Sarah Mc Namer


Associate Professor


Department of English
General profile



+1 202-687-7601




Office hours

Spring 2017: W 4:45-6:00pm & by appointment; TA on M 7:30-9pm


Sarah McNamer is Associate Professor of English and Medieval Studies. Her primary interest is in the relation between literature and the history of emotion. Her book, Affective Meditation and the Invention of Medieval Compassion, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2010, received the "Book of the Year" award from the Conference on Christianity and Literature. Current projects include a book in progress, The Poetics of Emotion in Middle English Literature, and a critical edition and translation of the short Italian version of the pseudo-Bonaventuran Meditations on the Life of Christ from the unique manuscript likely to reflect the original version of this influential work. The latter will be published in the William and Katherine Devers Series on Dante and Medieval Italian Literature, University of Notre Dame Press, in the fall of 2017.

Courses she teaches at the undergraduate and graduate levels include Chaucer, Medieval European Literature, Medieval Performance, Medieval Emotion, and Global Medieval Literatures.

McNamer’s honors and awards include a Rhodes Scholarship, a Junior Fellowship at the Harvard Society of Fellows, and research fellowships from the American Association of University Women, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2012 she was awarded a Visiting Distinguished International Fellowship by the Australian Research Council's Centre for the History of Emotions.

McNamer has received degrees from Harvard University (B.A. 1987), Oxford University (M.Phil. 1990), and the University of California, Los Angeles (Ph.d. 1998).


  • Ph.D. (1998) U.C.L.A., English
  • M. Phil. (1990) Oxford University, Medieval English Studies
  • B.A. (1987) Harvard University, English