Ryan McDermott

Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies

Ryan McDermott is associate professor of medieval literature and culture. He earned his Ph.D. in English from University of Virginia after completing an M.T.S. at Duke Divinity School. His first book, Tropologies: Ethics and Invention in England, c. 1350-1600 (University of Notre Dame Press, 2016), tracks changes and continuities in vernacular religious literature across the intellectual and cultural watershed of the English Reformation. Ryan directs the cross-disciplinary, multi-institutional project Genealogies of Modernity, and is working on a second book, Theology of Incorruptibility: On Dead Bodies and the Eschatology of Traditions.



Medieval Imagination; Chaucer; Intro to Critical Reading; How Do We Get to Shakespeare?; The Invention of English Literature; How to Do Things with Literature Part I; Freshman Seminar: Economics in Everyday Life; Senior Seminar: The Canterbury Tales and the Journey of Life; Bible as Literature.


Genealogies of Modernity; Drama, the Vernacular, and Material Presence; Early Drama and Performance Theory

Service and Other Duties

  • Literature Curriculum Committee
  • Undergraduate Placement Committee
  • Faculty Director, Beatrice Institute