Susan Nakley, Ph.D.

Susan Nakley, Ph.D.

Professor and Associate Chair

English BK LI



  • Lorenzo Hall, Second floor

Long Island

  • 631.687.1482
  • O'Connor Hall, Room N226B


B.A., English and Political Science, University of Michigan

M.A., English, Rutgers University

Ph.D., English, Rutgers University


Susan Nakley joined the faculty of St. Joseph’s University, New York in 2008, just after defending her dissertation at Rutgers University. Her research centers around late medieval literature, drama, and political culture, with special emphasis on Geoffrey Chaucer’s poetry.

The University of Michigan Press published her first monograph, Living in the Future: Sovereignty and Internationalism in the Canterbury Tales, in 2017. With Michigan’s Karla Taylor, Nakley is the coeditor of “What We Think of When We Think of the Prioress’s Tale,” a special issue of The Chaucer Review 59.3 (July 2024).

Professor Nakley taught at Rutgers and at St. John’s University while completing her doctorate. In addition to British literature surveys and other departmental staples, she teaches courses on Chaucer, the medieval frame narrative, and later medieval religious cultures. She has led study abroad courses in England and Andalusia.

Prof. Nakley is currently the Associate Chair of the English department. She has served on the university’s diversity, global studies, elections, and honors committees, and as a faculty adviser to Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society.

Nakley’s current research agenda includes a second monograph, tentatively titled “Libelous Reorientations: Medieval English Antisemitism, Orientalism, and Performance.” She is also editing the Routledge Companion to a Global Chaucer, with Prof. Craig Bertolet of Auburn University. And, with Rutgers University’s Larry Scanlon, she is editing Barbarous Tongues: Medieval Language, Race, and Alterity, forthcoming from The Ohio State University Press, Interventions: New Studies in Medieval Culture series.

Susan Nakley belongs to the New Chaucer Society, The New York Medieval Society, and the Modern Language Association. She has served on MLA’s Middle English Forum Executive Committee and on the advisory board of Exemplaria: Medieval, Early Modern, Theory, the premier journal for early and premodern theoretical approaches to literary critique.

Scholarly & Professional Interests

Antisemitism and Orientalism in Middle English Literature


Medieval drama

Medieval religious politics

Medieval romance

Postcolonial theory

Late Twentieth and Twenty-first-Century Medievalism 

Politics of language and literature

Select Publications

“On or About 1400.” The Routledge Companion to Politics and Literature in English. Ed. Matthew Stratton. Oxford: Taylor & Francis Group, Routledge Press, 2023: 172-82.

Living in the Future: Sovereignty and Internationalism in the Canterbury Tales. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2017.

Authority (Familial, Written, Political) in the Clerk’s Tale.” In The Open Access Companion to the Canterbury Tales. Eds. Candace Barrington, Brantley Bryant, Richard H. Godden, Daniel T. Kline, and Myra Seaman. 2017.

“On the Unruly Power of Pain in Middle English Drama,” Literature and Medicine 33.2 (2015): 279-302.

“‘Rowned She a Pistel’: National Institutions and Identities According to Chaucer’s Wife of Bath,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 114.1(2015): 61-87.

“Sovereignty Matters: Anachronism, Chaucer’s Britain, and England’s Future’s Past,” The Chaucer Review 44.4(2010): 368-396.