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Courtney Rydel

Assistant Professor of English

Courtney E. 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


Recently I was interviewed for a documentary on “Deadly Journeys of the Apostles” that aired on the National Geographic Channel in the United States as well as being seen worldwide.  This interview built on my expertise on the Legenda aurea or Golden Legend, a thirteenth-century collection of saints’ lives, as well as the teaching I do in the Bible as Literature class.  You can see a clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1h31m_02Vg


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.


“Interpretive Etymologies in Translations of the Golden Legend,” forthcoming in the Medieval Translator series (peer-reviewed essay collection), published by Brepols.


“Inventing a Male Writer in Mechtild von Hackeborn’s Booke of Gostlye Grace,” Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures, 40.2 (Winter 2014): 192-216.


Review of Heresy Trials and English Women Writers, 1400-1670, in Recusant History: A Journal of Research in Post-Reformation Catholic History in the British Isles, 32.1 (May 2014): 126-8 (invited review).


“A Discovery of the Only Middle English Translation of the Legenda aurea Prologue,” Notes and Queries, New Series 60.4 (2013): 508-512.


“Fits of Imagination,” Review of Thomas Meyer’s Beowulf: A Translation, for Jacket2, an online journal of contemporary poetry, 4 December 2013.  Accessible at: < http://jacket2.org/reviews/fits-imagination>


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



English 101: Every semester

Medieval Literature: Fall 2013, Fall 2015

Chaucer: Spring 2014 (anticipated Spring 2016)

Women’s Literature to 1800: Spring 2014

Anglo-Saxon Language and Literature: Fall 2014

Arthurian Romance: Spring 2015

Bible as Literature: Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Fall 2015

Introduction to Drama: Spring 2015


Teaching interests: Writing and rhetoric, digital humanities, 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