Lynn Staley

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Lynn Staley

Harrington and Shirley Drake Professor of the Humanities; Chair, Department of English

Department/Office Information

English and Creative Writing
411 Lathrop Hall

BA, University of Kentucky, 1969; MA, PhD, Princeton University, 1973

Chaucer, medieval literature and culture, Spenser, early Renaissance literature

Chaucer, the Gawain-poet, Margery Kempe and other medieval women writers, Spenser, Ricardian culture

  • The Black Ellesmere Shipman
  • Following Chaucer: Offices of the Active Life (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2020)
  • The Island Garden: England’s Language of Nation from Gildas to Marvell, (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2012).
    Book cover of "The Island Garden" by Lynn Staley
  • Languages of Power in the Age of Richard II (Penn State Press, 2005)
  • Dictionary of the Middle Ages, Supplement 1, W. C. Jordan, ed., J. Kaye and L. Staley, associate editors (NY: Charles Scribners Sons, 2004)
  • The Book of Margery Kempe, edited and translated (Norton Critical Editions, 2001)
  • The Powers of the Holy: Religion, Politics, and Gender in Late Medieval English Literature with David Aers (The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996)
  • The Book of Margery Kempe, complete text, modernized spelling, and notes, Middle English Text Series, TEAMS (The Medieval Institute, 1996)
  • Margery Kempe's Dissenting Fictions (1994).
  • The Shepheardes Calender: An Introduction (1990)
  • The Voice of the "Gawain"-Poet (1984)
  • "Love and Courtship," in Dictionary of the Middle Ages, Supplement 1 (NY: Charles Scribners Sons, 2004)
  • "Translating Communitas," in Imagining a Medieval English Community" (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004)
  • "Personal Identity," in A Companion to Chaucer (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2000)
  • "Pearl and the Contingencies of Love and Piety," in Medieval Literature and Historical Inquiry. Essays in Honor of Derek Pearsall (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2000)
  • "The Pearl Dreamer and the Eleventh Hour" in Text and Matter, a New Critical Perspective of the Pearl-Poet (1991)
  • "Huntington 140: Chaucer, Lydgate and the Politics of Retelling," (Retelling Tales, 1997)

A number of articles on medieval and Renaissance literature in journals including Studies in the Age of Chaucer, The American Benedictine Review, The Chaucer Review, Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Mediaevalia, Modern Philology, Speculum, Traditio, The Spenser Newsletter, Spenser Studies and Studies in Philology; contributions to The Chaucer Encyclopedia; reviews in American Notes and Queries, Mediaevalia et Humanistica, Renaissance Quarterly, Spenser Newsletter, Speculum

Book review editor for books on English literature for Speculum, the journal of the Medieval Academy of America; evaluator for NEH fellowships
Trustee, New Chaucer Society, 2012-2016

  • NEH Fellow, 2003-04
  • Guggenheim Fellow, 2003-04
  • Member, Institute of Advanced Study, 2008-09
  • Ruth and Clarence Kennedy Professor, Smith College, 2015-16