Jessica Brantley

Associate Professor of English

Address: LC 106/305
Phone: 203-432-2227
Office hours
On leave Fall 2013

Ph.D., UCLA, 2000
M. Phil., Cambridge University, 1994
A.B., Harvard University, 1992

I am interested in the cultures of medieval reading as they are preserved in manuscripts. My recent book, Reading in the Wilderness, shows that the format of a late-medieval miscellany reveals surprising connections between the private reading of a meditative lyric and the public performance of civic drama. Other projects in process address the material and literary forms of Chaucer’s “Tale of Sir Thopas,” the role of the artifact in visionary writing from the Dream of the Rood to Julian of Norwich, and the relation between late-medieval vernacular literature and the book of hours.


--“Forms of Reading in the Book of Brome.”  In Form and Reform:  New Studies in the Long Fifteenth Century, ed. Kathleen Tonry and Shannon Gayk.  Columbus, OH:  Ohio State University Press (forthcoming 2010).

-- “The Pre-History of the Book.”  PMLA 124.2 (2009):  1-15.

--“Venus and Christ in Chaucer’s Complaint of Mars:  The Fairfax 16 Frontispiece.”  Studies in the Age of Chaucer 30 (2008):  171-204.

--Reading in the Wilderness: Private Devotion and Public Performance in Late Medieval England (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007).

-- “Vision, Image, Text.” in 21st Century Approaches to Literature: Middle English, ed. Paul Strohm (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 315-34.
--“The Iconography of the Utrecht Psalter and the Old English Descent into Hell,” Anglo-Saxon England 28 (1999):  43-63.  (Winner, Van Courtland Elliott Prize for 2001)

UNDERGRADUATE COURSES: Major English Poets, Advanced Prose, Chaucer, Medieval Women Writers and Readers, Introduction to Manuscript Study, Medieval Dream-Vision, Medieval Manuscripts to New Media, Medieval Drama and Medieval Lyric

GRADUATE COURSES: The Canterbury Tales, Teaching Practicum, Medieval Visionary Writing, Medieval Drama