Jo Ann Moran Cruz is an associate professor of history at Georgetown University and former chair of the department. She is the co-founder and former director of the Medieval Studies program at Georgetown. She has directed International Initiatives in the Provost's Office at Georgetown and worked to establish Catholic Studies at Georgetown. She has held numerous positions in the Faculty Senate and has been involved with faculty governance at Georgetown in a great variety of areas, including athletics, continuing studies, and faculty/staff benefits. She has taught in Georgetown’s SFS program in Qatar, as well as in Georgetown’s programs in Florence, Italy and Alanya, Turkey. She has recently returned to the University after serving as Dean of Humanities and Natural Sciences at Loyola University, New Orleans from 2008-2012.
Her primary scholarly work has been in the field of late medieval education and literacy where she has published a prize-winning book, The Growth of English Schooling, and a number of articles on topics such as the methodologies for determining literacy, education and social mobility and common-profit libraries. She has co-authored a textbook on Medieval history, entitled Medieval Worlds, with Richard Gerberding; she has published a study of ordinations in the diocese of York between 1340-1530, and an article on popular attitudes towards Islam in medieval Europe. More recently she published “Dante, Purgatorio II and the Jubilee of Boniface VIII,” in Dante Studies and the second of two articles on E.M. Forster in Modern Fiction Studies.
Professor Moran Cruz is currently revising her often cited lecture on “The Roman de la Rose and Thirteenth-century Prohibitions of Homosexuality” for publication and co-writing a book on Religion and the State in the Islamic and Christian Worlds. She is also publishing an article on the figure of Matelda in Dante's Purgatorio, linking her with empire and with Dante's politics. She has been working, for several years, on a book tentatively entitled "A Question of Obedience: The Marital Tributions of an Elizabethan Family," a study based on surviving letters from the Willoughby family outside Nottingham, England.