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; and
- Review of I Short, Manual of Anglo-Norman, 2nd ed., Occasional Publications Series, 8 (Oxford: Anglo-Norman Text Society, 2013), for The Modern Language Review.
- « 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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