Wesleyan portrait of Ruth  Nisse

Ruth Nisse

Professor of English

285 Court Street, 203

Professor, Medieval Studies

1 Vine Street,


BA Columbia University
PHD University of California, Berkeley

Ruth Nisse

Ruth Nisse’s research and courses are about medieval literature and culture. She has written on religious difference, translation theory, and performance. Her most recent book is Jacob’s Shipwreck: Diaspora, Translation and Jewish-Christian Relations (Cornell, 2017), which focuses on the influence of ancient Hebrew and Latin writings on medieval works.  She is also the author of Defining Acts: Drama and the Politics of Interpretation in Late Medieval England (Notre Dame, 1995). She has published articles in Speculum, ELH, New Medieval Literatures, and New Chaucer Studies among other journals. Nisse’s current projects are on multilingualism in medieval Hebrew religious and scientific texts and on apocalypse and empire in early medieval literature. She is affiliated with the Medieval Studies program and the Center for Jewish Studies. She believes that if you really want to understand the English major, you ought to know Geoffrey Chaucer and Margery Kempe.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Spring 2017: By Appointment

Location: 285 Court #203


Spring 2024
ENGL 207 - 01

ENGL 232 - 01
Medieval Women Writers

Fall 2024
ENGL 310 - 01
The Medieval Beast

ENGL 353 - 01
Medieval Race