Jeff Massey

  • Professor of English Language and Literature
  • Division: Humanities
  • Department: English

Why I love teaching at Molloy College

The wide variety of class offerings available (especially Topics courses in Monstrosity, Superheroes, and Arthuriana); team-teaching opportunities; genial faculty; passionate students; ample parking.

Academic Interests

Medieval Literature, Classical Literature and Mythology, Linguistics (especially HEL), Neo-medievalism, SF / Fantasy; Comedy, Genre, and Monstrosity

What I am working on

A book on Monty Python and a book chapter on Spamalot (both with Brian Cogan of Molloy's Communications Department); a solicited book chapter identifying the anti-medieval attitudes in Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek series; an article articulating the etymology of the Old English term anhaga (with a fellow Emory graduate, Karma DeGruy); articles investigating the theatrical staging of 1) the anonymous medieval Second Shepherds' Play and 2) Aristophanes' Frogs; a book project surveying Classical and Medieval lycanthropy.  Sleep.

Educational Philosophy

Smart needn't be dour.

Educational Background

Ph.D. in English with a Certificate in Medieval Studies, Emory University, 2003.

Dissertation:  "Corpus Lupi: The Medieval Werewolf and Popular Theology."

Committee: John Bugge (Director), James Morey, David Bright, Harry Rusche.

Oral exam areas:  Old and Middle English literatures, Arthurian literature.

M.A. in English, Bucknell University, 1998.

Thesis:  "'Come and See the Violence Inherent in the System': Towards a Limited Girardian Reading of Beowulf."

Committee: Marilyn Mumford (Director), Michael Payne, Kathleen Davis.

A.M. in Classics, Washington University, 1994. Areas of specialization: Greek and Roman Comedy.

B.A. in English (Classics Minor), Bucknell University, 1989.

Additional Information

Teaching Experiencce

Medieval and Renaissance Literature

Continental Literature II: "Medieval East Meets West." Molloy, Fall 2009.

Topics in Medieval Literature: "Hwaet ho!: Pop Lit of the Middle Ages." Molloy, Fall 2009.

Chaucer: "Pilgrims, Foules and Lovers." Molloy, Fall 2007; Bucknell, Spring 2005; Emory, Spring 2003.

Early English Writers: "The Found and Lost: From Cædmon to Milton." Molloy, Spring 2008.

Survey of Medieval Literature:  "English Literature: The First Thousand Years (or so)." Emory, Fall 2004.

Survey of English Literature Before 1660. Molloy, Fall 2008; Emory, Fall 1999 (teaching assistant).              

Old English: "Old English Literature in Text and Translation." Emory, Spring 2004.

Seminar in Early English Literature: "Outlaw Warrior Kings: Medieval Heroism." Bucknell, Fall 2004.

Senior English Seminar: "Quest Fictions: Grail-Knights and Gumshoes." Molloy, Spring 2009 and 2006.

Arthurian Literature and Tradition: "Arthur through the Ages." Molloy, Fall 2008; Emory, Fall 2003. 

CORE Seminar: "Praying and Playing: Religion and Drama as Leisure Activities." Molloy, Spring 2009, 2008, and 2007.  Interdisciplinary course team-taught with Father Thomas Catania (Theology).

Shakespeare: "All the World." Molloy, Fall 2008.

General Literary Surveys and Special Topics

Honors English: "The Pendulum Swings!" Molloy, Spring 2010 (two sections).

Independent Study: "Gothicism." Molloy, Spring 2010.

Global Learning Community: "The English Literary Landscape." Molloy, Spring 2008.

Survey of English authors in context; includes a week-long tour of British literary landmarks.

The Short Story: "Good Things." Molloy, Fall 2005.

Topics in Literature: "Literary Monstrosities: An Introduction to Teratology." Molloy, Summer and Fall 2006.

Tutorial: "Topics in Literary Monstrosity." Molloy, Fall 2007.

Classical Literature, Language, and Mythology

Continental Literature I (Epic and Drama): "Everything Old is New Again." Molloy, Spring 2007.

Tutorial: "Classical Epic: The Long and Short of It." Molloy, Summer 2007.

Myth and Legend: "Gods and Odysseys." Molloy, Spring 2010 (two sections), Spring 2009 (two sections) and Fall 2006.

Independent Study: "Hera, Queen of the Gods." Molloy, Spring 2007.

