Judith Tschann

Professor Emerita, English

Stock Profile Photo


Ph.D. in English, Stony Brook Univ., New York

B.A. with honors in English and Humanities, Univ. of Minnesota


Academic Interests and Areas of Expertise

  • Medieval Studies: Old and Middle English Language and Literature

  • Historical linguistics, especially pertaining to multilingualism in medieval England

  • Manuscripts and paleography

  • Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

  • Literary Theory pertaining to metaphor

  • Shakespeare's Macbeth

Professional Background

Judith Tschann specializes in medieval literature, working especially on Chaucer, humor, medieval modes of reading, and multilingualism in medieval England. She co-authored, along with M.B. Parkes, an analysis of a thirteenth-century collection of works, MS Digby 86 (EETS, Oxford UP, 1996). She has received an NEH Fellowship and Summer Stipends, Outstanding Teaching awards, and the 2009-10 Professor of the Year Award. Her non-academic writing includes an historical novel set in the thirteenth century. She was chair of the English Department for a number of years, as well as chair of the curriculum committee and member of the faculty review committee. Most of all she enjoys working with her students to bring old literature alive.


Courses Taught

ENGL 362 Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

ENGL 222 Shakespeare's Plays after 1600

ENGL 402 History of Literary Criticism

ENGL 142 Intro to Linguistics

History of English

Language Theory

Latin tutorials

Jane Austen

First-year seminars on Shakespeare and Film

Senior Seminars on Comedy

Travel courses in England and in Salzburg

Mothers and Daughters

Many introductory courses in literature and writing

Homer in translation


"Facsimile of MS Digby 86," with an introduction by Judith Tschann and M.B. Parkes. Early English Text Society ss 16. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1996. (100-page analysis of a 13th century manuscript)

"The Mind Distended: The Miller's Tale, Summoner's Tale, and the Retraction." Chaucer's Humor. Ed. J. Jost. NY: Garland P, 1994. 349-378.

"The Layout of ‘Sir Topas' in the Ellesmere, Hengwrt, Cambridge Dd.4.24, and Cambridge Gg.4.27 Manuscripts." Chaucer Review 20 (1985): 1 – 13.

Book reviews in the Ruminator Review.

Awards, Honors, Grants

Professor of the Year, UR 2009-2010

Outstanding Teaching Award, UR, 2009

Robert Morlan Award, UR chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, 2004

Commendation for Distinguished Performance, UR, 2003

NEH Summer Seminars, including "Old French Fabliaux," Yale, 2003

NEH Summer Stipend, to study multilingualism in medieval England, 1999

Certificate of Recognition, Calif. Legislature Assembly, 1995

Outstanding Research Award, UR 1994

NEH Fellowship, to study Canterbury Tales manuscripts, 1991-92

Invited Presentations

"Nicholas of Lyra's Model of Reading, and the Question of Literal Interpretation." New Chaucer Society, Swansea University, Wales, 2008.

"On Being a Student in the Year 1206: The Beginnings of the Universities in the West." Phi Beta Kappa guest lecture, Univ. of Redlands, 2006.

"Literalism in the Old French Fabliaux." Southeast Medieval Association, Charleston, SC, 2004.

"Macaronic Writing and Loanwords." New Chaucer Society, Glasgow, 2004.


Modern Language Association

Medieval Academy of America

New Chaucer Society