Jonathan Hsy

Jonathan Hsy

Jonathan Hsy

Professor of English


Email: Jonathan Hsy
Office Phone: (202) 994-0943

Jonathan Hsy (pronounced “shoo”) is Associate Professor of English at George Washington University, and his work broadly asks how critical theory and cultural analysis can reshape our understandings of language, identity, and disability (from the Middle Ages to the present). Hsy is the author of Antiracist Medievalisms: From “Yellow Peril” to Black Lives Matter (Arc Humanities Press, 2021) and Trading Tongues: Merchants, Multilingualism, and Medieval Literature (Ohio State University Press, 2013), and he is a co-editor of A Cultural History of Disability in the Middle Ages (Bloomsbury, 2020).

Hsy is currently the Director of Undergraduate Advising for the Department of English, and he regularly teaches in the areas of Disability Studies and Asian American Studies.

Hsy’s publications have appeared in the Cambridge Companion to the Body in Literature, Early Modern Women Journal, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, Literature Compass, New Medieval Literatures, PMLA, and postmedieval.

Hsy is founding co-director of the GW Digital Humanities Institute and founding co-director of Global Chaucers. His other collaborative and online endeavors include In The Middle (a group medieval studies blog), the Digital Medieval Disability Glossary, and a crowdsourced bibliography on Race and Medieval Studies.

Hsy’s diversity work aims to build and sustain supportive networks for historically underrepresented communities across academic institutions and beyond the academy. He is a founding member of the Medievalists of Color and a founding executive board member of RaceB4Race, and he has held leadership positions on the MLA’s Committee on Disability Issues in the Profession and the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship. 

Current CV 


Medieval Literature and Culture, Disability Studies, Critical Theory, Media Studies, Multilingualism and Translation Studies, Asian American Cultural Studies.


Antiracist Medievalisms: From “Yellow Peril” to Black Lives Matter (Arc Humanities Press, 2021; reissued in paperback in 2022).

A Cultural History of Disability in the Middle Ages, co-edited with Tory V. Pearman and Joshua R. Eyler (Bloomsbury, 2020). Volume 2 of A Cultural History of Disability, eds. David Bolt and Robert McRuer.

Trading Tongues: Merchants, Multilingualism, and Medieval Literature (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2013). Awarded John Hurt Fisher Award from the International John Gower Society.


Edited Journal Issues:

Chaucer’s Global Compaignye,” co-edited with Candace Barrington, Literature Compass 15.6 (June 2018).

Thinking Across Tongues,” co-edited with Mary Kate Hurley and A.B. Kraebel, postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies 8.3 (September 2017).


Selected Essays and Chapters:
“Disability, Disease, and a Global Middle Ages” (with Monica H. Green). Teaching the Global Middle Ages, ed. Geraldine Heng (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2022), pp. 302-14.

“Queer Times, Queer Forms: Noir Medievalism and Patience Agbabi’s Telling Tales” (with Candace Barrington). Postmodern Poetry and Queer Medievalisms: Time Mechanics, ed. David Hadbawnik (Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter/Medieval Institute Publications, 2022), pp. 159-77.

“Chaucer’s Brown Faces: Race, Interpretation, Adaptation.” Special issue: “The Ethical Challenges of Chaucerian Scholarship in the 21st Century” (eds. Sarah Baechle and Carissa M. Harris), Chaucer Review 56, 4 (2021): 378-96.

“Afterlives” (with Candace Barrington). A New Companion to Chaucer, ed. Peter Brown (Chichester, UK: Wiley & Sons, 2019): pp. 7-19.

“Universal Design and Its Discontents” (with Richard H. Godden). Disrupting the Digital Humanities, eds. Dorothy Kim and Jesse Stommel (Brooklyn: punctum books, 2018), pp. 91-115.

Queer Environments: Reanimating ‘Adam Scriveyn.’” postmedieval 9.3 (September 2018): 289-302.

“Diverging Forms: Disability and the Monk’s Tales.” Chaucer and the Subversion of Form, eds. Jessica Rosenfeld and Thomas Prendergast (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2018), pp. 85-98.

“Linguistic Entrapment: Interlanguage, Bivernacularity, and Life Across Tongues.” postmedieval 9.2 (June 2018): 196-208.

“Between Species: Animal-Human Bilingualism and Medieval Texts.” The Medieval Translator 14 (2018), pp. 563-579.

The Monk’s Tale: Disability/Ability.” The Open Access Companion to The Canterbury Tales, eds. Candace Barrington, Brantley Bryant, Richard H. Godden, and Daniel T. Kline.

“Gower and Theory: Old Books, New Matters.” Routledge Research Companion to John Gower, eds. R.F. Yeager, Brian Gastle, and Ana Sáez-Hidalgo (New York: Routledge, 2017), pp. 9-20.

