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Russell Peck is one of the world’s leading scholars of Middle English literature and his expertise extends to medieval aesthetics, medieval intellectual history, myth and fairytale, and the history of drama and performance. He is an internationally recognized authority on Geoffrey Chaucer, Chaucer’s contemporary John Gower, and Middle English texts and scholarly bibliography.
In a distinguished career as a critical and textual editor, he has significantly shaped scholarship and teaching in his field. His contributions as general editor of the Middle English Text Series are prodigious --72 volumes have been completed and almost 70 more are in press or underway. Professor Peck originally conceived the project as a series of student editions, but thanks to his editorial guidance the materials not only supply the information necessary for students to access sometimes difficult and foreign material, they provide the depth and nuance to serve as standard editions for scholars in the field, and as key resources for the most up-to-date research. Further, his work as a bibliographer of Chaucer and Gower, among other subjects, sets the stage for how these subjects are researched by subsequent scholars.
As a leader in digital humanities, Professor Peck is a pioneer in providing access to important scholarship online and building electronic archives that put literary texts in historical, biographical, geo-graphical, and other contexts. His extensive online bibliography of the Cinderella fairytale in text, art, poetry, and as a subject of literary criticism is an outstanding example.
Professor Peck is a master teacher who has received two CASE Professor of the Year awards and the E. Harris Harbison Award for Gifted Teaching from the Danforth Foundation. Honoring a teacher-scholar of his caliber reflects the value that Geneseo places on teaching excellence as a public liberal arts college.