Professor Lawton has published six books and many articles in English literary and cultural studies and in medieval studies.
Lawton research centers on Chaucer's poetry and prose as well as medieval religious drama. His most recent books Voice in Later Medieval English Literature: Public Interiorities (Oxford University Press, 2017) yields important insights into the voice work of late medieval poets, especially Langland and Chaucer, and also their fifteenth-century successors. He is founding co-editor of a major journal, New Medieval Literatures, and was Executive Director of the New Chaucer Society 2002-12.
At Washington University and elsewhere he has been named an Outstanding Faculty Mentor and received awards for excellence in mentoring and teaching. Prof. Lawton has also published poetry and journalism, and appeared on radio and television, in the US, Britain and Australia. He is a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge, and a faculty associate in English Language and Literature at Oxford.