Forbes, Jonathan

Graduate Student


M.A., University of California, Santa Barbara
B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara

Jonathan Forbes is a doctoral candidate in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he received the Doctoral Scholars Fellowship from the UCSB Graduate Division. His central interests include late medieval English and Scottish political poetry, the literary history of parliament, psychoanalysis, and trauma. The working title of his dissertation project, supervised by Professor L.O. Aranye Fradenburg, is, "Feeling Bureaucratic: Political Poetry, Affective Rhetoric, and Parliamentary Process in Late Medieval England."

Regarding reserach experience and department service, Forbes is also affiliated with the graduate program in Medieval Studies, and is working toward an Interdisciplinary PhD Emphasis in European Medieval Studies. He has served as the Research Assistant for the English Department's Literature and the Mind initiative, and has worked as a graduate student research assistant for the English Broadside Ballad Archive (EBBA), as well.

In terms of teaching, Forbes has taught for the English Department as both a Teaching Assistant and a Teaching Associate, in addition to working as a Teaching Assistant for the Writing Program. In the 2014-15 academic year, he was the Writing Program's Teaching Associate (Lead TA).




South Hall 2432-K

Office Hours: 

Spring 18: Please email


(805) 893-4622


Mailing Address: 

English Department
UC Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3170


Medieval Literature
Literature and the Mind
Literary Theory


Projects (Initiatives, Grants, etc.): 


Selected Lectures: 

  • "'Withoute Pitee ther may no bille availe': Affective Rhetoric and Petitionary Form in Chaucer's Complaint unto Pity," Biennial London Chaucer Conference: Chaucer and the Law, Institute of English Studies, University of London, London, UK, June 30, 2017.
  • "Fragments of Debate: Group Experience in the Headlinks of the Canterbury Tales," New Chaucer Society, London, UK, July 14, 2016.
  • Invited roundtable participant, "Kathleen Biddick's Untimely Sovereignties," Modern Language Association, Austin, TX, January 10, 2016
  • "A How-to Guide to an Imagined World: A Politics of Becoming in the Modus Tenendi Parliamentum," 4th Biennial Meeting of the BABEL Working Group, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 11, 2015
  • "Enclosed in Dirt and Sand: The Anchoress in Thatcher's England," 3rd Biennial Meeting of the BABEL Working Group, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, October 17, 2014.
  • "Traumatic Representation: Parliament and Ethics in the Testament of Cresseid," 48th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, May 9, 2013.
  • "Traumatic Medievalism in Shakespeare's Richard III," Medieval Association of the Pacific, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA, March 23, 2013.
  • "Being on Behalf: Parliament in Piers Plowman," Medieval Studies Program Annual Graduate Student Conference, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, May 7, 2011.
  • "Representing Parliament: Transfer and Sovereignty in The Parliament of Fowls," Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, March 13, 2011.

Recent Courses Taught