Research Groups

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Research Groups


Research Groups

The Digital Premodern
Faculty Coordinators: Matthew Vernon (English) and Claire Waters (English)

This 2014-15 research cluster, funded by the Davis Humanities Institute,, brings together scholars whose work focuses on the classical, medieval, and early-modern periods to consider how digital approaches have influenced the study of early literatures and cultures, and what both areas might learn from each other. The cluster is sponsoring several speakers over the course of the year and will host a one-day symposium on May 2, 2015, featuring speakers from the University of Toronto, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Washington University in St. Louis. To be added to the mailing list, please contact


Recent Medieval and Early Modern Dissertations: Completed

  • Rachel Reeves (2016; Mellon Public Scholars Program Manager) "Politeness and Power: Anglican Clergy and the Authority of Manners, 1689-1750" (History; Sally McKee)
  • Sara Petrosillo (2016; Visiting Assistant Professor, Franklin and Marshall College) "Pluck off Her Bells and Let Her Fly: Falconry as Medieval Reading Practice" (English; Seeta Chaganti)
  • Heather Jennings (2015; now Academic Dean, The Ambrose School) "Pedagogy, Delivery, Drama: Performance in the Later Middle Ages" (English; Seeta Chaganti)
  • Kristen Aldebol (2014; now Lecturer at Clemson University) "Managing a Literate Laity: The Pilgrimage of the Life of Man in Fifteenth-Century England" (English; Seeta Chaganti)
  • Barbara Zimbalist (2013; now Assistant Professor of English at the University of Texas, El Paso) "Christ's Speech in Medieval Women's Visionary Texts" (English; Claire Waters)
  • Kendra Smith (2009; now Intellectual Property Analyst, UC-Davis InnovationAccess, and Lecturer, UC-Davis English) "Courtly Knots: Feminine Translatio in British Courtly Literature, 1300–1450" (English; Claire Waters) 
  • Candace Hull Taylor (2007; now Assistant Professor at Merced College) “Reading Prudence: Allegorical Representations of the Cardinal Virtue in Classical, Patristic and Medieval Literature” (English; Claire Waters)
  • Tina Boyer (2007; now Assistant Professor of German at Wake Forest University) "Giants and Dwarves in Middle High German Literature" (German; Winder McConnell, emeritus)
  • Brad Busbee (2006; now Chair of English at Samford University) “N. F. S. Grundtvig's Interpretation of Beowulf as a Living Heroic Poem for the People” (English; Marijane Osborn)
  • Michael Edwards (2004) "Geometric Theology and the Meaning of Clannesse in the Poems of the Pearl Manuscript" (English; Margaret Ferguson)
  • Janice Hawes (2004; currently Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Superior) "Monsters, Heroes and Social Identity in Medieval Icelandic and English Literature" (English; Marijane Osborn)
  • Shennan Hutton (History) "Women and Economic Activities in Fourteenth-Century Ghent, a Medieval Flemish City" (Awarded Fulbright full grant for research in Belgium, 2003–04). Shennan Hutton now works for The History Project on the UCD campus.
  • Katie Kalpin (2006; currently Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina-Aiken) "Charming Tongues: Representations of Women's Speech in Early Modern England" (English; Fran Dolan)
  • Brooke Newman (History; Joan Cadden) "Betwixt Brutes and Invisible Spirits: The Uncertainty of the Human and the English Press, 1650-1750".  Brooke Newman is assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.
  • Patty Turning (History) “The Making of French Toulouse: State Building, Social Relationships and Civic Identity in Medieval Languedoc, c. 1250-1350” (Awarded the first Birgit Baldwin Fellowship from the Medieval Academy of America for research in France on medieval history).  Patricia Turning is adjunct professor at Arizona State University.
  • Jake Whittaker (History; Susan Mann) "Indigenous Elites and Cultural Brokerage in Late Imperial Yunnan: The Lu-ho Polity, the Feng Family Native Prefects, and Nasu Yi Civilization in Wuding, 1174-1745".  Jake Whittakeker is teaching at Sacramento City College.


Medieval and Early Modern Dissertations: In Progress

  • Cordelia Ross (English; Claire Waters) Unearthing England: Conquest and Identity in Underground Narratives, 1150-1250
  • Lisa Justice (History; Joan Cadden) Fourteenth-century Scottish origin mythology and historiography
  • Sean Marsh (History; Beverly Bossler) Foreign communities in Chinese port cities during the Song dynasty (10th-13th centuries)
  • Anne Salo (Comparative Literature; Brenda Schildgen)
  • Monica Keane (Comparative Literature; Brenda Schildgen)