406 Herter Hall
B.A. Oberlin College, 1997; M.A. Brown University, 2003; Ph.D. 2007.
Jessica Barr's research interests include medieval visionary and dream vision literature, hagiography, and the role of reading in medieval devotional activity, as well as feminist approaches to medieval literature. Geographically, her focus tends to be on France, Germany, Belgium, and Britain; temporally, it lies in the twelfth through the fourteenth centuries. Her current book project, "Medieval Mystics and the Hermeneutics of Devotion," explores how models of textual engagement in visionary and hagiographic literature encourage affective and embodied reading practices as devotional activity. Her first book, Willing to Know God: Visionaries and Dreamers in the Middle Ages (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2010) argues for concurrent readings of visionary literature and dream vision poetry based on their related understandings of the vision as an epistemological tool. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she was Associate Professor of English and Chair of the Humanities Division at Eureka College.