Senior Lecturer

Christopher Vaccaro (Senior Lecturer) has been teaching English at UVM since 1999.  Earning his Ph.D. from the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School in 2003, he has been teaching a variety of courses for the English Department and the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program. Some of his courses include British Literature Survey, Introduction to Old English, Beowulf, Queers of Color, Women of the Middle Ages, Tolkien’s Middle-earth, Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Queering the Middle Ages, History of the English Language, and Written Expression.

Professor Vaccaro has been organizing events at UVM for almost as long as he has been here. He began the Tolkien at UVM conference in 2004 and has been running the conference and bringing important scholars in the field to UVM every year since then. His interests in gender/sexuality studies inspired him to bring to campus important figures such as Mark Doty (2014) and Jack Halberstam (2018). In addition to hosting conferences and events, he organizes sessions at medieval studies and Tolkien studies conferences and has served on the board of the New England Medieval Consortium conference committee.

Publications include two edited collections on Tolkien, The Body in Tolkien’s Legendarium (McFarland Press, 2013) and Tolkien and Alterity (Palgrave, 2017) with essays included in those volumes, and essays published on Tolkien. He is currently working on a monograph exploring the intersection of pleasure, same-sex love, and death in Beowulf and lesser known Old English texts. In addition, he has been asked to co-edit a collection on Queer Tolkien and has tentatively agreed to edit a collection for Brill’s Exploration of the Middle Ages series titled Painful Pleasures: Sadomasochism in Medieval Culture.

In addition to his scholarly work, he has published poetry and continues to work on a collection of ekphrastic poems.

Research and/or Creative Works


“Blow Off,” “Ode to a Beer-soaked Muscle Cub,” “Sauna Sex,” “The Zen of Sadism.”Hibernation: and Other Poems by Bear Bards. Ed. Ron Suresha. Bear Bones Press. (2014).




Vaccaro and Yvette Kisor. (Eds). Tolkien and Alterity. Palgrave, 2017.
Vaccaro. (Ed). The Body in Tolkien’s Legendarium. McFarland Press (2013)

Seclected Articles and Chapters

“‘Dyrne Langað’: Secret Longing and Homo-amory in Beowulf and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the RingsJournal of Tolkien Research Vol. 6: Issue 1, Article 6 (August, 2018)
“‘Morning Stars of a Setting World’: Alain de Lille’s De Planctu Naturæ and Tolkien’s Legendarium as Neo-Platonic Mythopoeia”Mythlore 36.1 Fall/Winter (2017): 81-102.
“Contexts and Comrades: Teaching Homo-eroticism and Homo-amory in Beowulf.”Practical Guide to Teaching Beowulf. Ed. by Aaron Hostetter and Larry Swain. (Medieval Institute Publications, 2019)
“Saruman’s Sodomitic Resonances: Alain de Lille’s De Planctu Naturae and J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the
Tolkien and Alterity (Palgrave, 2017): 123-47.


Awards and Recognition

Nomination -Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award (2010)

Associations and Affiliations

ISAS, International Society of Anglo-Saxonists, 2001–Present
MLA, 2003-Present
Tolkien at Kalamazoo, 2002-Present (Organizer as of Spring 2018)

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Beowulf, Medieval literature, Tolkien studies, sex and gender identity studies


  • Ph.D., City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School, 2003


  • (802) 656-1221
Office Location:

302 Old Mill

Office Hours:

By appointment

Courses Taught

  • Tolkien's Middle Earth
  • British Literature
  • History of the English Language
  • The Hobbit
  • Introduction to Old English
  • Survey of British Literature to 1700
  • Beowulf
  • Medieval Women
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy Literature
  • Gender, Sexuality and the Body
  • Written Expression
  • Introduction to Fiction
  • Gender & Sexuality in Literature