Mary combines lectures, all-class discussions, and small group work in her classes to foster an academic environment that relies on student inquiry and engagement in the pursuit of academic excellence.
She teaches surveys of English literary history, courses in medieval studies and Shakespeare studies, and the History of the English Language. Her research spans both the Old and Middle English periods, Her most recent book is The Books and the Life of Judith of Flanders. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2015. This "patronage biography" narrates Judith’s life (c.1032-1094) through analysis of the books and art objects she commissioned and collected. Drawing upon history, art history, literature, and hagiography, this book demonstrates that Judith consciously and successfully deployed patronage as a cultural strategy in her political and marital maneuvers in the eleventh century European political theater.
Mary's current research, Public Medievalists, Racism and Suffrage: Anglo-Saxon and the 19th Century Women's College, is part of growing interest in the study of nineteenth-century medievalism and Anglo-Saxonism, and closely examines the intersections of race, class, and gender in the teaching of Anglo-Saxon in the American women’s colleges before World War I.
And what fictional character does Mary think most exemplifies her? Professor Minerva McGonagall, of course!
She holds a BA from Vassar College, an MAT from Boston University, and a PhD from Loyola University.