Professor Kate Narveson—an M.Phil in history from London’s Warburg Institute and a Ph.D. from the U of Chicago in Renaissance lit—loves introducing students to medieval and Renaissance literature. A scholar who has written on seventeenth-century devotional poets such as John Donne and George Herbert, she also studies the history of reading and writing, and has recently published Bible Readers and Lay Writers in Early Modern England: Gender and Self-definition in an Emergent Writing Culture (Ashgate, 2012). In it, she explores how immersion in the Bible among layfolk gave rise to a non-professional writing culture, one of the first instances of ordinary men and women taking up the pen as part of their daily lives. A classical violinist who now fiddles at local folk dances, Kate also designs and knits her own sweaters and helps run a resort on a Minnesota lake. Kate’s recent marriage to a solar electric specialist has added to the department’s voltage.
"Like a foreign culture, fascinating in its strangeness and yet somehow still compelling and human, medieval and renaissance literature can open up our minds in ways that literature closer to home might not. Bon voyage!"