Symptom and Surface: Disruptive Deafness and Medieval Medical Authority.” Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 13.4 (December 2016): 1-17; published online 26 August 2016.

Language Ecologies: Ethics, Community, and Digital Affect.” PMLA 131.2 (March 2016): 373-380.

Close Listening: Talking Books, Blind Readers, and Medieval Worldbuilding.” postmedieval 7.2 (Summer 2016): 181-192.

‘“Remediated Verse: Chaucer’s Tale of Melibee and Patience Agbabi’s ‘Unfinished Business’” (with Candace Barrington), postmedieval 6.2 (Summer 2015): 136-145.

“Disability.” Cambridge Companion to the Body in Literature, eds. David Hillman and Ulrika Maude (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 24-40.

“Analytical Survey: Encountering Disability in the Middle Ages” (with Richard H. Godden). New Medieval Literatures 15 (2015), pp. 313-330.

“Global Chaucers” (with Candace Barrington). Medieval Afterlives in Contemporary Culture, ed. Gail Ashton (London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2015), pp. 147-156.

“Translation Failure: The TARDIS, Cross-Temporal Language Contact, and Medieval Travel Narrative.” The Language of Doctor Who: From Shakespeare to Alien Tongues, eds. Jason Barr and Camille D.G. Mustachio (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), pp. 109-123.

“Blind Advocacy: Blind Readers, Disability Theory, and Accessing John Gower.” Accessus: A Journal of Premodern Literature and New Media 1.1 (2013): Article 2.

“Charles d’Orléans and a Disorienting Preposition / La Préposition Désorientée and Charles of Orleans.” kadar koli 8 (Summer 2013): 12-20.

Distemporality: Richard III’s Body and the Car ParkUpstart: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies (Clemson University, August 12, 2013).

“Mobile Language-Networks and Medieval Travel Writing.” postmedieval 4.2 (Spring 2013): 177-191.

“City.” In A Handbook of Middle English Studies, ed. Marion Turner (Chichester, UK: Wiley & Sons, 2013), pp. 315-329.

“Lingua Franca: Overseas Travel and Language Contact in The Book of Margery Kempe.” The Sea and Medieval English Identity, ed. Sebastian I. Sobecki (Cambridge: Brewer, 2011).

“‘Be more strange and bold’: Kissing Lepers and Female Same-Sex Desire in The Book of Margery Kempe.” Early Modern Women Journal (Fall 2010): 189-199.

Selected Short and Creative Works:
“Phantom Sounds.” How We Read: Tales, Fury, Nothing, Sound, eds. Kaitlin Heller and Suzanne Akbari (punctum books, 2019), pp. 103-111.
“Codes and Languages.” Middle English Travel: A Critical Anthology, eds. Anthony Bale and Sebastian Sobecki (Oxford University Press, 2019), pp. 44-49.

“Afterword.” Prosthesis in Medieval and Early Modern Culture, eds. Chloe Porter, Katie L. Walter, and Margaret Healey (Routledge, 2018), pp. 165-168.

“London.” Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature in Britain, eds. Siân Echard and Robert Rouse (Chichester, UK: Wiley & Sons, 2017), pp. 1204-1208.
“Comment from the field: Composing Disability: Diagnosis, Interrupted, George Washington University.” Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies 8.3 (2014): 355-360.

Honors and Awards:
Institute for Advanced Study, Membership, School of Historical Studies, Princeton, NJ, 2020-21
Columbian College Facilitating Fund, GWU, 2019-20 and 2017-18
Enhanced Faculty Travel Award, GWU, 2019-20
Folger Shakespeare Library, Short-Term Residential Fellowship, 2018 and 2010
Object Lessons Workshop, NEH Institute, 2018
John Hurt Fisher Award, International John Gower Society, 2015
MITH Subvention, NEH Accessible Futures Workshop, UT-Austin, 2014
University Facilitating Fund, GWU, 2013-14
Writing in the Disciplines (WID) Distinguished Teaching Award, 2013
National Endowment for the Humanities, NEH Summer Stipend, 2010
Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, 2001-2
Leadership Experience:
Founding Executive Board Member, RaceB4Race
Founding Steering Committee, Medievalists of Color
Advisory Board, Society of Medieval Feminist Scholarship
Executive Committee, Comparative Medieval Forum, MLA
Member, Committee on Disability Issues in the Profession, MLA
Related Links and Resources:
Global Chaucers (blog and network)
Race and Medieval Studies (bibliography)
Future of Medieval Disability Studies (bibliography)
In The Middle (blog and network)

Jonathan Hsy on Twitter
Jonathan Hsy on Academia

PhD, MA, University of Pennsylvania

MA, BA, Stanford University