Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching (SMART)


Spring 2023 (Volume 30, Issue 1)

Papers in the featured collection appearing in the Spring 2023 issue of SMART, “Teaching John Gower’s Confessio Amantis,” are guest edited by Kara L. McShane from Ursinus College in Pennsylvania, and Brian W. Gastle from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. They answer the question of the importance of selecting appropriate teaching materials for medieval studies classes, and either choosing the more familiar works that may have brought them to medieval studies or incorporating lesser-known works and authors as well as issues that relate to today’s social change. The authors in this collection address why the works of John Gower are not taught more widely today and why they should be. Various approaches to teaching his works are discussed.

KARA L. MCSHANE and BRIAN W. GASTLE Introduction: Why Teach Gower’s Works?

BRIAN W. GASTLE Teaching Gower’s Tale of Florent and Leveraging General Education Student Learning Outcomes

KARA L. MCSHANE John Gower as Protest Poet?

JEFFERY G. STOYANOFF Confessio Amantis in the Undergraduate Classroom: Using Actor-Network Theory to Teach Less Text More



BRIGITTE ROUSSEL Book Review: Legions of Pigs in the Early Medieval West, by Jamie Kreiner

WILLIAM F. HODAPP Book Review: Liber Uricrisiarum: A Reading Edition, edited by E. Ruth Harvey, M. Teresa Tavormina, with Sarah Star and C. E. M. Henderson

MICHAEL CALABRESE Book Review: Form & Foreskin: Medieval Narratives of Circumcision, by A. W. Strauss

JENNY REBECCA RYTTING Book Review: How to Think Like Shakespeare: Lessons from a Renaissance Education, by Scott Newstok

ROY HAMMERLING Book Review: The Life of St. Eufrosine: In Old French Verse, with English Translation, edited and translated by Amy V. Ogden

THOMAS GOODMANN Book Review: Piers Plowman: The A Version [by] William Langland: A New Translation with Introduction and Notes, by Michael Calabrese

PERRY NEIL HARRISON Book Review: Slow Scholarship: Medieval Research and the Neoliberal University, edited by Catherine E. Karkov

E. J. CHRISTIE Book Review: An Introduction to Old English, by Jonathan Evans

CHRISTINA FRANCIS Book Review: The Italian Novella and Shakespeare’s Comic Heroines, by Melissa Emerson Walter

ROBERT GRAYBILL Book Review: Shakespeare and the Idea of Western Civilization, by R. V. Young

YVONNE BRUCE Book Review: Christian Humanism in Shakespeare, by Lee Oser

Fall 2023 (Volume 30, Issue 2)

This issue of SMART contains a miscellany of four papers. Jacob Abell’s “Medieval Ecocriticism in the Undergraduate French Classroom” is aimed at offering courses that equip students to confront the global environmental challenges of our time, addressing ecological questions in medieval contexts. Shannon Godlove, in “Finding Other Words,” shares a collaborative translation project for students who have read and discussed Beowulf but going a step further to get them working closely with and learning more about Old English language, poetic forms, and conventions. Meg Gregory’s “Building Curiosity and Confidence” motivates student learners in a history of the English language course through linguistic exploration logs designed to help them navigate common challenges associated with taking a typical HEL course. In “Closing the Loop, Tying the Girdle,” Ethan K. Smilie and Kipton D. Smilie have provided an assessment of student learning in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, for professors having to quantify learning outcomes in subject areas that often defy quantification.

JACOB ABELL Medieval Ecocriticism in the Undergraduate French Classroom: Six Practices for Teaching Literatures of Ecology, Agriculture, and Climate Change

SHANNON GODLOVE Finding Other Words: A Collaborative Beowulf Translation Project for Medieval Literature Courses

MEG GREGORY Building Curiosity and Confidence: Motivating Student Learners through Linguistic Exploration Logs in History of the English Language

ETHAN K. SMILIE and KIPTON D. SMILIE Closing the Loop, Tying the Girdle: Assessment of Student Learning in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

WILLIAM F. HODAPP Book Review: Olde Clerkis Speche: Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and the Implications of Authorial Recital, by William A. Quinn

ROY HAMMERLING Book Review: Bede the Theologian: History, Rhetoric, and Spirituality, by John P. Bequette

CHRIS CRAUN Book Review: A Byzantine Monastic Office, 1105 A.D., by Catherine Jeffrey C. Anderson and Stefano Parenti

MATTHEW FEHSKENS Book Review: Jews and Christians in Medieval Castile: Tradition, Coexistence, and Change, by Maya Soifer Irish

CHRISTINA FRANCIS Book Review: A New Companion to Malory, edited by Megan G. Leitch and Cory James Rushton

Both Spring and Fall 2023 issues of SMART are included in the yearly subscription price of $30 for individuals, $35 for libraries and centers, and $40 for subscriptions outside of the United States. Prepayment is required. SMART subscription information and an order form can be accessed by clicking on IN THIS SECTION (above).

Back issues of SMART are available for $20 each (domestic mailing) or $25 each (foreign mailing). Prepayment is required. A list of SMART back issues and an order form can be accessed by clicking on IN THIS SECTION (above).

Please share information on the SMART journal with friends, colleagues, and libraries, alerting them to the wide contribution that this publication makes to Middle Ages and Renaissance pedagogy. We are always interested in new submissions, either individual papers or collections of essays around a theme. If you have a project that you think might be suitable for SMART, please let us know.

Thank you for reading SMART.


The Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Wichita State University continues to fund and support the mission of SMART by providing readers with quality pedagogical instruction.