Dr Mary Franklin-Brown

Modern & Medieval Languages

Mary Franklin-Brown is a Fellow, College Lecturer in French, and University Lecturer in Medieval French and Occitan Studies. Her research covers medieval writing in French, Occitan, Latin, and Catalan. She interprets this literature through the dual lenses of medieval philosophy and current critical thought, and she also takes account of the material transmission of texts though performance or manuscript copy. Her Reading the World: Encyclopedic Writing of the Scholastic Age (University of Chicago Press, 2012), a Foucauldian archaeology of medieval encyclopaedias, received the Harry Levin Prize from the American Comparative Literature Association. Other book chapters and articles treat troubadour song, medieval epic, Old French translation/adaptations of classical narrative, medieval Latin poetry, the Roman de la Rose, taxonomies of knowledge, paradoxography, and romance descriptions of automata. She is now writing a book on conceptions of time in the twelfth century. Time and the Lyric interweaves an analysis of Latin poetry with discussions of the quadrivium (especially music and astronomy), of calendars, and of humanist commentaries, in order to elaborate a new theory of the lyric form.


Dr Franklin-Brown completed A.B. and A.M. degrees at Dartmouth College (Hanover, New Hampshire) and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She has been a fellow of the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, Harvard University, and taught for many years at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, before moving to Cambridge. With considerable experience of archival research in France, she is president of the International Medieval Society, Paris.