University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Visiting Professors

For over thirty years, the Medieval Studies Program has hosted the Charles A. Owen, Jr. Visiting Professor to teach an intensive graduate seminar during the month of September. Below is a list of recent Visiting Professors and their courses.

Charles A. Owen, Jr. Visiting Professor for the Fall 2016

The Medieval Studies program is pleased to announce the Charles A. Owen, Jr. Visiting Professor for the Fall 2016 semester: Francis Gingras, Professor in the Department of French Literature and Centre for Medieval Studies Director, Université de Montréal.

Please visit:

Course Title: Anglo-Norman Literature: From the Channel to the Mediterranean 

Course Instructor: Francis Gingras

At the risk of being a little provocative, one could argue that French literature was born in England. Indeed, with some of the earliest writings produced in England at the very beginning of the twelfth century, and some more copied and transmitted throughout the Angevin Empire for the next two centuries, Anglo-Norman manuscripts have largely contributed to the validation of French as a literary language.
This course will focus on the development of French language and literature in the Anglo-Norman context. We will pay special attention to the interrelations between insular French, continental French, and the Norman Court of Sicily. For the latter, we will study the Sicilian settings in romances such as Floriant et Florete and Guillaume de Palerne, from both intertextual and political perspectives, looking at the interplay between these romances and their Arthurian counterparts, as well as the contextual questioning of Norman rule over Sicily. Through that exploration we should be able to study how, for more than three centuries, the French of England was the language of a political elite, from the English Channel to the South of Italy.
The peculiar situation of a multilingual England will also be studied through the phenomenon of translation, with particular consideration for twelfth- and thirteenth-century biblical translations and paraphrases. With these texts, we can trace how the singularity of a sociolinguistic context can change texts, even those aiming towards universality.

Former Visiting Professors

2015: Dyan Elliott, Northwestern University, “The Medieval Church as School for Scandal”

2014: Henrike Lähnemann, School of Modern Languages, Newcastle University, “The Nuns’ Manuscripts”

2013: Barbara Bombi, School of History, University of Kent, “The Medieval Papacy”

2012: Julia Boffey, Queen Mary, University of London, “Being an Author, 1450-1550”

2011: Simon Horobin, University of Oxford, “Reading the Medieval Book”

2010: Paul Russell, University of Cambridge, “The Learned Contexts of Literature in Medieval Ireland and Wales”

2009: Daniel Wakelin, University of Cambridge, “The Implications of Material Texts”

2008: Henrietta Leyser, University of Oxford, “Piety and Place in England 1000-1300”

2007: Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, University of York, “The French of England: Documentary and Literary Cultures”

2006: Robert Mills, King’s College, University of London, “The Body of the Medieval Friend”

2005: Diane Watt, University of Wales, “Women and Writing in the Middle Ages”

2004: Miri Rubin, Queen Mary, University of London, “Mary – An Intimate History of Christian Culture”

2003: James Simpson, University of Cambridge, “Suffering History: Exemplary Lives in Medieval Literature”

2002: Donald Scragg, University of Manchester, “The Editing of Old English”

2001: Derek Pearsall, Harvard University, “Text and Image, 1200-1500”

2000: Maire Ni Mhaonaigh, University of Cambridge, “Medieval Irish Narrative Literature”

1999: Andy Orchard, University of Cambridge, “Riddle Traditions of Early England”

1998: Miri Rubin, University of Oxford, “Medieval Bodies”

1997: James Simpson, University of Cambridge, “Lydgate and His Circle”

1996: Miri Rubin, University of Oxford, “Reading Medieval Voices”

1995: Piero Boitani, University of Rome, “Late Medieval Narrative: Italian to English” (class held Spring 1996)

1994: Douglas Gray, University of Oxfrod, “Word and Image in Medieval Literature”

1993: David Luscombe, University of Sheffield, “Abelard”

1992: Peter Brown, Princeton Universtiy, “Literature and History”

1991: Helen Cooper, University of Oxford, “Images of Women in Medieval Literature”

1990: Joerg Fichte, University of Tübingen, “The Middle English Arthurian Verse Romance”