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Areas of Interest: Medieval Studies and Shakespeare

Gail Orgelfinger, Senior Lecturer Emerita in English, received a B.A. in English from The George Washington University, graduating With Distinction, With Departmental Honors, and Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her A.M. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, specializing in English and French medieval literature. Her dissertation, revised and published by Garland Medieval Texts, was an edition of The Hystorye of Olyuer of Castylle (New York: Garland, 1988). She received an NEH grant to study “Lay Life in the Middle Ages” at Indiana University, developing an interest in chivalric narrative. She is a Founding Member of the International Joan of Arc Society and is writing a book on English constructions and reconstructions of the saint. She recently contributed the annotations for “Joan d’Arc” to a new edition of Mary Hays’s Female BiographyMemoirs of Women Writers, ed. Anna M. Fitzer & Gina Luria Walker, eds., Part II (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2012).

The many courses on medieval studies and medievalism Dr. Orgelfinger teaches include “The Literature of Chivalry,” “Images of Joan of Arc,” “The British King Arthur,” and “Robin Hood in Legend and Film.” Her interests in medievalism (in Leslie Workman’s words, “the continuing process of creating the Middle Ages”) have led to publications on “J.K. Rowling’s Medieval Bestiary,” in Studies in Medievalism XVII and “Carl Dreyer’s Passion Play in La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc and Jesus” (Film & History CD-ROM Annual, 2003). She also has a new review published in Digital Philology 5.1 (Spring 2016) on Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski’s The Strange Case of Emine de Reims: A Medieval Woman Between Demons and Saints. 

At UMBC, she is actively involved with the English Honors Program and the Honors College, which named her its 1998-99 Teacher of the Year, a Faculty Fellow for 2008-10 and 2012-14, and Fellow of the Year for 2013-14.