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E453 South College

Faculty Bio

Jenny Adams, Professor, holds a Ph.D. and an A.M. in English Literature from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in English Literature and French Language and Literature from UCLA. Her current research focuses on academic debt and university life in late medieval England. To this end she is working on a monograph provisionally titled “Degrees of Collateral: Books, Borrowing, and the Business of Medieval Oxford.”  She has articles on this topic in the Journal of the Early Book Society (forthcoming), The Library, New College Notes, and Writers, Editors, and Exemplars in Medieval Texts (ed. Sharon Rowley). Her work also appears in a short, popular piece, “The History of Student Loans Goes Back to the Middle Ages” which she wrote for The Conversation.

Her past research has been on chess and political organization in the late Middle Ages.  Her publications on this subject include her book, Power Play: The Literature and Politics of Chess in the Late Middle Ages (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006); her edition of William Caxton’s The Game and Playe of the Chesse (TEAMS Middle English Texts series, 2009); and articles in Studies in the Age of Chaucer, the Journal of English Germanic Philology, Essays in Medieval Studies, The Chaucer Review, and the Journal of Popular Culture. (And yes, she has something to say about The Queen’s Gambit.) With Nancy Bradbury (Smith College) she edited an essay collection titled Medieval Women and Their Objects (University of Michigan Press, 2017).  

She has won fellowships from the ACLS, NEH, Newberry Library, and Mellon Foundation.  She has taught a wide variety of courses including: Chaucer, Arthurian Legends, Major British Authors, Medieval Dream Poetry, Medieval Travel Narratives, Utopian/Dystopias, Old English, and Society and Literature.