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Courtney Rydel

Assistant Professor of English

Courtney Rydel 


~Ph.D. in English, University of Pennsylvania, 2012

~M.A. in English, University of Pennsylvania, 2008

~B.A. in English, summa cum laude, with minors in Creative Writing and Classics, The College of New Jersey, 2006


My current book project traces the British reception and translation of the Golden Legend, a collection of saints’ lives that became one of the most popular medieval books.  This understudied text contributed in important ways to models of gendered behavior and women’s piety, to the history of biblical translation and publishing, and to the development of authorial identity and tradition in English literature.  This is the first study to give a sustained consideration to the English translations of the Golden Legend together, and to explore the role of women and gender specifically in the Golden Legend.



“A Discovery of the Only Middle English Version of the Legenda aurea Prologue in The Assembly of Gods,” Notes and Queries, forthcoming.

Review of Richard W. Pfaff’s The Liturgy in Medieval England: A History,Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures, Spring 2012 (38.1).

Review of Emma Gatland’s Women from the Golden Legend: Female Authority in a Medieval Castilian Sanctorale, Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures, forthcoming.

Review of Thomas Meyer’s Beowulf: A Translation, for Jacket2, forthcoming.


“Inventing a Male Writer in Mechtild von Hackeborn’s Booke of Gostlye Grace,” under consideration for the Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures.



Writing and rhetoric, medieval literature, translation theory, medieval and early modern women’s writing, material texts from manuscript to digital, Chaucer, Dante, Christine de Pizan, romance and hybrid genres, women mystics’ texts, national identity, saints’ lives, and gender and sexuality studies.

Professional Affiliations

Delaware Valley Medieval Association

Early English Text Society

Hagiography Society

Modern Languages Association

Medieval Academy of America

New Chaucer Society

Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship