Susanna Fein

Susanna Fein

Department of English
Contact Information


Susanna Fein is Professor of English and Coordinator of the A&S Minor in Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies (AMRS). She has served terms as English Department Chair, Undergraduate Studies Coordinator, and Chair of the Ph.D. Program in Literature. 

Professor Fein’s research focuses on the literatures, languages, and manuscripts of medieval England, ca. 1100-1500. She edits the quarterly academic journal The Chaucer Review ( and is the recipient of numerous grants from the NEH and elsewhere. Professor Fein serves on the advisory/editorial boards of Oxford Bibliographies in Medieval Studies, the Archive of Early Middle English, the Teaching Association of Medieval Studies (TEAMS), the TEAMS Middle English Texts Series, and The Journal of the Early Book Society. She has also served as a Trustee of the New Chaucer Society and held terms on the KSU Press Editorial Board and the KSU Foundation Board of Trustees. A 2001 KSU Retention Grant allowed the English Undergraduate Studies Center to be established.

Professor Fein frequently undertakes archival research in England on medieval manuscripts. What she discovers there renews her teaching of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, the legends of King Arthur, and manuscript studies. She looks for students who enjoy literature, history, and languages and who are curious about human differences across time.

  • Interpreting Manuscript Digby 86: A Trilingual Household Book from Thirteenth-Century Worcestershire. Manuscript Culture of the British Isles, York Medieval Press. Woodbridge, Suffolk UK: Boydell & Brewer, 2019.
  • The Roland and Otuel Romances and the Anglo-Norman Otinel. Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 2019. (Ed. with Elizabeth Melick and David Raybin)
  • Chaucer: Visual Approaches. University Park: Penn State UP, 2016. xxvi, 292 pp. 68 color/29 b&w illustrations. (Ed. with David Raybin).
  • The Auchinleck Manuscript: New Perspectives. Manuscript Culture of the British Isles 7, York Medieval Press. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer, 2016. xii, 253 pp.
  • The Complete Harley 2253 Manuscript in Three Volumes. Volume 1-3. Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 2014-15. (Ed. and trans., with translational collaboration of David Raybin and Jan Ziolkowski).
  • Robert Thornton and His Books: Essays on the Lincoln and London Manuscripts. Manuscript Culture of the British Isles 5, York Medieval Press. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer, 2014. (Ed. with Michael Johnston).
  • Chaucer: Contemporary Approaches. University Park: Penn State UP, 2009. Softcover reprint, 2011. (Ed. with David Raybin).
  • My Wyl and My Wrytyng: Essays on John the Blind Audelay. Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 2009.
  • John the Blind Audelay, Poems and Carols (Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Douce 302). Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 2009.
  • Studies in the Harley Manuscript: The Scribes, Contents, and Social Contexts of British Library MS Harley 2253. Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 2000.
  • Moral Love Songs and Laments. Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1998.
  • Rebels and Rivals: The Contestive Spirit in The Canterbury Tales. Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1991. (Ed. with David Raybin and Peter C. Braeger).
Recent Articles and Chapters
  • "Early Middle English in Trilingual Manuscripts: Eruptions, Collisions, Colloquies." Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History 14 (2019): forthcoming.
  • "The Middle English Poetry of MS Digby 86." In Interpreting Manuscript Digby 86. Ed. S. Fein. York Medieval Press. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer, 2019.
  • "All Adam's Children: The Early Middle English Lyric Sequence in Oxford, Jesus College, MS 29 (II)." In Middle English Lyrics: New Readings of Short Poems. Ed. Julia Boffey and Christiania Whitehead. Cambridge UK: Boydell & Brewer, 2018. Pp. 213-26.
  • "The Harley Scribe's Early Career: New Evidence of a Scribal Partnership in MS Harley 273" Journal of the Early Book Society 19 (2016): 1-30.
  • "Standing under the Cross in the Pardoner's and Shipman's Tales." In Chaucer: Visual Approaches. Ed. Susanna Fein and David Raybin. University Park PA: Penn State UP, 2016. Pp. 115-38.
  • "The Thyng Wommen Loven Moost': The Wife of Bath's Fabliau Answer." In Medieval Women and their Objects: Essays in Honor of Carolyn P. Collete. Ed. Jenni Adams and Nancy Mason Bradbury. Ann Arbor: U Michigan P, 2016. Pp. 15-38.
  • "Literary Scribes: The Harley Scribe and Robert Thornton as Case Studies." In Insular Books: Vernacular Manuscript Miscellanies in Late Medieval Britain. Ed. Margaret Connolly and Raluca Radulescu. Proceedings of the British Academy 201. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Pp.61-79.
  • "The Fillers of the Auchinleck Manuscript and the Literary Culture of the West Midlands." In Makers and Users of Medieval Books: Essays in Honour of A.S.G. Edwards. Ed. Carol M. Meale and Derek Pearsall. Woodbridge, Suffolk: D.S. Brewer, 2014. 60-77.
  • "Of Judges and Jewelers: Pearl and the Life of Saint John." Studies in the Age of Chaucer 36 (2014): 41-76
  • "The Four Scribes of MS Harley 2253." Journal of the Early Book Society 16 (2013): 25-49.
  • "The Contents of Robert Thornton's Manuscripts." In Robert Thornton and His Books: Essays on the Lincoln and London Manuscripts. Ed. Susanna Fein and Michael Johnston. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer, 2014. Pp. 13-65.
  • "John Audelay and James Ryman." In A Companion of Fifteenth Century Poetry. Ed. J. Boffey and A. S. G. Edwards. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell and Brewer, 2013. 127-41.
  • “English Devotions for a Noble Household: The Long Passion in Audelay’s Counsel of Conscience.” In After Arundel: Religious Writing in Fifteenth-Century England. Ed. V. Gillespie and K. Ghosh. Turnhout: Brepols, 2012. 325-42.
  • “Mary to Veronica: John Audelay’s Sequence of Salutations to God-Bearing Women.” Speculum 86 (2011): 964-1009.
Reference Articles
  • "Thornton, Robert." In Oxford Bibliographies in Medieval Studies. Ed. Paul E. Szamach. New York: Oxford UP, 30 Aug 2016.
  • "Harley 2253 Manuscript." In Oxford Bibliographies in Medieval Studies. Ed. Paul E. Szamach. New York: UP, 31 Mar 2016,
  • “John Audelay.” Oxford Bibliographies in Medieval Studies. Ed. P. E. Szarmach. New York: Oxford UP, 26 Aug 2013.
  • “The Lyrics of MS Harley 2253.” In A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, 1050-1500. Vol. 11. Ed. Peter G. Beidler. New Haven: Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2005. Pp. 4168-4206, 4311-4361.
  • Chaucer Studies
  • Middle English Literature
  • Medieval English Manuscripts
  • Medieval Lyric
  • Archive of Early Middle English: Advisory Board
  • Early Book Society: Editorial Board, JEBS
  • Institute for Bibliography & Editing (Kent State University): Fellow
  • International Piers Plowman Society
  • John Gower Society
  • Medieval Academy of America
  • Medieval Association of the Midwest (MAM)
  • Medieval Song Network (University College London): Core Group Member
  • Middle English Texts Series, TEAMS (University of Rochester): Advisory Board
  • New Chaucer Society:
    • Trustee (2006-10);
    • Nomination Committee Chair (2009-10)
    • Committee on Teaching Chaucer in High School (2014-present)
  • Oxford Bibliographies in Medieval Studies: Editorial Board
  • Teaching Association for Medieval Studies (TEAMS): Editorial Board
Research Areas
  • Chaucer
  • Middle English Poetry
  • Medieval English Manuscripts and Culture
  • Textual Editing
  • Anglo-French Literature


A.B. University of Chicago, M.A. University of Virginia, Ph.D., M.A. Harvard


Chaucer, Medieval Literature, Medieval Manuscripts, Medieval English History, Arts and Humanities, Language or Literature, Medieval Language or Literature, European ancient, medieval and Renaissance culture, British medieval literature and history, British and French manuscripts, and study abroad initiatives in the UK


  • 2008 Department of English Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring Award Recipient,
  • 2010 Bloomfield Fellow in Medieval English Studies, Harvard University,
  • 2014 Visiting Professor of English, University of Notre Dame,
  • 2017 Outstanding Research and Scholarship Award
  • 2017 President's Faculty Excellence Award
  • Director of NEH Seminars for Secondary School Teachers, London, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014,
  • Director of NEH Seminar for College Teachers, Kent, Ohio 2016,

Research Institutes and Initiatives

Global Understanding Research Initiative