Brent A. Pitts
Director of the Honors Program, Fulbright Program Advisor, Professor of Foreign Languages
Office: 115-C Joyner Hall
Phone: (919) 760-8814
Areas of Expertise
Medieval manuscript studies
Critical editions of Anglo-Norman texts
Modern English translations of medieval texts
Anglo-Norman biblical narratives; geographies and Crusader texts in Anglo-Norman
Although I was born in Indiana and spent my first thirty years there, in the early 1800s my branch of the family had been farmers and sometime Quakers in Stokes County, NC. I discovered this connection before leaving Indiana for Raleigh, so that the move to North Carolina was a kind of homecoming.
Indiana is nearly landlocked. Either this or my Sagittarian credentials may explain a lifelong interest in languages, love of travel and study, and fascination with accents and cultural differences. That my grandfather was a limestone quarryman and my father also very handy with tools has inspired my enjoyment of fix-up projects.
At Meredith College, I teach French language and civilization and supervise the research of advanced students of French. Since 2012 I have served as director of the Honors program.This is indeed 'the best job at Meredith College', as advertised.
I like that faculty members at Meredith College can try different hats. Among my best experiences have been to perform in French plays, to build a medieval trebuchet, to help to fashion a medieval sundial, and to teach new courses about technology, medieval literature / culture, and discoverers of new worlds.
It is impossible to bring energy to my teaching unless I am also working actively on a research project that I find compelling. For details of my current research interests, see elsewhere on this page.
1981 Ph.D. (French), Indiana U-Bloomington
1974 M.A. (French literature), Indiana U
1972 B.A. (French), Indiana U
2010 Visit to the Holy Land, including many places named in the Anglo-Norman Gospel harmony
2007 Visiting lecturer, Dongbei U of Finance & Economics, Dalian, PRC
2005 Motorized pilgrimage along the via podiensis as far as Cahors
1992-present Consultation of medieval manuscripts in university and private libraries in Atlanta, London, Cambridge, Oxford, Paris, Toulouse, Copenhagen, Dublin, and New York
1994 Fellow, Jessie Ball duPont Fund Summer Seminar for Liberal Arts Faculty, ‘Cultural Memory’, National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park
1992 Fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Seminar, ‘The Old French Fabliaux and the Medieval Sense of the Comic’, University of California-Berkeley;
1991 Fellow, Services culturels français, ‘L'Europe en marche’, CIEL-Strasbourg
1984 Fellow, Ministère des Relations extérieures, ‘Introduction to the French business enterprise’, Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Lyon
1983 Fellow, NEH Summer Seminar, ‘French Vernacular Narrative and the European Middle Ages’, Princeton U
2007 Faculty Distinguished Lecture; faculty award, Friends of the Carlyle Campbell Library
2004 Laura Harrill Presidential Award
1998 Harry and Marion Eberly Faculty Development Award
1986 Pauline Davis Perry Award for Research and Publications
'La Terre des Sarrazins: the summary version', essay and critical edition
« Les isles devers le northwest» dans Le Livre des regions de Barthélemy l’Anglais’ in Ecriture et réception d’une encyclopédie médiévale: Jean Corbechon, 'Le livre de proprietés de choses', éd. J. Ducos (Paris: Editions Honoré Champion), forthcoming in 2014;
Trans., Anglo-Norman Gospel harmony, French of England Translation Series (FRETS), vol. 7 (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Arizona State University, 2014);
Ed., Estoire de l’Evangile (Dublin, Christ Church Cathedral, MS. 6.1.1), Medium Ævum Monographs, XXVIII (Oxford: Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature, 2011);
Ed., Revelacion (BL Royal 2.D.xiii), Anglo-Norman Texts 68 (London: Anglo-Norman Text Society, 2010);
Ed., Le Livre des regions, Plain Texts Series 15 (London: Anglo-Norman Text Society, 2006);
Two hundred thirty-two entries in Anglo-Norman Dictionary, a project of the U of Wales Aberystwyth and the U of Wales Swansea (http://www.anglo-norman.net/); and
‘The Middle English Apocalypse gloss in London, British Library MS Add. 18633’ (with Shearle Furnish), Notes & Queries 53.3 (Sept 2006): 293-295.
2007-2011 Medieval & Renaissance studies vertical sundial project (with L. Pearce and B. Schmidt)
2006-2007 Medieval & Renaissance studies trebuchet project
1994 Title role, departmental production of Courteline’s Le commissaire est bon enfant
1988 ‘M. Martin’ in departmental production of Ionesco’s La Cantatrice chauve
1987 ‘Michel’ in departmental production of Cocteau’s Les Parents terribles
1985 ‘M. Smith’ in departmental production of La Cantatrice chauve
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