Tel: 310.206.8939 / Fax: 310.267.4339 / E-mail
•B.A. Reed College
•M.A., Ph.D. Duke University
Medieval literature and drama; medieval intercultural encounter; the medieval Mediterranean; theories of history, culture, and performance; medieval Islam and Arabic.
•“Memory, Wonder, and Desire in the Travels of Ibn Battuta and Ibn Jubayr,” in Remembering the Crusades, ed. Suzanne M. Yeager and Nick Paul (forthcoming).
•“Medieval Studies in the 21st Century: Arabic in the Medieval World,” PMLA, Summer, 2009.
•“Romance,” in The Cambridge Companion to Middle English Literature, ed. Larry Scanlon (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
•“Middle-Earth, the Middle Ages, and the Aryan Nation: Myth and History during World War II,” in Tolkien the Medievalist, ed. Jane Chance, (Routledge, 2002).
•“Thinking Globally and Acting Locally in the Fifteenth-century Robin Hood Ballads,” in The Letter of the Law: Law and Literature in Late Medieval Culture, eds. Candace Barrington and Emily Steiner, (Cornell University Press, 2002).
•Alliterative Revivals (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002)
Chris Chism joined the faculty of UCLA in 2009, after holding positions at Rutgers University, and Allegheny College. Between 2003 and 2005, she was the recipient of a New Directions Mellon fellowship to learn Arabic and study Islamic culture. Since completing her first book on late medieval alliterative romance, she has been working on several projects. The first, Mortal Friends: The Politics of Friendship in Medieval England, explores the social force of friendship as it is tested in a range of late medieval texts, from romances, to court-poems, to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, to Robin Hood ballads. The second project, Strange Knowledge: Translation and Cultural Transmission in the Arabic and English Middle Ages, juxtaposes the great eighth- through tenth-century ‘Abbasid translation movement of Greek, Byzantine, and Pahlavi texts into Arabic with the equally avid post-twelfth-century translation of Arabic texts into Latin and English. This juxtaposition illuminates the complex interdependent processes by which both medieval Islamic and medieval Christian writers come to remake their visions of the world, the astronomical heavens, the secrets of God, and human rationality. Chris Chism has also been working on the medieval Arabic and European travel narratives of Ibn Battuta, Ibn Jubayr, John Mandeville, and Marco Polo; and the Middle English and Arabic Alexander romances. She enjoys teaching classes on medieval romance, the cultures of the Middle Ages, medieval drama and performance theory, and medieval dissent literature.