About the Author

Photo of female author Kisha G. Tracy
Kisha G. Tracy

I grew up in a small town in rural southern Illinois. My parents were both teachers, one in elementary school and one in secondary school sciences. From an early age, I began hearing and thinking about education, from theory to practice. Although my own interests leaned towards literature, history, and other humanities, I was equally exposed to STEM and have found the skills and ways of thinking in these areas, especially when combined with those in the humanities, incredibly useful as well as perspective-changing.

From kindergarten until I graduated from high school, there were no people of color in my school system or even in the entire county. The year I went away to start college a Christian group of color moved in and started a business on the town square – in front of which a cross was burned almost immediately. When I entered undergrad, my first professor in my chosen field – Medieval Studies – was a scholar of color, Dr. Annette Parks in the History department at the University of Evansville. I did not realize it then, of course, but, as a result of her involvement in my early academic pursuits, my entire view of Medieval Studies was distinct from many who entered the field. In her courses, we often focused on the marginalized, on women, on peasants, on prisoners of war – on many whose voices are not always at the forefront in discussions about the period. Given the experiences of my younger self, I am grateful for her impact on me at the beginning of my academic career.

I would like to acknowledge that I identify as white, female, hetero, and disabled. At present, I am a tenured Professor of English Studies and Chair of the General Education Program at Fitchburg State University, a small liberal arts college in Massachusetts. I received my Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the University of Connecticut. As an instructor, I teach courses ranging from first-year composition to medieval and early world literature. I utilize trauma-informed pedagogy, universal design, anti-racist pedagogy, and Real Talk. As a researcher, my main interests include medieval disability, especially mental health, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. In addition to several articles, my first book was published by Palgrave in 2017 and is entitled Memory and Confession in Middle English Literature, and my second book was published in 2022 with Arc Humanities Press and is entitled Why Study the Middle Ages? I am the president of the Society for the Study of Disability in the Middle Ages, the editor of the Medieval Disability Glossary, and the co-founder of the scholarly organization the Lone Medievalist. For further information about me, see my digital portfolio.


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