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Gabriel Ford

Visiting Assistant Professor of English
‌Office Location: 228 Howard Hall

The fall of 2021 is my first semester on the faculty of Drake’s English department. Before that, I was Director of Equity and Inclusion at Drake. I have also taught in the English departments at Converse College and Davidson College in the Carolinas. I received a Ph.D. from Penn State University and an M.Phil. from Trinity College Dublin.

I am a medievalist and philologist, which means that I study old texts written in dead languages. When possible, I examine the old handwritten manuscripts that preserve these texts in their earliest form. Most of my academic writing focuses on the Britain from c. 1100 to c. 1500, and I am particularly interested in the British reception of Arabic and Hebrew language secular narrative material over that period. I am working on an edition and translation of the Anglo-French Le Romaunz Peres Aunfour, a thirteenth-century verse story collection distantly related to the Arabic 1,001 Nights as well as on a monograph about the influence of this narrative tradition on books like Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales that tend to be better known today. Recent essays have appeared in the journals Digital Philology, postmedieval, Studies in Philology, and Medieval Encounters.

I teach courses on early period English literature, literary history, linguistics, grammar, book history, science fiction, and fantasy. I am particularly fond of book history courses built around a “book lab.” These courses involve activities like cutting quill pens, binding books, setting moveable type, marbling paper, and printing on letterpress printing presses. In my experience, nothing makes a book’s past come to life quite like haptic encounters with the historical processes of book production.



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