Joyce Coleman
Rudolph C. Bambas Professor of Medieval English Literature and Culture



Curriculum vitae          Bambas biography         OU MEMS



Office: 118 Gittinger Hall
Office phone: (405) 325-6220
(405) 325-0831
Mailing address
   English Dept.
   University of Oklahoma
   760 Van Vleet Oval
   Norman, OK 73019

Academic specialties
Iconography of the manuscript book

    Late medieval literary reception

    Patronage and literature


     B.A., Barnard College, New York
     M.A., University of Texas at Austin
     Ph.D., University of Edinburgh

Courses taught include

     Anglo-Saxon Literature in Translation

     Arthurian Literature

     Medieval English Romance
     Capstone: The Quest for the Holy Grail
     Medieval Film
     J.R.R. Tolkien: The Road to Middle Earth

     Malory and Caxton: From Script to Print
     Medieval Authorship



Joyce Coleman's interest in medieval literary reception, performance, and patronage was fired by the unexpected convergence of a B.A. in Medieval Studies and an M.A. in Anthropology / Folklore. She pursued this interest at Ph.D. level, publishing her dissertation in 1996 as Public Reading and the Reading Public in Late Medieval England and France (Cambridge University Press, 1996; paperback edition, 2005). Articles exploring many aspects of medieval literary culture have appeared in anthologies and in journals such as Speculum, Studies in the Age of Chaucer, Philological Quarterly, Cahiers de Litterature Orale, and the British Library Journal.


With art historian Kathryn Smith of New York University and French literary historian Mark Cruse of Arizona State University, Prof. Coleman is currently co-editing an anthology called The Social Life of Illumination: Manuscripts, Images, and Communities in the Late Middle Ages, to be published by Brepols (Turnhout, Belgium). With the help of grants from the Huntington Library and from the American Philosophical Society, she is also at work on a monograph, The Iconography of Late Medieval Vernacular Authorship. This will be the first book to analyze manuscript illustrations of authors writing, presenting, and reading books for the unique insights these pictures offer into the cultural landscape in which late-medieval literature took shape. After a visiting fellowship in 2011-12 at Clare Hall, Cambridge, she was recently elected a Life Member of the college.


Prof. Coleman enjoys teaching classes on Anglo-Saxon to late medieval literature as well as on modern uses of medieval material, such as "medieval films" and the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.