My research explores literature and religious culture in the Middle Ages, especially England from around 1100 through the Reformation (1530s). I focus on the history of the Virgin Mary, visionary and mystical literature, monastic literary traditions, and women's writing.
How did medieval manuscripts and texts function as complex, sacred objects?
How did women readers and authors shape literature in the Middle Ages?
How did religion open up new opportunities for women to create and engage with texts?
In my work I pursue these questions through a combination of close textual analysis, theology, historicism, manuscript and material context, feminist criticism, and queer theory.
I am an associate professor in British literature and culture in the Department of Foreign Languages, at the University of Bergen, Norway. Here I co-lead the UiB Literature and Religion Research Group, and am PI for a project on the influence of St. Birgitta of Sweden in medieval England, with post-doc Dr. Katherine Zieman and PhD student Julia King (see Projects). I am also active in the UiB Medieval Studies Cluster.
At UiB I teach all levels in higher education, from undergraduate, MA coursework and supervision, doctoral level supervision, and extending into training for post-docs.
In my teaching I am particularly concerned with the 'whole researcher' – training students how to cultivate their intellectual curiosity, feel a satisfying emotional investment in academic discovery, and develop a strong set of healthy working habits to support them going forward.
At the introductory level I cover everything from Old English onwards. Over my years teaching at Yale, University of Michigan, and UiB, I have developed a range of specialized upper-level BA and MA seminars covering premodern topics, usually combined with modern theory. Arthurian Literature, Women's Writing, Chaucer, and Book History are staples.
I supervise a broad spectrum of MA thesis topics in English literature – everything from Sir Gawain to Gaskell to Le Guin. At the moment I am supervising a doctoral project on devotional manuscript circulation in fifteenth-century England, centered on Syon Abbey and Birgittine texts. I am available for PhD supervision within my research expertise.
During my years as program director (fagkoordinator) of the literature and culture section of the English program, I coordinated all teaching responsibilities for both BA and MA level. Since 2016 I have co-led the UiB PhD Research School in Literature and Culture, where I help train doctoral candidates in professional researcher skills and academic development. I regularly give lectures and workshops on career development and time management to different groups at UiB and elsewhere.
PhD, English Language and Literature, Yale University
MA, English Language and Literature, Yale University
MPhil, Medieval Studies, Yale University
MPhil, Medieval English Literature, Cambridge University
BA, English Literature and Medieval Studies, Brown University
Associate Professor (Førsteamanuensis), British literature and culture
Department of Foreign Languages, University of Bergen (UiB), Norway
Assistant Professor (non-tenure track)
Department of English, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Post-doctoral Fellow (4-year research fellowship)
Michigan Society of Fellows, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan