What I love most about medieval studies is the opportunity to study language history, to investigate handwritten manuscripts, and to analyze the complex, vibrant ways that Middle English authors draw on a variety of Latin and French sources. There is nothing more exhilarating than sitting in a rare book archive like KU's Spencer Research Library poring over a medieval manuscript to analyze its carefully scrawled text, its unique contents and beautiful illustrations, and the marginal comments that preserve evidence of how the texts were read hundreds of years ago. My current research explores English translations and adaptations of popular French literary texts, giving attention to issues of gender, politics, educational strategies, and neglected individual manuscripts. Recent courses have included gender in premodern literature, adaptations of medieval stories into modern literary texts and fantasy novels, Arthurian literature, and “skin” as a theoretical construct that interconnects topics such as race, gender, martyrdom, and medicine.
My scholarship illustrates my commitment to studying gender, manuscripts, and the relationship of French and English literary culture in the later Middle Ages. My first monograph – Feminized Counsel and the Literature of Advice in England, 1350-1500 – analyzes Middle English political literature that represents women as wise, beneficial counselors to kings. In particular, I investigate the ways that, rather than define masculine authority against women, male poets develop their authority as writers of advice alongside such women characters, and in the ways that these positive depictions of women challenge the dominant misogynist tradition that depicted women as inferior and powerless.
Recently, my critical edition of two English translations of Christine de Pizan's Epistre Othea was published by the Middle English Texts Series. This volume is the product of almost a decade of research on various manuscripts and early printed editions of the Othea, which included discovering a neglected sister-manuscript for the Lytle Bibell of Knyghthod, analyzing Stephen Scrope’s mode of translating French, and identifying the British Library, Harley 219 manuscript of the Othea as copied by the famous fifteenth-century poet Thomas Hoccleve.
My current monograph revises English literary history to establish Christine de Pizan as a major influence on fifteenth-century English literary culture. Although most authors vocally place themselves in the masculine English lineage of “father” Chaucer, my analysis of texts and manuscripts demonstrates that Hoccleve, Lydgate, and other writers drew far more on Christine’s works than has been recognized.
14th- and 15th-century English literature; gender and political literature; Christine de Pizan and French literature in England; manuscript studies; and translation studies.
Selected Publications —
Christine de Pizan’s Advice for Princes in Middle English Translation: Stephen Scrope’s Epistle of Othea and the Anonymous Lytle Bibell of Knyghthod (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Press, 2020). (critical edition)
Feminized Counsel and the Literature of Advice in England, 1350-1500 (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2014). (monograph)
“A New Hoccleve Literary Manuscript: The Trilingual Miscellany in London, British Library, MS Harley 219.” Review of English Studies (expected 2019; advanced access available).
“The Lytle Bibell of Knyghthod, Christine de Pizan’s Epistre Othea, and the Problem with Authorial Manuscripts.” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 118 (2019):100-28.
“Rethinking Gender and Language in Stephen Scrope’s Epistle of Othea,” Journal of the Early Book Society 21 (2018): 97-121, 322.
"Proverbial Fools and Rival Wisdom: Lydgate's Order of Fools and Marcolf." The Chaucer Review 49.2 (2014): 204-27.
“Barnyard Pedagogy: An Approach to Teaching Chaucer's Nun's Priest's Tale.’ Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching 20 (2013): 19-40.
"Controlling the Uncontrollable: Love and Fortune in Book I of the Confessio Amantis." ES: Revista de Filología Inglesa, Special Issue: Gower in Context(s). Scribal, Linguistic, Literary and Socio-historical Readings, 33.1 (2012): 75-89.
“‘Thing which a Man Mai Noght Areche’: Women and Counsel in Gower’s Confessio Amantis.” The Chaucer Review 42.1 (2007): 91-109.
Awards & Honors —
- National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2021-2022, for “Patriarchy, Politics, and Christine de Pizan’s Influence on English Literature, 1400-1478” (monograph in progress)
- Hall Center for the Humanities, Mid-Career Research Fellowship, KU, 2019-2020
- Hall Center Faculty Colloquium: Comparative Literature in the Age of Deglobalization, Fall 2018.
- Shirley Cundiff Haines and Jordan L. Haines Faculty Research Fellowship in English, University of Kansas, Spring 2018.
- Hall Center for the Humanities, Humanities Research Fellowship, University of Kansas, Fall 2016.
- Humanities General Research Fund Award, University of Kansas, 2014, 2015, 2019.
- Conger-Gabel Teaching Professor, 2013-2016
- American Association of University Women American Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, 2012-2013
- International Travel Funds for Humanities Research, KU Office of International Programs, 2012
- Mabel S. Fry Graduate Teaching Award, 2012
- Finalist for the H.O.P.E. (Honor for Outstanding Progressive Educator) Award, Senior Class of 2010