BA Amherst College, English and French (2007)
MPhil., Cambridge, Faculty of English (2009)
My research uses modern narrative theory, de-construction, and queer theory, as well as medieval rhetoric and ethics, to open up new readings of vernacular texts from the High to the Late Middle Ages. More specifically, my dissertation examines the two most prominent lyrico-narrative genres of the French Middle Ages, studying verse romances and the dits together. I argue that their juxtaposition highlights the startling queerness—defined with such thinkers as Butler and Edelman as the resistance to any stable conception of identity or figuration—characteristic of both. Each chapter pairs different verse romances and dits, and takes up a different question of interest to queer theory. The first chapter challenges the notion that the binary opposition of first- to third-person pronouns betokens radically opposing conceptions of subjectivity; instead, focusing on Christine de Pizan’s Duc des vrais amans, Machaut’s Fontaine amoureuse, and Chrétien’s Chevalier de la charrete, I argue that verse romances and the dits set out precisely to challenge the clarity of the contours of the subject. The second chapter investigates the ethical and rhetorical stakes of transgressive narrative poetics (specifically “metalepsis”) in Partonopeu de Blois, the Roman de Silence, and Froissart’s Prison amoureuse. The third chapter examines the pertinence of queer/deconstructive challenges to referentiality to the thirteenth- and fourteenth-century phenomenon of lyric insertion; I concentrate on Jean Renart’s Roman de la Rose, Jakemés’s Roman du Châtelain de Couci et de la Dame de Fayel, and Nicole de Margival’s Dit de la panthère. Finally, the fourth chapter brings together Guillaume de Machaut and Chrétien de Troyes, highlighting and juxtaposing the political and poetical (or, in more medieval terms, ethical and rhetorical) ambivalence characteristic of the work of each.
“De la filiation à la subversion: les modalités et enjeux des répétitions dans Aucassin et Nicolette et le Roman de Silence.” Florilegium 32 (2015).
“‘The Beast that therefore Chrétien is’: the Poetics, Logic, and Ethics of Beastliness in Yvain.” Exemplaria 27.4 (2015).
“Queering Temporality and the Gender Binary in Flamenca.” Postmedieval 7.3 (2016).