Jenny C. Bledsoe is a PhD candidate in English Literature at Emory University specializing in medieval literature, book history, and gender studies. In her research, Jenny connects multilingual twelfth- and thirteenth-century British religious literature to both Old English and later medieval vernacular theology, devotional literature, and material culture. In particular, she studies the early thirteenth-century Katherine Group, its manuscript context, and reception history. Her dissertation is entitled “The Katherine Group and the Construction of Medieval Literary History.” Jenny received the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship’s Foremothers Fellowship to conduct manuscript research at the British Library and National Library of Wales. Jenny has scholarly articles forthcoming in New Medieval Literatures, Medieval Feminist Forum, and Pedagogy, and has published on hagiography and manuscript studies in the Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures, Medieval Sermon Studies, and Notes & Queries.
Jenny has received fellowships and grants from the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship, the Folger Shakespeare Library, Yale University’s Beinecke Library, the Humanities Intensive Learning and Teaching (HILT) Digital Humanities Institute, the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, the Hagiography Society, and various departments at Emory, Harvard University, and the University of Tennessee. Jenny worked for two years as a Writing Program Fellow at Emory with a focus on pedagogy and curriculum development in first-year writing. She is the former president of Emory’s Early Modern and Medieval Colloquium, a group which invites faculty speakers to campus and provides opportunities for graduate students to present their work in progress. Jenny is currently the Vice President of the University of Tennessee’s Young Alumni Council; in this role, she is leading the council to focus on legislative advocacy to promote the interests of the university and protect all students’ right to study and live in a welcoming campus community.
An active conference presenter and organizer, Jenny is currently serving as the Assistant to the Program Committee for the Medieval Academy of America’s 93rd Annual Meeting at Emory University (March 1–3, 2018). She has organized two other conferences, the Triennial Conference of the Harvard Committee on Medieval Studies—“Preaching the Saints: Sermons, Art, and Music in the Later Middle Ages”—in honor of Professor Beverly Kienzle (2012) and the University of Tennessee Marco Institute’s inaugural Undergraduate Conference in Medieval and Renaissance Studies on the theme, “Mysticism, Heresy, and Witchcraft” (2011). Jenny is an active session organizer at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she has coordinated special and sponsored sessions for six years in a row. Past sessions include a roundtable on “Saintly Bodies: Manuscripts, Materiality, Movement” (with Lynneth J. Miller, Baylor University) and panels on “Voice, Dialogue, and Conversation in Later Medieval Religious Literature,” “Speech, Performance, and Authority in Later Medieval Religious Literature,” “Global Sanctity: Demons and the Demonic” (for the Hagiography Society), “Women’s Words: Female Instruction in the Medieval British Isles” (with Lainie Pomerleau, University of Georgia), and “‘Hit iseie aboc iwrite’: Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century Vernacular Devotional Manuscripts” (for the Early Middle English Society with Carla Maria Thomas). For the 2018 Congress, Jenny is organizing a session with Ashley Laverock (Savannah College of Art and Design) on “Multi-faceted Margarets: Textual and Visual Hagiographies of Margaret of Antioch.”
Jenny holds an M.T.S. in Religion, Literature, and Culture from Harvard University, Divinity School and a B.A. in English Literature and Religious Studies with minors in Latin and History from the University of Tennessee.