Tara Williams

Tara Williams
Associate Professor of English

Office: Moreland 222
Phone: 541-737-1642
Email: tara.williams at oregonstate.edu

Ph.D. Rutgers University 2004
B.A. University of Florida 1997

Tara Williams teaches and works on medieval literature and culture, with a particular focus on fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Middle English texts.  Her essays on Chaucer, Margery Kempe, and gender studies have appeared in journals such as Exemplaria, Chaucer Review, Modern Philology, and Studies in the Age of Chaucer.  She has also published on teaching the Middle Ages through multimedia in Pedagogy and on the role of the History of the English Language course in twenty-first-century literary studies in Profession.  In her recent book, Inventing Womanhood: Gender and Language in Later Middle English Writing (Ohio State University Press, 2011), she examines how ideas about womanhood evolved in the wake of the plague and traces a new set of terms—including womanhood and femininity—that Middle English writers coined to explore those changing ideas.  Her current project considers the connections between magic, spectacle, and morality in fourteenth-century texts (including Sir Orfeo, Lybeaus Desconus, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and the Canterbury Tales); a related article is forthcoming in New Medieval Literatures.  She has been named the Morton W. Bloomfield Fellow at Harvard University for 2011-12.

Areas of Specialization
Chaucer and medieval literature; visual culture in the Middle Ages; representations of marvels; women writers and gender studies; pedagogy