Academics Eileen Harney - Mellon Humanities Fellow
Eileen Harney's research is rooted in Old and Middle English texts and Latin sources, and explores the development of individual traditions across the medieval period from Late Antiquity to fifteenth-century England. Though her research approaches religious subjects from a literary perspective, she also draws on philosophical and theological writings from that period.
Eileen has taught courses covering a wide range of Western literature. These classes have included Introduction to Poetry and Bible as Literature as well as courses on Women's and Gender Studies, most recently at the University of New Orleans. Eileen says that she has a keen interest in student academic welfare and opportunity, and that her experience in non-academic positions, particularly as a residence Don at the University of Toronto, have influenced her teaching style and method. "As a result," she states, "my teaching is very student-focused. One-on-one meetings and reviews of my students' more difficult and complex projects are incorporated into each of my courses. I believe this approach greatly benefits the students and permits them a deeper appreciation of their strengths and affords them understanding of their problem areas."
Eileen’s primary field of study is the literary tradition of the sexualized and gendered tortures of female saints. Her additional research interests include medieval women’s spirituality, the treatment of early saints’ lives in the Middle Ages, gender motifs in the early and medieval Christian traditions, and contemporary depictions of the tormented female body. Other scholarly interests include Arthurian literature, the works of C. S. Lewis, and apocryphal texts.
B.A., Boston College, 2000; M.A., University of Toronto, 2001; Ph.D., University of Toronto, 2008; Marlboro College 2010 -