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Nicole Guenther Discenza

Nicole Guenther Discenza

Nicole Guenther Discenza
Associate Professor


Office: CPR 358-B
Phone: 813/974-1887


My fields include medieval languages and literatures and the historical development of English. I enjoy teaching Old English poetry and prose, Chaucer, the Pearl-poet, medieval romance, and History of the English Language. I earned a PhD and a Master of Medieval Studies from the University of Notre Dame.

My research focuses primarily on Anglo-Saxon England. My forthcoming book, Inhabited Spaces: Anglo-Saxon Constructions of Place (University of Toronto Press, expected 2016), explores how the early English sought to shape the universe into knowable places, from the earth’s place in the universe to the kingdoms of different peoples to the intimacy of the hall. Anglo-Saxon writers repeatedly identified the earth as shaped like a ball or a nut and located it in the center of a similarly spherical universe. Though their universe centered on the earth, their world generally centered on the Mediterranean, and especially Jerusalem, leaving England at the edges—or even off the map. Anglo-Saxons thus constantly connected their marginal home to more central places and the transcedent space of heaven. Two grants facilitated this research: a Lindsay Young Visiting Faculty Fellowship from The Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and a summer grant from the USF Humanities Institute.

Another strand of my research focuses on the translations of Alfred the Great and his circle; in addition to several articles and chapters in the area, I co-edited A Companion to Alfred the Great (Leiden, 2015) with Paul E. Szarmach and wrote The King’s English: Strategies of Translation in the Old English Boethius (New York, 2005), which argues that the Old English Boethius reflects a coherent set of strategies to share classical and patristic knowledge with Anglo-Saxons while validating particular Anglo-Saxon values. My entries on sources of the Old English Boethius are included in Fontes Anglo-Saxonici.

Current Courses

RefCourseSecCourse TitleCRDayTimeLocation
89147ENG 4970001Honors Thesis


CPR 343

91754ENL 6216001Introduction to Middle English
Chaucer --


CPR 257

80290ENG 7916003Directed Research
Inst/Grad Director Approval S-U Only

TBA 100

81592ENG 7980003Dissertation: Doctoral
Adm to Candidacy Req'd S/U Only

TBA 100