2, 2014

Mondays 2-3, Thursdays 12-1, or by apppointment

Primary location

ARTS 1 - Bldg 206
Level 7, Room 711
New Zealand

Web links