Julie Singer

Julie Singer

Chair, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
Professor of French
PhD, Duke University

contact info:

office hours:

  • In-person office hours: Monday and Tuesday from 12:00 to 1:00 PM in Ridgley 310, and by appointment

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mailing address:

  • Washington University
    MSC 1077-146-310
    One Brookings Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

Professor Singer’s research focuses on medieval French and Italian literature and culture; particular interests include literature and medicine, the cultural history of science and technology, disability studies, gender studies, and theories of language, sound, and voice. 

Professor Singer is the author of Blindness and Therapy in Late Medieval French and Italian Poetry (2011) and Representing Mental Illness in Late Medieval France: Machines, Madness, Metaphor (2018), both published in Boydell and Brewer’s Gallica series. Her current book project explores the uses of fetal and infant speech as an epistemic tool in medieval French literature, law, and philosophy of language: read more about it here, https://humanities.wustl.edu/features/julie-singer-baby-talk-medieval-french-literature. She is also writing a student-oriented Introduction to Disability in Medieval European Literature, under contract with the University Press of Florida. Professor Singer will be the next editor of Digital Philology: A Journal of Medieval Cultures (Johns Hopkins University Press) and looks forward to working with graduate student Editorial Assistants. 


Professor Singer teaches language and literature courses on a broad range of topics. Her undergraduate and graduate seminars have included courses about the cultural memory of Joan of Arc and of Notre-Dame cathedral; intersectional identities in medieval literature; and body and disability in medieval texts. She teaches a number of undergraduate courses cross-listed with the program in Medical Humanities, including “Medical Narratives, Narrative Medicine,” “Contagions,” and “Transplants,” all of which enable an exploration of conceptual and concrete connections between medicine, literature, language, and culture. Professor Singer is also a co-convener of the Disability and Embodied Difference Reading Group, an interdisciplinary community of faculty and students sponsored by the Center for the Humanities. 

Professor Singer is enthusiastically committed to inclusive education, mentoring, and lifelong learning. She has recently completed pedagogical seminars on topics ranging from “Medieval Africa and Africans” to “Teaching with AI,” and is a member of Wash U’s 2023-24 CEILE (Creating Equitable, Inclusive Learning Environments) learning community. A trained “Entering Mentoring” facilitator, Professor Singer is passionate about working with students and faculty to improve communication and support.  

Blindness and Therapy in Late Medieval French and Italian Poetry

Blindness and Therapy in Late Medieval French and Italian Poetry