Research Areas research areas


  • Samantha Katz Seal is a scholar of the human body and human difference in medieval English literature, with a particular focus on mechanisms of heredity and reproduction. Bringing the history of medicine together with feminist theory, her research has two major foci: the genealogical innovations (and anxieties) of medieval English poets, and the role played by heredity within developing race supremacist ideologies (particularly anti-Judaism) in the late Middle Ages. Her work has been supported by a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.

    Her first book, "Father Chaucer: Generating Authority in 'The Canterbury Tales" (Oxford University Press, 2019) offers a provocative new reading of Geoffrey Chaucer's masterpiece, "The Canterbury Tales," noting how Chaucer returned again and again to metaphors of paternity when crafting his vision of poetic creation and authority. Her current book project, "Before They Were White: Making Race Supremacy in Late Medieval England," reconsiders the competing theories of racial supremacy that circulated in late medieval England, arguing against the inevitability of modernity's "race science." She is also the co-editor, along with Nicole Nolan Sidhu, of two special journal issues about contemporary feminist theory and medieval studies, including "New Feminist Approaches to Chaucer" The Chaucer Review 54.3 (2019) and "New Feminisms" postmedieval 10.3 (2019). Dr. Seal's digital project, "Death in Childbirth: Memory, Maternity, and Premodern Europe, 1000-1700," a searchable index of 300 premodern women who died in childbirth, can be found at www.premodernmaternalmortality.com.

    Dr. Seal serves on the editorial board of Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies and on the Executive Committee for the MLA Chaucer Forum. She has also previously served as an advisory board member for the Society of Medieval Feminist Scholarship. Her work has been published in Studies in the Age of Chaucer, The Chaucer Review, Religion + Literature, and postmedieval, as well as within multiple edited collections.

    For more information on Dr. Seal's work, see https://www.samanthakatzseal.com/
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    2021 Chaucer's Women: Sex and the Scholarly ImaginationThe Chaucer Review.  56:322-322. 2021
    2019 Feminist intersectionality: Centering the margins in 21st- century medieval studiesPostmedieval.  10:272-278. 2019
    2019 New Feminist Approaches to Chaucer: IntroductionThe Chaucer Review.  54:224-229. 2019
    2019 “Chaucer’s Other “Wyf”: Philippa Chaucer, the Critics, and the English Canon,”The Chaucer Review2019
    2018 In PartusPostmedieval.  9:388-399. 2018
    2017 Reading Like a Jew: Chaucer's Physician's Tale and the Letter of the LawThe Chaucer Review.  52:298-317. 2017
    2014 Pregnant Desire:The Chaucer Review.  48:284-306. 2014
    2012 Miraculous History: Fictions of Text and Body in a Ritual Murder TrialReligion and Literature.  44. 2012
    2010 To Speak of Silence: Clemence of Barking’s Life of St. Catherine and Her Vision of Female WisdomMagistra2010


    Year Title
    2020 Rethinking Medieval Margins and Marginality.  Ed. Zimo, Ann.  2020
    2019 Father Chaucer: Generating Authority in The Canterbury Tales 2019


    Year Title
    2017 The Canon Yeoman’s Tale: Invention, Discovery, Problem-Solving, and Innovation 2017

    Teaching Activities

  • Sp Top Lit/Race in Middle Ages Taught course 2022
  • Intro to Digital Humanties Taught course 2021
  • Old English Taught course 2021
  • Professional Preparation Taught course 2021
  • Chaucer Taught course 2021
  • Intro to Women in Literature Taught course 2021
  • Graduate Study of Literature Taught course 2020
  • Intro to Digital Humanties Taught course 2020
  • Intro to Digital Humanties Taught course 2020
  • English Major Seminar Taught course 2018
  • Intro to Women in Literature Taught course 2018
  • Literary Topics Taught course 2018
  • Medieval Epic and Romance Taught course 2018
  • British Lit I Age of Heroes Taught course 2017
  • Graduate Study of Literature Taught course 2017
  • Special Topics in Literature Taught course 2017
  • Writing about Literature Taught course 2017
  • Special Topics in Literature Taught course 2016
  • Survey of British Literature I Taught course 2016
  • Sem/Medieval Literature Taught course 2016
  • Survey of British Literature I Taught course 2016
  • Chaucer Taught course 2015
  • Survey of British Literature I Taught course 2015
  • Education And Training

    Full Name

  • Samantha Seal