McNamara, Rebecca
Humanities 149
Tel: 310.825.4173
Fax: 310.267.4339
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DPhil, University of Oxford (2010)
MSt, University of Oxford (2006)
BA, Baylor University (2005)

Fields of Interest

 Middle English literature (esp. 1300-1450); law and politics of late medieval England; history of emotions; linguistic approaches to literature; death and dying in the Middle Ages 

 Selected Publications

 “A is for Affeccioun: Strategies for the History of Emotions in the Classroom,” The Once and Future Classroom (forthcoming). 

 “The History of Emotions and Middle English Literature,” Literature Compass 13.6 (2016), 444-56 (with Stephanie Downes). 

 “Wearing your Heart on your Face: Reading Lovesickness and the Suicidal Impulse in Chaucer,” Literature and Medicine 33.2 (2015), 235-55. 

 “The Sorrow of Soreness: Infirmity and Suicide in Medieval England,” Parergon 31.2 (2014), 11-34. 

 “Emotional Responses to Death and Dying in Medieval and Early Modern Europe,” Parergon 31.2 (2014), 1-10 (with Una McIlvenna).

 Medieval and Early Modern Emotional Responses to Death and Dying, special issue of Parergon 31.2 (2014) (co-edited with Una McIlvenna).

“Unlocking the Silences of the Self-Murdered: Textual Approaches to Suicidal Emotions in the Middle Ages,” Exemplaria 26.1 (2014), 58-80 (with Juanita Feros Ruys).

“ ‘Diversity in setting of words makes diversity in understanding’: Bureaucratic and Political Language in Thomas Usk’s Testament of Love,” New Medieval Literatures 14 (2012), 165-199. 

 Additional Information

 Rebecca F. McNamara's research focuses on the history of emotions in late medieval English literature and culture, particularly emotions related to death and dying. She also works on the linguistic, cultural, and literary intersections of law, politics, and bureaucracy in late medieval England. McNamara completed her graduate study at Oxford on the language of law and bureaucracy in the writing of Geoffrey Chaucer, Thomas Usk, and Thomas Hoccleve, re-theorizing their use of the vernacular in literature. At Oxford she was a college tutor in medieval literature and linguistics, and she served for three years as the Junior Dean of Exeter College. In 2011, McNamara was appointed to a three-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship with the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, Europe: 1100-1800 ("CHE"). After completing her postdoc, she taught as a Lecturer in English at the University of Sydney, and she remains an honorary research fellow of the CHE. At UCLA, McNamara teaches medieval literature, including the two upper-level Chaucer courses on Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde. She enjoys seeing students develop a fascination with the texts, language, and culture of the medieval past and with the ways that medieval literature and culture can relate to contemporary cultural moments.