Director of Medieval Studies, Professor of French
Deborah McGrady is the current Director of Medieval Studies and specializes in late-medieval francophone literature and culture. Areas of teaching and research interest include book culture, reader reception, authorship, patronage, art and economics, and gender theory. Her most recent book is The Writer’s Gift or the Patron’s Pleasure? The Literary Economy in Late Medieval France . She also serves as the Executive Editor of Digital Philology: A Journal of Medieval Cultures. Her current research project focuses on the literary and artistic treatment of Joan of Arc from medieval to modern times.
- Bachelor of Arts (BA), University of Maryland, Baltimore County
- Master of Arts (MA), University of California, Santa Barbara
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of California, Santa Barbara
Deborah McGrady is a specialist of late-medieval French literature and culture. Her work has dealt with key period writers, such as Guillaume de Machaut, the subject of her first monograph, Controlling Readers: Guillaume de Machaut and His Late Medieval Audience (Toronto University Press, 2006, rpt. 2012) and Christine de Pizan, the subject of her first edited collection, Christine de Pizan: A Casebook, co-edited with Barbara Altmann, Routledge Press (2003, rpt. 2016). Interested in the culture of material artifacts, she has explored in her research reader reception, the materiality of texts (from the codex to the digitized text), and the dynamics of literary economies. Her recent book on The Writer’s Gift or the Patron’s Pleasure? The Literary Economy in Late Medieval France (Toronto University Press, 2018) complicates current assumptions about the history of literary patronage through a study of author’s tempered reactions to the royal literary commission at the courts of Charles V and Charles VI of France. She is currently engaged in two book projects that explore new arenas: a monograph on the uses and abuses of Joan of Arc from medieval to modern times and a monograph on the “Poetics of Trauma during the Hundred Years War.” A strong promoter of new scholarship, she also serves as Executive Editor of Digital Philology: A Journal of Medieval Cultures (Johns Hopkins UP).
Honors and Professional Activities
Executive Editor, Digital Philology: A Journal of Medieval Cultures, John Hpkins Universtiy Press (2019-)
2013-2015 French Embassy Grant for “Making Medieval Poetry,” Co-Principal Investigator with Helen Solterer, Duke University
2011-2013 Andrew Mellon Foundation Grant for “Machaut in the Book: Representations of Authorship in Late Medieval Manuscripts.”
2010-2011 Gould Foundation Fellowship, National Humanities Center, Research Triangle, North Carolina
2002 – 2003 Mellon Fellowship, Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana
1997 – 1999 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Medieval Institute, Western Michigan University
- Arts and the Nation
- Joan of Arc across the Ages
- Heroes and Villains in the Middle Ages
- Gender, Sexuality, and Identity Politics in Pre-Modern France
- Poetry in Motion
- Art and War
- Textual Bodies
- The Writer’s Gift or the Patron’s Pleasure? The Literary Economy in Late Medieval France. Toronto University Press (December 2018).
- “Textual Bodies, the Digital Space, and Intimacy: Machaut’s Corpus as Process in the Judgment Cycle,” Digital Philology: A Journal of Medieval Cultures. 5.1 (2016).
- “Textual Bodies and Manuscript Matters: The Case of Turin State Archives, MS J.b.IX.10,” Mediaevalia (2019).
- “Joan of Arc and the Literary Imagination,” Cambridge Companion to French Literature, ed. John D. Lyons. (Cambridge University Press, 2016).
- “Que tous se rallïent: Alain Chartier and Pierre de Nesson on Poetic Peace and the Dangers of Debate,” A Companion to Alain Chartier (c. 1385-1430): Father of French Eloquence, eds. Daisy Delogu, Joan McRae, Emma Cayley. (Brill, 2015). 183-99.
- "Rethinking the Boundaries of Patronage," Special Issue Digital Philology, (Fall 2013) Volume 2 Number 2, 145-154.
- “Guerre ne sert que de torment: Remembering War in the Poetic Correspondence of Charles d’Orléans,” Commemorating Violence: The Writing of History in the Francophone Middle Ages, Noah Guynn and Zrinka Stahuljak, eds. (Boydell and Brewer, 2012).
- “Reading for Authority: Portraits of Christine de Pizan and Her Readers,” Medieval Authorship: Theory and Practice, eds. Steve Partridge and Erik Kwakkel (Toronto University Press, 2012).
- “Machaut and His Material Legacy,” A Companion to Guillaume de Machaut (Brill Academic Publishing, 2012), 361-86.
- “De ‘l’onneur et louenge des femmes’: Les dédicaces épistolaires du Débat sur le Roman de la Rose et la réconfiguration du champ littéraire” in « Publics et publications dans les éloges collectifs de femmes à la fin du Moyen Age et sous l’Ancien Régime, » Renée-Claude Breitenstein, Special Issue, Etudes françaises 47.3 (2011), 11-28.