Denise Despres

Denise DespresProfessor, English
Humanities Program Committee Member

BA, University of Notre Dame, 1979
MA, PhD, Indiana University, 1980, 1985

Denise Despres teaches interdisciplinary courses in Medieval cultural studies. She is currently researching the relationship between religious rites and medical practice in the late-Middle Ages.

Her publications include: “Portals to Intimacy,” for English Language Notes, Special Issue on Medieval Materiality (Fall/Winter 2015); “Thomas of Monmouth and Commemorative Violence,” in Teaching the Other: Jews in Medieval England (The New Middle Ages Series, Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming); “Iconography and Iconoclasm: Christian Doctrine and Religious Heterodoxy,” in The Oxford Handbook to Chaucer ( Oxford University Press, 2015); “Ecstasy and Intimacy: The Material Culture of Medieval Devotional Literacy,” in The Blackwell Companion to British Literature ( Oxford University Press, 2014); and “Adolescence and Interiority in Aelred’s Lives of Christ,” in Mapping Medieval Lives of Christ ( Brepols, 2014).

She reviewed Michael D. Bailey’s Fearful Spirits, Reasoned Follies. The Boundaries of Superstition in Late Medieval Europe (Cornell University Press, 2013) for Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft (2017).

Denise presented her paper “The Object in the Text: Incarnational Theology and the Virgin’s Girdle” at the Medieval Association of the Pacific in Los Angeles (April 17, 2017) and spent part of the summer of 2017 studying medieval leechcraft books at the Huntington Library. She recently lectured on “The Barber Surgeons and the York Cycle” at a symposium entitled "First Do No Harm: On the Interplay of Folklore, Myth, and Medicine from the Ancient World to the Renaissance and Beyond," at the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (June 2, 2018).