Susan Nakley, Ph.D.

Susan Nakley, Ph.D.

Associate Chairperson and Associate Professor

English BK LI


SJC Brooklyn

  • Lorenzo Hall, Second floor

SJC Long Island

  • 631.687.1482
  • O'Connor Hall, Room N226B


B.A., English and Political Science, University of Michigan

M.A., English, Rutgers University

Ph.D., English, Rutgers University


Susan Nakley joined the faculty of St. Joseph’s College in 2008, just after defending her dissertation at Rutgers University. Her research centers around late medieval literature, drama, and political culture, with special emphasis on the works of Geoffrey Chaucer and nationhood. Professor Nakley taught at Rutgers and at St. John’s University while completing her doctorate. In addition to British literature surveys and other departmental staples, she routinely teaches courses on Chaucer, the medieval frame narrative and medieval drama.

Dr. Nakley has served on the college’s diversity, global studies and honors committees, and as a faculty adviser to Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society. In 2018, she began a term as Associate Chair of her department. She belongs to the New Chaucer Society, the BABEL Working Group, Medievalists of Color, and the Modern Language Association. In 2019, Dr. Nakley was elected to serve a five-year term on MLA’s Middle English Forum Executive Committee.

Scholarly & Professional Interests

Antisemitism and Orientalism in Middle English Literature


Medieval drama

Medieval religious politics

Medieval romance

Postcolonial theory

Late Twentieth and Twenty-first-Century Medievalism 

Select Publications

Living in the Future: Sovereignty and Internationalism in the Canterbury Tales. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2017.

“Authority (Familial, Written, Political) in the Clerk’s Tale.” In The Open Access Companion to the Canterbury Tales. Eds. Candace Barrington, Brantley Bryant, Richard H. Godden, Daniel T. Kline, and Myra Seaman. 2017.

“On the Unruly Power of Pain in Middle English Drama,” Literature and Medicine 33.2 (2015): 279-302.

“‘Rowned She a Pistel’: National Institutions and Identities According to Chaucer’s Wife of Bath,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 114.1(2015): 61-87.

“Sovereignty Matters: Anachronism, Chaucer’s Britain, and England’s Future’s Past,” The Chaucer Review 44.4(2010): 368-396.