Susan Yager

Morrill Professor [ENGL]


Office:329 Ross
527 Farm House Ln
Ames IA

Office Hours: MW 1-3


Courses I am Teaching

Engl 445: Seminar: Literature Crossing Boundaries
Engl 420: History of the English Language

Courses I often teach—Engl 250H Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition: Honors, Introduction to Literary Study, History of English, Chaucer, Introduction to Old English Language and Literature, as well as British Literature survey and allegorical literature


Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
B.A., M.A., Catholic University

Research Areas

Middle English
Pedagogy of medieval studies

About my teaching

Chaucer was a required course at my undergraduate institution. I fell in love with medieval literature and never looked back. My interest in pedagogy increased during the nine years I served as Associate Director of Iowa State’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, and continued to grow as I worked as Faculty Director of the ISU Honors Program. I will continue to keep scholarly teaching at the core of all I do, and look forward to continue learning about teaching – especially about computers as an aid to literary study and to pedagogy – throughout my career.

Current Research

Although I’m a medievalist, I’m interested in children’s literature and topics in higher education as well as in Chaucer’s language and poetry, medieval studies pedagogy, and medievalism. Other interests include humor in literature, the rewriting or remaking of earlier works, and publications from the Second World War.

Recent Publications

As faculty director of Iowa State’s Honors Program, I published on effective ways to teach high-ability students on the autism spectrum and on teaching the Harry Potter series to Honors students. I also recently published on the editorial and pedagogical complexities of a Middle English lyric, “My lefe is faren in londe.” My current projects include a study of Chaucer’s presence and influence in the twentieth century and another essay on Harry Potter.

I co-edited Interpretation and Performance: Essays for Alan Gaylord (Chaucer Studio Press, 2013) and contributed to the second edition of MLA Approaches to Teaching Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, ed. Peter Travis and Frank Grady (MLA, 2014) as well as to Critical Insights: Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. James M. Dean (Salem/Grey House, 2017).