The Program in Medieval Studies combines the best aspects of an interdisciplinary program with the focused training required for academic careers in a variety of traditional disciplines. The program’s faculty members are drawn from nearly every humanities department at Cornell, offering expertise in disciplines and area studies spanning more than a millennium of languages and cultures—from Old and Middle English literature to Byzantine monuments, from Icelandic sagas to Andalusian architecture, from medieval Latin literature and philosophy to Islamic legal history.

Work in primary archival materials—including Latin and vernacular paleography, textual criticism, and codicology—is well supported by abundant library resources, as well as by faculty dedicated to these fields. Work in gender studies, medieval and modern literary theory, and the post-medieval reception and construction of the “Middle Ages” is also well supported by program faculty and by the full array of other departments and programs at Cornell. Resources for studying Latin and most medieval vernacular languages (including Germanic, Romance, Celtic, Slavonic, Semitic and East Asian languages) are a mainstay of the program. All of these offerings are encompassed within a flexible curriculum tailored to the needs of individual students.

Our diversity of faculty attracts exceptional graduate students from all areas of medieval studies and guides them to dissertations on a broad range of literatures, disciplines, contexts, and approaches. They also enjoy the benefits of carefully mentored training in pedagogical techniques and classroom skills. Students from many other doctoral programs at Cornell are closely involved in the Program in Medieval Studies, and they contribute to a lively and varied community of medievalists that spans Cornell’s College of Arts & Sciences.

Department website

Kate Bajorek

Ph.D. Student


"Analysis of Avian Eggshell at Belle Grove Plantation." Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology 38 (forthcoming).

Marijke Perry

Ph.D. Student

Alan van den Arend

ALI Postdoctoral Associate

Alexa Gall

Ph.D. Student

Jordan Chauncy

Ph.D. Student

William Sayers

Adjunct professor

Ryan Randle

Ph.D. Student


“Medieval Arthuriana Was Always Scary, but Not in the Way You’d Think: On Sir Gawain and The Green Knight,Bright Lights Film Journal. (March 2022)

Zachary Thomas

Ph.D. Student

Savannah Caldwell

Ph.D. Student

Jason Sion Mokhtarian

Herbert and Stephanie Neuman Associate Professor



  • Rabbis, Sorcerers, Kings, and Priests: The Culture of the Talmud in Ancient Iran (University of California Press, 2015)
  • Medicine in the Talmud: Natural and Supernatural Remedies between Magic and Science (University of California Press, 2022). 

Edited Volume

  • Iranian Studies, special edition on “Religious Trends in Late Ancient and Early Islamic Iran.” Volume 48.1 (2015). Co-edited with David Bennett.

Selected Articles

  • “Material Culture of the Jews of Sasanian Mesopotamia.” In A Companion to Late Ancient Jews and Judaism: Third Century BCE to Seventh Century CE, eds. Naomi Koltun-Fromm and Gwynn Kessler (Hoboken: Blackwell Publishing, 2020), 145-166.
  • “Zoroastrian Polemics against Judaism in the Doubt-Dispelling Exposition.” Mizan: Journal for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations 3.1 (2018)
  • “Clusters of Iranian Loanwords in Talmudic Folklore: The Chapter of the Pious (b. Ta’anit 18b-26a) in Its Sasanian Context.” In The Aggada of the Bavli and Its Cultural World, eds. Geoffrey Herman and Jeffrey L. Rubenstein (Providence: Brown Judaic Studies, 2018), 125-148.
  • “Excommunication in Jewish Babylonia: Comparing Bavli Mo‘ed Qatan 14b-17b and the Aramaic Bowl Spells in a Sasanian Context.” Harvard Theological Review 108 (2015): 552-578.
  • “Empire and Authority in Sasanian Babylonia: The Rabbis and King Shapur in Dialogue.” Jewish Studies Quarterly 19 (2012): 148-180.
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