Department of English

University of Toronto

Akbari, Suzanne

Suzanne AkbariSuzanne Conklin Akbari
Professor of English and Medieval Studies; Director, Centre for Medieval Studies; Graduate Faculty, Undergraduate Instructor, University of Toronto St. George
Office Phone: 416-978-5422
UTSG Office Location: University College, Room 281
UTSG Office Location: Centre for Medieval Studies, Lillian Massey Building, Room 304
Office Hours and/or Leave Status: on leave 2018-2019
Faculty Bookshelf 

Teaching and Research Interests: Medieval Literature 

Suzanne Conklin Akbari is professor of English and Medieval Studies, and was educated at Johns Hopkins and Columbia. Her research focuses on the intersection of English and Comparative Literature with intellectual history and philosophy, ranging from neo-platonism and science in the twelfth century to national identity and religious conflict in the fifteenth century. Akbari's books are on optics and allegory (Seeing Through the Veil), European views of Islam and the Orient (Idols in the East), and travel literature (Marco Polo); she is currently at work on Small Change: Metaphor and Metamorphosis in Chaucer and Christine de Pizan. She is volume editor for the Norton Anthology of World Literature (Volume B: 100-1500), co-editor of the Norton Anthology of Western Literature, and editor of The Oxford Handbook to Chaucer. She has begun a new research project called The Shape of Time, contrasting the temporal breaks found in medieval chronicle traditions with poetic narrations of the historical past. Akbari is cross-appointed to the following units: Centre for Medieval Studies; Centre for Comparative Literature; Centre for Jewish Studies; Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations; Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies.

Faculty Bookshelf

Idols in the East: European Representations of Islam and the Orient, 1100-1450 (Cornell University Press, 2009; paperback edition 2012). 

Seeing Through the Veil: Optical Theory and Medieval Allegory (University of Toronto Press, 2004). 

Edited collections
How We Write: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blank Page. Brooklyn: punctum books, 2015.

A Sea of Languages: Rethinking the Arabic Role in Medieval Literary History. Co-ed. with Karla Mallette. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013.

The Ends of the Body: Identity and Community in Medieval Culture. Co-ed. with Jill Ross. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012.

Marco Polo and the Encounter of East and West. Co-ed. with Amilcare Iannucci. University of Toronto Press, 2008.  

The Norton Anthology of World Literature. 3rd revised edition. 6 vols. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012; 4th revised edition, 2018.

The Norton Anthology of World Literature. 3rd revised edition. 6 vols. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012.

The Norton Anthology of Western Literature. 9th revised edition. 2 vols. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012.

Selected articles (5)
“World Literature in the Medieval Frame.” Middle Eastern Literatures 20 (2017): 1-16.

“AHR Conversation: Walls, Borders, and Boundaries in World History.” American Historical Review 122 (December 2017): 1500-53. [With Tamar Herzog, Daniel Jütte, Carl Nightingale, William Rankin, Keren Weitzberg].

“Ovid and Ovidianism.” The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature, Vol. 1: The Middle Ages. Ed. Rita Copeland. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. 187-208.

“Embodying the Historical Moment: Tombs and Idols in the Histoire ancienne jusqu’à César.” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 44.3 (2014): 617-43.

“The Time of Salvation: Langland’s Non-Christian Others.” The Cambridge Companion to Piers Plowman. Rev. ed. Ed. Andrew Cole and Andrew Galloway Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. 160-75.

“Where is Medieval Ethiopia? Mapping Ethiopic Studies within Medieval Studies.” Toward a Global Middle Ages: Encountering the World through Illuminated Manuscripts. Ed. Bryan Keene. Los Angeles: Getty Publications [to appear 2019]. “Seeing Jerusalem: Schematic Views of the Holy City, 1100-1300.” Aspects of Knowledge: Preserving and Reinventing Traditions of Learning in the Middle Age. Ed. Marilina Cesario and Hugh Magennis. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018. 116-41. [With Asa Simon Mittman].

The Oxford Handbook to Chaucer. Co-ed. with James Simpson. Oxford: Oxford University Press [to appear 2019].


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