Larissa Tracy

Associate Professor of Medieval Literature

Dr. Tracy’s specialties and areas of interest include Old English/Middle English language and literature, Old Norse/Icelandic literature, Old French fabliaux, Celtic literature, Chaucer, hagiography, feminist/gender studies, cultural studies, social justice, violence and obscenity in medieval literature, medieval romance, early biblical texts, medieval medicine and law, monstrosity, J.R.R. Tolkien, codicology, paleography and manuscript transmission. She has lectured and published extensively on comparative studies of torture and punishment in literature of the medieval world, her main area of specialty.

She is editor of the international academic journal for the American Society of Irish Medieval Studies, Eolas, and the general editor for the Brill books series Explorations in Medieval Culture. She serves as vice president of the international professional organization Monsters: the Experimental Association for the Research of Cryptozoology through Scholarly Theory And Practical Application (MEARCSTAPA). She co-founded and co-directs Longwood’s annual regional undergraduate research conference in medieval studies, for which she won the Waverly Cole Award for Undergraduate Research Mentorship (2013).

She is a graduate of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and Florida State University.


Publications / Media References

She is the author of Torture and Brutality in Medieval Literature: Negotiations of National Identity and Women of the Gilte Legende: A Selection of Middle English Saints’ Lives. She edited Castration and Culture in the Middle Ages and co-edited Heads Will Roll: Decapitation in the Medieval and Early Modern Imagination. She is currently working on a co-edited volume on wounds and wound repair in the Middle Ages, due out in 2014. Tracy has twice been a guest recently on the statewide NPR program With Good Reason and has appeared in National Geographic and Discovery Channel documentaries.

Areas of Expertise