Brent A. PittsDirector, Honors Program; Fulbright Program Advisor; Professor of Foreign Languages & Literatures
115-C Joyner Hall
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 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
- 2011 and 2014 Research in Cambridge University Library and Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
- 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
1986 Pauline Davis Perry Award for Research and Publications
- 'La Terre des Sarrazins: the amplified version', essay and critical edition; and
The Marvels of India (Dean § 166), a critical edition of Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, CFM 20 (formerly Ashburnham Barrois 16), ff. 25v-40r.
Work submitted in Summer / Fall 2014 for consideration for publication
- '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).
- « Les isles devers le northwest» dans Le Livre des regions de Barthélemy l’Anglais’ in Encyclopédie médiévale et langues européennes: Réception et diffusion du De proprietatibus rerum de Barthélemy l’Anglais dans les langues vernaculaires, éd. J Ducos (Paris: Editions Honoré Champion, 2014), pp. 167-90;
- 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 seventy-five 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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