Mary B. Speer
Professor emerita of French
Duke University: B.A., magna cum laude
Fields of Research:
Old French Literature, Theory and Practice of Textual Criticism
As a medievalist, I am particularly interested in the structures and styles of Old French texts, the formation of canons and textual traditions, and the transmission and transmutation of both individual texts and traditions. I have worked extensively on the verse and prose romances of the Seven Sages Cycle (12th-13th centuries) and on the prose Lancelot-Grail Cycle (early 13th century). While studying transmission problems in a variety of medieval texts, I have also focused on the history, theory, and methods of editing Old French texts. At present I am collaborating with Professor Yasmina Foehr-Janssens of the Université de Genève on a new edition of the verse Roman des Sept Sages de Rome, which will offer revised texts of the two verse romances with facing translations in Modern French along with an updated apparatus and glossary. Our edition will be published by Champion in the Champion Classiques series.
Books (click on image for details):
Selected Other Publications:
“What Ails the Sodomite King of Egypt? Senescalcus in the K Sept Sages de Rome,” forthcoming in D’Orient en Occident: les recueils de fables enchâssées avant les ‘Mille et Une Nuits’, ed. Marion Vuagnoux-Uhlig and Yasmina Foehr-Janssens. Turnhout: Brepols, 2014. Forthcoming.
“Jean-Baptiste-Bonaventure de Roquefort: The First Editor of Marie de France,” in The Reception and Transmission of the Works of Marie de France, 1774-1974, ed. Chantal Maréchal. Lewiston, NY: Mellen, 2003. Pp. 225-40.
“Gaston Paris: Philologist and Mythographer: Discursive Doubling and Methodological Stalemate,” in Translatio Studii: Essays by His Students for Karl D. Uitti in Honor of His Sixty-fifth Birthday, ed. Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, Kevin Brownlee, Mary B. Speer and Lori J. Walters. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1999. Pp. 311-29.
“The Prodigal Knight, the Hungry Mother, and the Triple Murder: Mirrors and Marvels in the Dolopathos Dog Story,” in The Court and Cultural Diversity, ed. John Thompson and Evelyn Mullally. Woodbridge, Eng.: Boydell & Brewer, 1997. Pp. 375-83.
“The Long and the Short of Lancelot’s Departure from Logres: Abbreviation as Rewriting in La Mort le roi Artu.” Text and Intertext in Medieval Arthurian Literature, ed. Norris J. Lacy. New York & London: Garland, 1996. Pp. 219-39.
“Translatio as Inventio: Gaston Paris and ‘The Treasure of Rhampsinitus’ (Gaza) in the Dolopathos Romances.” Transtextualities: Of Cycles and Cyclicity in Medieval Literature, ed. Donald Maddox and Sara Sturm-Maddox. Binghamton: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, 1996. 125-55.
“Editing Old French Literary Texts.”Scholarly Editing: A Guide to Research, ed. David C. Greetham. New York: Modern Language Association, 1995. Pp. 384-416.
“Entre le manuscrit et le texte authentique: une leçon du passé.” Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Atti dei Convegni Lincei 111. Convegno Internazionale sul tema: “La filologia testuale e le scienze umane.” Rome: Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, 1994. Pp. 239-54.
“Specularity in a Formulaic Frame Romance: ‘The Faithful Greyhound’ and the Roman des Sept Sages.” Literary Aspects of Courtly Culture: Selected Papers from the Seventh Triennial Congress of the International Courtly Literature Society, ... 27 July - 1 August 1992, ed. Donald Maddox and Sara Sturm-Maddox. [Bury St.-Edmonds]: Boydell & Brewer, 1994. Pp. 231-40.
“Editing Old French Texts in the Eighties: Theory and Practice.” Romance Philology 45 (1991): 7-43 + bibliog.
“The Editorial Tradition of Villon’s Testament: From Marot to Rychner and Henry.” Romance Philology 31 (1977-78): 544-61.
Awards and Fellowships:
Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences, 2013
Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, Rutgers University, 1999