Graduate Students

Our graduate students bring to the Medieval Studies Program a wide range of interests from departments across the College of Letters and Sciences. For some of their accomplishments please visit graduate fellowships, prizes, awards, and publications.

Jess Bailey
Art History

Jess Genevieve Bailey studies medieval art with a focus on manuscripts and early works on paper. Her dissertation engages visual histories of war, abjection, masculinity, and gendered violence within the Middle Age's militarisation of gunpowder. Jess is the recipient of funding through a consolidator grant from the European Research Council under the direction of Professor Beate Fricke at the University of Bern, Switzerland.

Precarious Lines: Drawing the Abject Body

Isobel Boles
Department of Scandinavian

Isobel earned dual Bachelor of the Arts degrees in Classics, and German and Scandinavian Studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2015. While there, she studied Latin, Ancient Greek, Old Norse, Swedish, and Old Irish languages and literature. She has taken summer courses at Háskóli Íslands and Háskólasetur Vestfjarða in modern Icelandic as well, and has attended the Uppsala International Summer Session to study Swedish. Her current academic interests include the riddarasögur, theories of medieval translation and adaptation, and literary interactions between Scandinavia, France, and the British Isles during the Middle Ages. She is also interested in echoes of medieval Scandinavian literary themes in modern works, such as the novels and stories of Selma Lagerlöf and Sigrid Undset.

Molly Bronstein
Department of Comparative Literature

I focus on vernacular reinterpretations of the Classics in the late Middle Ages, namely in: French, English, and Italian.  In particular I am interested Ovid's reception, and the transmission of Trojan War narratives.

molly [dot] bronstein [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Jon Cho-Polizzi
Department of German
Program in Folklore

My research investigates the symbolic function of early vernacular literature and its role in larger community forming rituals in Late Medieval and Early Modern urban spaces.

jcpolizzi [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Amy Clark
Department of English

My current research includes projects on Old English poetic syntax, Anglo-Saxon and Latinate riddle traditions, and reiteration or itineraria as a literary device.

amy [dot] w [dot] clark [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Fred Dulson
Department of French

I work primarily on French literature of the High Middle Ages, with special focus on the formal dynamics of romance and the development of vernacular historiography. My work also concerns the place of the medieval within modern intellectual history and critical theory. 

fdulson [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Mahel Hamroun
Department of History

I am interested in the intersection of magic and folk tradition with medieval perceptions of identity, particularly around the time of Christianization in Northern Europe. 

mhamroun [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Bernardo Hinojosa
Department of English

I study the literature and religious thought of Late Medieval and Reformation England, with particular interests in codicology, the history of information, and Piers Plowman.

b [dot] hinojosa [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Marian Homans-Turnbull
Department of English

I study Middle English and related literatures, with particular interest in the relationship between literary thought and natural philosophy.

marianhomansturnbull [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Sara Ann Knutson
Department of Scandinavian

Sara Ann is interested in the movement and cross-cultural encounters of the Scandinavian diaspora based on its literature, material culture, and traces in landscapes. Her academic interests include mobility and the movement of people over time and space, the influence of cross-cultural encounters on religious mentalities, cultural identity, and memory, materiality, and digital methods in history.

sara_knutson [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Michelle Lee
Department of French

My topics of interest are medieval literature, multicultural studies, feminism, queer theory, and translation. My favourite authors are Marie de France, Thomas of Britain and Béroul, and the anonymous poets of Roman d’Enéas and Roman de Silence.

Matthew Mason
Department of Italian Studies

My principle fields of research comprise Trecento Italian vernacular poetry and prose; medieval and (proto)humanistic Latin literature; relations between literary form, narratology, and history; reception of classical authors; Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio.

mlmason [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Peter Michelli
Department of History

I am interested the political and social history of the Italian peninsula during the central Middle Ages, especially relating to the Church in the Kingdom of Sicily under Emperor Frederick II. I also enjoy studying Medieval Latin and Italian literature. 

pm15 [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Lukas Ovrom
Department of French

Medieval and early modern French literature; Old French romance; farce theatre; codicology and related disciplines; literary theory and translation.

Joel Pattison
Department of History

I'm interested in Latin and Arabic legal and notarial evidence for the presence of Italian merchant colonies in the Islamic world during the later middle ages, and particularly in questions of trade and legal disputes between Muslims and Christians.  My dissertation will examine Genoese merchant communities in North Africa between the 12th and 14th centuries. 

Shokoofeh Rajabzadeh
Department of English

In my research, I theorize the racialization of Muslims and Islamophobia in premodern England. Before starting my PhD at UC Berkeley, I received an MPhil from the University of Oxford. I am a founding member and current leader in the Medievalists of Color organization, where I commit my time and energy to activist work in academia and the field of medieval studies. My publications include: "The Intellectual Body, the Body Intellectual: Embodied Criticism in Medieval Studies" (solicited and submitted to American Historical Review, 2019); "The Depoliticized Saracen and Muslim Erasure" (forthcoming in Literature Compass, 2019); "Alisaundre Becket: Thomas Becket’s Resilient, Muslim, Arab Mother in the South English Legendary" (forthcoming in postmedieval); "Whiteness in Medieval Studies Workshop: A Reflection Emotional Labor" (the blog, In the Middle). I am currently working on an article, "Teaching Race in the Arthurian Literature Classroom," commissioned for MLA's Approaches to Teaching the Arthurian Tradition.

srajabzadeh [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Landon Reitz
Department of German

My primary research interest is late medieval German theological literature especially mystical thought, writings, and practice.

reitzls [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Michelle Ripplinger
Department of English

I study Middle English poetry and devotional literature from fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England, with particular interest in the history of reading, medieval literary thought, and the places of women as readers and subjects of writing. 

ripplinger [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Andrew Sears
History of Art Department

Gothic art and architecture; cults of saints, hagiography, relics and reliquaries; late medieval urbanism; collecting culture.

asears [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Max Stevenson
Department of English

I study Old English and Anglo-Latin literatures, with a special interest in manuscript studies and liturgical texts.

Jenny Tan
Department of Comparative Literature

I study French Arthurian romance with a particular interest in narrative theory and genre studies. My current work focuses on the interface between French and Welsh Arthurian literature.

jenny_tan [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Rosie Taylor

Rosie’s love of the medieval period began in childhood and never left. Starting in 2008 she spent two summers on an archaeological dig in Iceland, where she became hooked on Viking-Age Scandinavia. She earned her B.A. in Medieval Studies from Smith College in 2012 with a focus on Old English language and Old Norse literature. In 2013 she spent six months in Sweden studying Swedish and traveling Scandinavia. Her primary interests include the Viking voyages to the Middle East, particularly cross-cultural influence and the balance of trade and violence, and the development of medieval vernacular grammar.

Tiffany White
Department of Scandinavian

My main focus is on the early Church in Iceland. I am particularly interested in Old Icelandic adaptations of continental saints' lives. Additional interests include Middle High German and Middle Dutch literary influence in Iceland, ecocriticism, vernacular theology, the indigenous Icelandic romances, and nationalism in Iceland.

Melissa Winters
Department of German

Melissa Winters is a PhD candidate in German and Medieval Studies. She arrived in her current field by way of musicology: prior to beginning the doctoral program in German literature at UC Berkeley, she earned the MA and MPhil in music theory at Yale University and the BA in music at Mills College. Her dissertation examines Wagner’s reception of the courtly literary tradition of the thirteenth century. 

“Building the Hall of Song: Richard Wagner and the Middle High German Blütezeit”