Introductory Latin: "Latin: tunc et nunc." Molloy, Winter 2007.

CORE Seminar: "Myth-ing links: Gods and Philosophy in Ancient Greece."  Molloy, Spring 2009. Interdisciplinary courses team-taught with Professor Howard Ponzer (Philosophy).

Linguistics and Language History

Introduction to Linguistics: "Welcome to the HEL-Mouth." Molloy (1-2 sections every semester).

History of the English Language: "To HEL and Back: From Cædmon's Hymn to Cyber-speak." Molloy, Fall 2007; Bucknell, Spring 2005.

Composition Writing about Literature:

"Hero-quests." Molloy, Spring 2007.

"Give in to the Dark Side: Heroic Villainy." Molloy, Spring 2006 (two sections); Bucknell, Fall 2004; Emory, Spring 2004 (two sections). "From Baggins to Beowulf: Reading Saxon Fictions." Molloy, Fall 2005 (two sections);

Emory, Spring 2001. "One Ring to Bind Them All: Reading Tolkien's Middle-earth." Emory, Fall 2003 and Spring 2002.

"Monsters' Ink: A Thousand Years of English Literary Monsters." Bucknell, Spring 2005; Emory, Fall 2002.

Expository Writing:  "Mutatis Mutandis: The Changing Face of (In)Humanity." Emory, Fall 2000.

Freshman Studies: "The College Experience." Molloy, Fall 2008 and 2007.

Teaching Interests

  • Old English language and literature                           
  • Middle English language and literature         
  • Survey of Early British Literature                             
  • The Arthurian Tradition
  • The Classical Inheritance
  • The Gothic Revival 
  • J.R.R. Tolkien and the Inklings
  • Folklore and Mythology
  • Romance, Fabliau, and Fable
  • Shakespeare   
  • Chaucer
  • Language History and Linguistics

Honors

Royal English Department Conference Grant, Molloy College, 2006, 2007, 2008. Awarded additional travel funding to attend multiple academic conferences.

Dean's Teaching Fellowship, Graduate School of Arts and Science, Emory University, Fall 2002-Spring 2003.

Awarded position in recognition of teaching excellence. 

Summer Research Grant, Department of English, Emory University, Summer 2002.

Funded to conduct archival research at King's College and University Libraries, Cambridge.

Summer Research Grant, Department of English, Emory University, Summer 2001. Funded to conduct archival research towards my dissertation at the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Societies and Organizations

  • MEARCSTAPA, 2008-present.
  • Société Fableors, 2006-present.
  • Research Group on Manuscript Evidence, 2006-present.
  • Lambda Iota Tau Literary Honor Society, Gamma Pi chapter, 2006-present.
  • The Hermes Group, 2005-present.
  • Societas Magica, 2003-present.
  • Southeastern Medieval Association (SEMA), 2002-present
  • South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA), 2002-2004.
  • Modern Language Association (MLA), 2001-present.

Employment

Associate Professor, English Department, Molloy College, 2005-present.

Taught courses in medieval and classical literature, language history, mythology, and composition; contributed to CORE and Global Learning programs; advised undergraduates.

Visiting Assistant Professor, English Department, Bucknell University, 2004-2005.

Taught graduate and undergraduate courses on Chaucer, medieval literature, language history, Arthuriana, and composition; directed Master's thesis. 

Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of English, Emory University, 2003-2004.

Taught courses on Chaucer, Arthuriana, Old English, and composition.  

'Ic eom anhaga: saga hwæt ic hata': Riddling Meaning from OE -haga compounds." Accepted (pending revision) by Studies in Philology.


"Parsing Cruel: Humor in the Fabliaux."  L'esquirel, 3 (2008): 1-2. 


"Getting It in the End: Turning a Profit, a Trick and a Phrase in The Shipman's Tale."  The Molloy Literary Journal, 2 (Fall 2007): 1-13.

 
 "'What's Wrong with this Picture?': Teaching Arthuriana Via the Via Negativa."  Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching (SMART), 12.1 (Spring 2005): 53-64. 

"'The double bind of Troilus to tellen': The Time of the Gift in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde." 

The Chaucer Review, 38.1 (Fall 2003): 16-35.
 
