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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University

Genelle Gertz

Associate Professor of English and Writing Program Director

Payne 111
(540) 458-8763

Fall term office hours:


Ph.D., English, Princeton University, 2003
M.A., English, Princeton University, 1998
M.A., English, University of Pittsburgh, 1996
B.A., English & Philosophy, magna cum laude, Wheaton College, 1994


Medieval and early modern women writers; the Reformation; republicanism and the English revolution; prophecy, mysticism and heresy trials; the politics of reading.


WRIT 100—First Year Writing Seminar
English 250—British Literature: Medieval and Renaissance
English 236—The Bible as Literature
English 252—Shakespeare
English 316—Renaissance Literature: the 16th Century
English 326—Seventeenth-Century Poetry
English 330—Milton

Medieval and Renaissance Studies 110—Romance and Mysticism

Seminar and Capstone Topics

Trials, Torture, and the Truth
The Damned: Hell from Virgil to Milton
My Life: Personal Writing in Early Modern England

Selected Publications


Heresy Trials and English Women Writers, 1400-1670. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Selected Articles and Chapters

"Inquisition and Authorship, 1400-1560." The Culture of Inquisition in Medieval England. Ed. Mary C. Flannery and Katie L. Walter. Westfield Medieval Studies: Boydell and Brewer, 2013. 130-45.

"Founding a Tradition of Female Confessors: Barbara Constable's Advice for Confessors and Premodern Spiritual Direction." The English Convents in Exile, 1600-1800 - Communities, Culture and Identity. Ed. Caroline Bowden and James Kelley. Ashgate Press, forthcoming 2013.

"Heresies." Cambridge Shakespeare Encyclopedia, Vol I: Shakespeare's World. Ed. Bruce Smith. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.

"Stepping into the Pulpit? Women's Preaching in The Book of Margery Kempe and The Examinations of Anne Askew." Voices in Dialogue: Reading Women in the Middle Ages. Ed. Linda Olson and Kathryn Kerby-Fulton. Notre Dame: U of Notre Dame P, 2005. 459-82.

"Still Martyred After All These Years: Generational Suffering in Milton's Areopagitica." English Literary History 70.4 (2004).

Work In Progress

Medieval and Seventeenth-Century Women Mystics.