Getting to Know Professor Rydel
1) When did you decide to go into your field of study? Why?
In high school I had been told that “We don’t study women writers because for most of history, women were not educated, and so they did not write real literature.” In annoyance at this patently absurd claim, I started researching women writers on my own. Then my first major literature class in college, British Literature to 1680, prominently featured women writers. I was HOOKED. Not only did these women exist, but they were brilliant, and they were famous and popular in their own time. I started gobbling up Marie de France, Julian of Norwich, and Christine de Pizan, and then I picked up allegorical poetry that had inspired them, then I started reading medieval drama, chivalric romances, the classical epics that were the foundation for later works–anything I could find in the library. Once a professor casually mentioned that she and her husband were “medievalists,” I had a name for what I wanted to do.
2) What was the first book you read and loved?
I cannot remember a time before I loved books. I have probably reread Pride and Prejudice more times than anything else.
3) What is your favorite word?
4) Do you have any hobbies?
Yoga, needlework, sewing, crochet, biking, cooking, Apples to Apples, and travel (usually appended to a conference).
5) Who is your favorite author?