Jamie Friedman, who joins Westmont as an assistant professor of English this fall, became fascinated by medieval studies when an English professor visited her history class to discuss Beowulf, the Old English epic poem. “He had us beat on the desks while he chanted the verse,” Friedman says. “The content of the poem and the sounds reverberated in my gut, and I was hooked.”
At Whitworth University, Friedman focused on English literature and French language and literature with an emphasis on medieval studies. She earned master’s degrees at Portland State University and Cornell University and a doctorate in medieval studies at Cornell.
Her research and teaching interests focus on literary, identity and gender theories. “I’ve found that identity studies are one way of getting at who we are and how we exist in our skin as humans in the world,” she says. “I think medieval writers, especially in the 14th century, are also interested in identity and how identities can be questioned. It happens to be an interesting time to think about the big ideas that matter now.”
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