"From Baggins to Beowulf and Back Again: Teaching (via) Tolkien." In Concerning Hobbits:

A Collection of Essays on J.R.R. Tolkien.  Ed. Tim Schindler.  St. Thomas, Minnesota: University of St. Thomas Press, 2001. 49-52.
 
"Why Wildeve Had to Die: Mimetic Triangles and Violent Ends in The Return of the Native." 

The Hardy Review, III (Summer 2000): 117-126.

"Beowulf, Violence and the Self-Evident: Proposing a Limited Girardian Theory."  Eidos: The Bucknell

Academic Journal, 10 (1997): 50-59.

Conferences

Moderator, "Exploring the Monstrous I: Constructions of Identity." 2010 International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 12-15 July 2010.

Chair, "Know Thy Self, Know Thy Other: Identifying (with) the Medieval Monstrous." The 35 Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Medieval Association (SEMA), 15-17 October 2009.

Chair, "When Categories Fail!: Taxonomies of the Unknowable." The 35 Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Medieval Association (SEMA), 15-17 October 2009.

Panelist, "Monster Culture: Seven Theses (A Roundtable)." The 44th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, 7-10 May 2009.

Organizer, "Margins of Error: On the Self-Correcting Medieval Manuscript." The 44 International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, 7-10 May 2009. 

Plenary Speaker, "Where the Wild Things Are (Not the Wild Things): Locating the Medieval Monstrous." Meeting in the Middle: The 3rd Annual Undergraduate Research Conference in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Longwood University, 27-28 March 2009.

Organizer and Respondent, "Bark at the Rune: Transforming the Medieval Werewolf." The 43 International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, 8-11 May 2008. 

Co-organizer, "(De)Composing Heads: Decapitation in Medieval Romance." The 43 International

Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, 8-11 May 2008. 

"Imputribile!: On the Care and Feeding of Severed Heads." The 43 International Congress on   Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, 8-11 May 2008. 

"Dante Laughs: Tracing the Comic in The Commedia." The 33 Annual Meeting of the Southeastern         Medieval Association (SEMA), Wofford College, 4-6 October 2007.

"'There, wolf...there, castle': Comedy and the Self-Deconstructing Medieval Monster."  The 42 International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, 10-13 May 2007. 

"Getting It in the End: Turning a Profit, a Trick and a Phrase in The Shipman's Tale." The 32 Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Medieval Association (SEMA), University of Mississippi,

12-14 October 2006. "Sympathy or the Devil?: The Transubstantive Werewolf in Bisclavret." The 40 International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, 5-8 May 2005. 

"Casting Spells and Aspersions in The Second Shepherds' Pageant."  The Fifth Annual Conference on Teaching Medieval Literature: Teaching Drama, Emory University, 18-19 March 2005.

"Beowulf Stands Alone: Dark Age Heroism in Four Colors." The 39th International Congress on

Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, 6-9 May 2004. 

"An Arthurian Via Negativa in the Classroom." The Third Annual Conference on Teaching Medieval Literature: Teaching Arthuriana, Kennesaw State University, 28 March 2003.

"Online Scriptorium: Electronic Resources for Medieval Studies." Emory Medieval Round Table, 28 February 2002 and 12 November 2002.  Presented with Chuck Spornick, Director, Lewis H. Beck Center for Electronic Collections and Services.

"Of Werewolves, Cuckolds, and Kings: Disobedience and Punishment in Arthur and Gorlagon."

South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA), Atlanta, 9-11 November 2001.

"'Ic eom anhaga . . . saga hwæt ic hatte': Riddling Meaning from OE haga Compounds."

The 27th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Medieval Association (SEMA), Loyola University,

18-20 October 2001.

"From Baggins to Beowulf and Back Again: Teaching (via) Tolkien." Concerning Hobbits and Other

Matters: Tolkien Across the Disciplines, University of St. Thomas, 26 April 2001.' "The Monsters and the Critic: Teaching Beowulf, The Hobbit, and Tolkien." Beowulf in Our Time:

Teaching Beowulf in Translation, Kennesaw State University, 23-24 March 2001.
 
"'The double bind of Troilus to tellen': The Time of the Gift and Chaucer's Troilus." The 25 Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Medieval Association (SEMA), University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 14-16 October 1999.

Academic and Community Service

Sponsor, Lions Café.  Molloy College, Fall 2009-present. Faculty advisor for student-run monthly poetry reading group.

Moderator, Lambda Iota Tau, Gamma Pi chapter. Molloy College, Fall 2008-present.

