About

I am currently an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Graduate Teaching Fellow in the Department of English at Agnes Scott College. My research and teaching focus on book history and material culture, medieval and early modern literature, religion, the history of emotions, and gender studies. On this website, you will find pages about my teaching and research, including courses I have designed, my materially-engaged pedagogy, my work on several digital editions of medieval manuscript rolls, and announcements about upcoming conference sessions and other news.

My articles have appeared in New Medieval Literatures, the Journal of Medieval Religious CulturesMedieval Sermon Studies, and Notes & Queries, and I have two forthcoming in Medieval Feminist Forum and PedagogyI will receive my PhD in English from Emory University in May 2019. My current project is a study of Early Middle English religious literature (the Katherine Group), manuscripts, and the group’s reception history up to the present, including the influence of Sir Robert Cotton’s antiquarianism and J. R. R. Tolkien’s early scholarship. The project also engages with affect theory and the history of emotions, especially sympathy, as I analyze the Katherine Group saints’ lives and sermons as affective instruction for all lay people.

Within medieval studies, I have organized many conference sessions and several conferences, including the 2018 meeting of the Medieval Academy of America at Emory and the 2012 conference “Preaching the Saints” at Harvard University. I was also recently elected to the advisory board of the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship. Outside of medieval studies, I am an advocate for higher education issues. Addressing the (ultimately defeated) graduate student tax proposal, I published op-eds in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and MLAgrads (the website of Modern Language Association’s Committee on the Status of Graduate Students in the Profession), and I was featured in The New York Times. U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga) entered my Atlanta Journal-Constitution column into the Congressional record on November 16, 2017, as the House debated the proposed bill.

Before coming to Emory for my PhD, I studied English Literature and Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and I received a master’s degree in Religion, Literature, and Culture from Harvard University. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, cooking, gardening, and cross stitching.

 

Contact Information
jcbleds@emory.edu
Academia.edu
Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *