Samantha Seal

Associate Professor
Office: English, Hamilton Smith Hall Rm 349H, Durham, NH 03824
Samantha Seal

Samantha Katz Seal is a scholar of the human body and human difference in medieval English literature, with a particular focus on mechanisms of heredity and reproduction. Her work brings together feminist theory with medieval medicine, the digital humanities, and the history of Jews and medieval anti-Judaism. Dr. Seal's first book, "Father Chaucer: Generating Authority in The Canterbury Tales," was published in 2019 by Oxford University Press, as part of the Medieval Literature and Culture series. This book is a study of Geoffrey Chaucer's search for human authority through metaphors of poetic and paternal creation.

Dr. Seal is currently at work on two new book projects. The first, "Chaucer's Heirs: The Rise and Fall of a Poetic Dynasty in Late Medieval England," is a literary biography of the Chaucer family, and was supported by a 2019-2020 ACLS fellowship. Dr. Seal's second current project, "Of Cristen Blood," is an account of the racialization of Christianity in late medieval Europe. For more information on Dr. Seal's work, see


  • Ph.D., Yale University
  • M.A., Yale University
  • M.Phil., Yale University
  • B.A., Washington University - St Louis

Research Interests

  • Chaucer
  • Digital humanities
  • Disability studies
  • Feminist and queer theory
  • History of medicine and the body
  • Human Reproduction/Fertility
  • Jewish Studies
  • Medieval History
  • Medieval literature
  • Women's Studies

Courses Taught

  • ENGL 510: Intro to Digital Humanties
  • ENGL 585: Intro to Women in Literature
  • ENGL 595W: Literary Topics
  • ENGL 751: Medieval Epic and Romance
  • ENGL 756: Chaucer
  • ENGL 787: English Major Seminar
  • ENGL 925: Graduate Study of Literature

Selected Publications

Seal, S. L. (2019). “Chaucer’s Other “Wyf”: Philippa Chaucer, the Critics, and the English Canon,”. The Chaucer Review, (New Feminist Approaches to Chaucer).

Seal, S. L. (2019). Father Chaucer: Generating Authority in The Canterbury Tales. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Seal. (2017). Reading Like a Jew: Chaucer's <em>Physician's Tale</em> and the Letter of the Law. The Chaucer Review, 52(3), 298. doi:10.5325/chaucerrev.52.3.0298

Samantha Katz Seal. (2014). Pregnant Desire:. The Chaucer Review, 48(3), 284. doi:10.5325/chaucerrev.48.3.0284

Seal, S. L. (2012). Miraculous History: Fictions of Text and Body in a Ritual Murder Trial. Religion and Literature, 44(1).