Karolyn Kinane

Professor of Medieval and Early Modern Literature, Co-Director of Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

BA, SUNY-New Paltz; PhD, University of Minnesota
Email: kkinane@plymouth.edu

Phone: 603-535-2402
Office: Ellen Reed 14

As an interdisciplinary scholar of Medieval Studies, my teaching and research activities revolve around early Christianity and pre-Enlightenment western spiritual practices, specifically medieval mystics and saints. My dissertation and subsequent publications try to uncover the everyday experiences of devotion among medieval English men and women.  Recently I’ve become interested in the connections between medieval and contemporary ways of perceiving and knowing. My current research project explores how New Age and Neopagan spiritual movements draw upon medieval concepts of revelation, reflection, and temporality.

In the classroom I also explore with students this interest in how we know, not just what we know.  I believe that a deep and thoughtful relationship with the past, with art and literature, can enrich students’ relationships to themselves and their contemporary world and so I design assignments that foster such connections. For example, creative and contemplative practices drive my General Education course entitled “Arthurian Legends,” where we use the tropes of the romance genre and the hero’s journey to explore our own ethical dilemmas, calls to action, and quests for meaning.


“The Issue of Relevancy: Contemplative, subjective, affective,”Creating the Pre-Modern in the Post Modern Classroom. Eds. Carole Levin and Anna Bertolet. Palgrave. Forthcoming.

Editor and introduction, with Meriem Pagès. The Middle Ages on Television: Critical Essays. McFarland Press. 2015.

“New Age Medievalisms,” Medieval Afterlives in Contemporary Culture. Ed. Gail Ashton. Bloomsbury Academic. 2014.

“Intuiting the Past: New Age and Neopagan Medievalisms,” Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception (3.2) 2013 p. 225-248.

Guest Editor, “New Age and Neopagan Medievalisms,” special issue of Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception (3.2) 2013.

“Contemplative Pedagogy, Enchantment, and the Medieval Past,”  postmedieval Forum IV October 2013.

“New Age Medievalisms,” Medieval Afterlives in Contemporary Culture. Ed. Gail Ashton (Forthcoming, Bloomsbury/Continuum Press)

“Arthurian Legends in General Education: An Example of Student-Centered Pedagogy.” Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching. Volume 20. Fall 2013.

“To imitate and inspire awe: Enclosure and audiences in the Katherine Group Saints’ Lives,” Magistra: Journal of Women’s Spirituality in History, 17.2 (December 2011): 32-52.

Editor, with Mike Ryan. End of Days: Essays on the Apocalypse from Antiquity to Modernity. McFarland Press. July, 2009.

“Prayer and the Cross: Models for Imitation in Ælfric’s Homily for Inventio S. Crucis.” The Place of the Cross in Anglo-Saxon England. Eds. Catherine E. Karkov, Sarah Larratt Keefer and Karen Louise Jolly. Boydell and Brewer, 2005.

Courses Taught

General Education:
Murder, Mayhem, Madness
Arthurian Legends

Medieval Literature
Love and Desire in Medieval and Renaissance Writing
Shakespeare’s (St)Ages
Currents in British Literature I
The Medieval Cult of the Saints

Independent Studies:
The Body in Medieval Culture
The Hero in Fantasy Literature
Advanced Study in Shakespeare


World Literature: Mystical Writing
Teaching Medieval Literature
Medieval English Literature


Contributing editor of The Once and Future Classroom, an online, peer-reviewed teaching journal for medieval studies in K-12.
Member, Board of Directors, Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages (TEAMS).