Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski

  • Distinguished Professor Emerita

Area of Interest

Medieval French literature; Medieval religious history; Medieval women's history; Church history; Mysticism



PhD, Romance Languages, Princeton University
MA, Princeton University
BA, French and English Literature, Bonn University
BA, French, Rutgers University


Curriculum vitae (PDF)

Research Interests & Fields of Study

French medieval literature and culture, in particular Christine de Pizan; allegorical poetry; female spirituality; church history.


Undergraduate courses

  • Women’s Voices in French Literature
  • Medieval Romance
  • Medieval/Renaissance Colloquium
  • Survey of Medieval and Renaissance Literature
  • Love, Sex, and Marriage in the Middle Ages
  • Introduction to French Literature (Middle Ages to 20th century)
  • Novel 17th–19th c. and Modern Novel
  • French Poetry, Middle Ages to the Present
  • Advance French Composition
  • Literature/Humanities (a great books course at Columbia University)
  • French Civilization: Origins to 1799
  • French and German Language at all levels

Graduate Seminars

  • Literature and Politics in Late Medieval France
  • Autour du Roman de la rose
  • Images of Women in Medieval Literature
  • Christine de Pizan
  • Classical Mythology in the French Middle Ages (Comp. Lit.)
  • Old French Saints’ Lives, Legends, and Miracles
  • The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century
  • Visions of History in Medieval French Literature
  • Transformations of the Arthurian World
  • Survey of Medieval French Literature (12th to 15th centuries)
  • The History of the French Language (Vulgar Latin to Renaissance)
  • The Structure of the French Language (readings in modern linguistics)
  • Linguistic and Philological Introduction to Old French Readings
  • Phonology and morphology from Vulgar Latin to French Classicism

Selected Publications


Joël Blanchard and Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, Philippe de Mézières et L’Europe: Nouvelle histoire, Nouveaux espaces, nouveaux langages, Droz, 2017.

Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, The Strange Case of Ermine de Reims: A Medieval Woman Between Demons and Saints, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015.

Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski and Bruce L. Venarde, Two Women of the Great Schism: The Revelations of Constance de Rabastens by Raymond de Sabanac and the Life of Ursulina of Parma by Simone Zanacchi, "The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe, Toronto Series 3". Toronto: Center for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2010.

Poets, Saints, and Visionaries of the Great Schism (1378-1417). University Park: Penn State UP, 2006.

The Selected Writings of Christine de Pizan: A Norton Critical Edition. New York: W.W. Norton, 1997. Ed. by R. B.-K., translations by R. B.-K. and Kevin Brownlee.

Reading Myth: Classical Mythology and its Interpretations in Medieval French Literature. Stanford University Press, 1997.

The Writings of Margaret of Oingt, Medieval Prioress and Mystic. Translated from the Latin and Francoprovençal with an Introduction and an Interpretive Essay. Focus Press, Newburyport, Mass., 1990. Reissued by Boydell and Brewer.

Not of Woman Born: Representations of Caesarean Birth in Medieval and Renaissance Culture. Cornell University Press, 1990. Paperback, 1991.

Edited Volumes

Philippe de Mézières and His Age: Piety and Politics in the Fourteenth Century Ed. with Kiril Petkov. The Medieval Mediterranean 91. Leyden: Brill, 2012.

The Vernacular Spirit: Essays on Medieval Religious Literature. Ed. with Duncan Robertson and Nancy Warren. New York: Palgrave, 2002.

The Politics of Translation in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Ed. with Luise von Flotow and Daniel Russell. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2001.

Translatio Studii: Essays by His Students in Honor of Karl D. Uitti for His Sixty-Fifth Birthday. Ed. with K. Brownlee, Mary Speer, and Lori Walters. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000.

Images of Sainthood in Medieval Europe. Ed. with Timea Szell. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991.

Selected Awards and Honors

2008, ACLS Research Fellowship

2003–04, NEH Research Fellowship

2000, 2002, 2006, Hewlett International Grants (summer travel grants)

1998, Member, Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton (spring)

1997, Type I research Grant, University of Pittsburgh

1991–92, NEH Research Fellowship,

1988, NEH Summer Stipend

1984–86, Summer Grants from the Council for Research in the Humanities, Columbia University

1981–83, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Columbia University

1979–80, Harold W. Dodds Fellowship, Princeton University

Professional Service

Book review editor (French) for Speculum

Nominating Committee, Medieval Academy of America, 2001-03

Program Director, Hagiography Society, 1999-2003

Councilor of the Medieval Academy of America, 1998-2000

Advisory Board, Praeger Series on the Middle Ages