Sara S. Poor

SARA S. POOR ("Sally"), Associate Professor and former Director of the Program in Medieval Studies (2011-2019), received her PhD from Duke University's Graduate Program in Literature in 1994. After holding positions at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (1995-96) and Stanford University (1996-2002), she joined the faculty at Princeton in September of 2002. While at Stanford, she was awarded a Mellon Fellowship from the University of Pennsylvania Humanities Forum, where she taught and did research from 1999-2000. And she held the Charles G. Osgood University Preceptorship (2005-2008) from Princeton University. Her primary research interests are in the areas of Gender Studies and medieval German literature, interests which are reflected prominently in her teaching. Her first book, Mechthild of Magdeburg and Her Book: Gender and the Making of Textual Authority (2004, UPenn Press) was awarded the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship's 2006 Prize for the best first book on a medieval feminist topic as well as the 2008 Medieval Academy of America John Nicholas Brown Prize for the best first book on a medieval subject. It takes a historical approach to the complex theoretical issues surrounding the study of medieval manuscripts, women's writing, and canon formation and was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2004. Professor Poor is currently completing work a second book project on women and medieval books, tentatively entitled Writing, Agency, and the Devotional Book in Late Medieval Germany. Research for this project has been supported by an Erasmus Mundus Visiting Scholar Fellowship (German Literature of the European Middle Ages) in 2014 and by a prestigious National Humanities Center Fellowship (funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Research Triangle Foundation) in 2017-2018. (See publications list for more info on this project).

Professor Poor has also been active with a number of editing projects. Most recently, Gender Bonds, Gender Binds: Women, Men, and Family in Middle High German Literature (Essays in Honor of Ann Marie Rasmussen) (co-edited with Alison L. Beringer and Olga V. Trokhimenko; De Gruyter, 2021). Second, a volume of essays emerging out of the 2008 Princeton conference Mysticism, Reform, and the Formation of Modernity, which Poor co-organized with Professor Nigel Smith (English, Princeton) was published in 2015 by University of Notre Dame Press under the title: Mysticism and Reform, 1400-1750. In collaboration with Jana K. Schulman (Western Michigan University), emerging from a set of special sessions at Kalamazoo, Professor Poor has also co-edited Women and Medieval Epic: Gender, Genre, and the Limits of Epic Masculinity (2007 Palgrave Press). Early editorial work includes two issues of Medieval Feminist Forum (No. 38 and 39, Winter 2004 and Summer 2005). Finally, she is the general editor of the Medieval German Texts in Bilingual Editions Series for TEAMS (the Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages), published by Medieval Institute Publications at Western Michigan University.

An important and significant part of Professor Poor's energies are devoted to mentoring graduate students and colleagues who are early in their careers. She has co-founded two medieval graduate colloquia where students can share their work with their peers at other institutions, as well as with other faculty in the field: one focuses on bringing together medievalist Germanists in North America (Stanford, Berkeley, Princeton, Toronto, and Harvard) and the other is more internationally focused (Princeton, Münster, Cologne). Finally, as part of efforts to foster the continued study of medieval German literature and culture in the United States, she co-founded an association of American medievalists (YMAGINA) that was active in bringing young medievalists together at conferences, as well as in establishing more lasting and productive connections between medievalists and modernists in the field of German Studies. The main activities of YMAGINA have taken place at the annual meeting of the German Studies Association. YMAGINA has recently expanded to include colleagues who teach and do research on central Europe of the Early Modern Period and has been renamed: Medieval and Early Modern German Studies or MEMGS.