Susan Deskis

Susan Deskis

Professor
Medieval Literature and Language

Office: RH 324
Email: sdeskis@niu.edu

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. Harvard University; 1991
  • B.A. Cornell University; 1985

Professional Interests

  • Old English literature
  • Medieval proverbs

Research Interests

I am a philologist and literary historian studying the transmission of ideas and verbal structures in the literature of the Middle Ages. My research frequently focuses on the proverb as a point of entry into the problems of literary and cultural history, but I am also interested in the larger structures of literary genre.

Selected Publications

Alliterative Proverbs in Medieval England: Language Choice and Literary Meaning. (Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 2016). 

"Proverbs and Structure in Maxims I.A," Studies in Philology 110 (2013), 667-89. 

"Exploring Text and Discourse in the Old English Gnomic Poems: The Problem of Narrative,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 104 (2005), 326-44. 

“‘The longe man ys zeld wys’: Proverbial Characterization and Langland’s Long Will,” with Thomas D. Hill, Yearbook of Langland Studies 18 (2004), 73-79. 

"Jonah and Genre in Resignation B," Medium Ævum 67 (1998), 189-200. 

"Beowulf" and the Medieval Proverb Tradition, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies 155 (Tempe: Arizona State University, 1996). 

"The Gnomic Woman in Old English Poetry," Philological Quarterly 73 (1994), 133-49.  

Contact us

Northern Illinois University
Department of English
Reavis Hall, Room 215
DeKalb, IL 60115

815-753-0611
815-753-0606 (Fax)