Led and organized monthly meetings of the Molloy chapter of International Honor Society for Students of Literature.

Vice President, MEARCSTAPA (Monsters: The Experimental Association for the Research of  Cryptozoology Through Scholarly Theory And Practical Application), Spring 2008-present. 

Organized intercollegiate association of college professionals devoted to the scholarly examination of monstrosity and cryptoids in literature and culture.  Elected position.

Publications Committee, The Research Group on Manuscript Evidence.  Spring 2008-present.

Supported intercollegiate association devoted to the interdisciplinary historical contextualization of manuscripts and texts.  Appointed position.

Guest Lecturer, "From Lycaon to Lycans: A Werewolf Timeline."  Fridays in the Library Lecture Series, Molloy College, 15 February 2008. 

Co-director, The Siena Club. Molloy College, Fall 2007-present. Co-founded and led extracurricular reading group for Molloy English majors and alumnae.

Faculty Representative, Library Sub-Committee on Technology, 2007.

Met with committee members, administration, and outside consultants to formulate a "technology wish list" in line with the school's current "Technology Master Plan."

Guest Lecturer, "'D'you know...': Generic Considerations and Jerry Maguire." The Molloy College Film Festival, 19 October 2007.

Assistant Director, Lambda Iota Tau, Gamma Pi chapter. Molloy College, Fall 2006-Spring 2008.

Led and organized meetings of the International Honor Society for Students of Literature.

Library Representative, Dean's Advisory Committee on the Library. Molloy College, Fall 2006-present. Initiated acquisition of J-Stor database; assisted in library weeding and acquiring of new texts.

Guest Lecturer, "What Women Really Want: Idiot Kings, Unfaithful Wives, and Wise Werewolves in Arthur and Gorlagon." Lambda Iota Tau Annual Meeting, Molloy College, 16 February 2006.

Volunteer Representative, Technology in Education Sub-Committee. Molloy College, Fall 2005-present. Helped further faculty awareness of pedagogical technologies available on campus
 
Undergraduate Advisor, Molloy College English Department. Molloy College, Fall 2005-present. Advised and registered 25+ students each semester using Jenzabar. 

Guest Columnist, "Conjugating the Past Present: Getting Medieval at My Alma Mater."  Loose Canons   (The Emory University English Department Newsletter), 8.2 (July 2005): 4.           

Master's Thesis Advisor, Department of English, Bucknell University, Fall 2004-Spring 2005. Directed M.A. thesis on mythopoesis and salvation in Beowulf and The Lord of the Rings.

Graduate Advisor, Department of English, Bucknell University, Fall 2004-Spring 2005. Lectured and advised M.A. students on résumé and cover letter creation.

Alumni Admissions Representative, BU 101, Bucknell University, 31 May 2005 and 7 March 2007. Served as panel member for off-campus prospective information sessions.

Acting Chair, Medieval Caucus, Bucknell University, Fall 2004-Spring 2005.

Organized monthly interdepartmental discussions on medievalia during sabbatical replacement.

Tutor, Graduate Record Examination, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Spring 2005. Tutored graduate students preparing for GRE General and English Subject tests.

Sideline Coach, Bucknell Field Hockey Team, Bucknell University, Fall 2004. Supported collegial interaction between faculty and student-athletes.  Honorary title.
 
Webmaster, Emory Medieval Studies Program, Fall 2002-Fall 2003. Maintained and upgraded program website using Dreamweaver; translated HTML script. 

Graduate Chair, Medieval Round Table, Emory Medieval Studies Program, Fall 2001-Summer 2002.

Organized monthly meetings; arranged visiting lectureships; lectured on multimedia resources.

Co-Founder, The Kemp Malones: Emory's Old and Middle English Reading Group, Fall 2000-2002. Organized extracurricular bi-weekly reading group of students and professors.

Graduate Assistant, Beck Center for Electronic Collections and Services, Emory University, 2000-2003. Scanned, proofread, and tagged twelfth- and thirteenth-century Latin cartularies for digitization.
 
Guest Lecturer, "Seamus Heaney's Beowulf." Huntcliff Book Club, Atlanta, Georgia, 10 September 2001.

Graduate Student Representative, Graduate Student Council, Emory University, Fall 2000-Fall 2001.

Elected position; allocated funds for conferences, lectures, and graduate functions.