Susan Oldrieve - English
B.A. Princeton University, 1973
M.A. University of Virginia, 1975
Ph.D. University of Virginia, 1981
I came to B-W in 1986. My teaching and research fields are British Literature before 1616 including Celtic Myth and Legend; Anglo-Saxon literature, Chaucer, Shakespeare and his contemporaries, Acting Shakespeare, and Introduction to the Study of Language. She also teaches an Honors course about the Nature, Causes, and
Solutions to the Problem of Violence and the Survey of British Literature portion of the Carmel Living Learning Center's program Life and Literature in Early Britain.
Current research includes Celtic religion; translations of Anglo-Saxon literature; Chaucer's treatment of language; a book on characterization in Edmund Spenser's The Faere Queene, and, with student research assistant Joanna Wright Smith, the appendix on teachng methodology in Continuum's forthcoming volume on Teaching Medieval Literature .
I also work with the Barbara Byrd Bennett Scholars and with service learning opportunities and internships at Lincoln West High School.
What have you learned while teaching at B-W?:
I gain new insights and information about the literature I teach every day, not only from my research, but also from my students.
I've also developed my leadership skills by advising student organizations and serving on faculty committees.
What inspired you to get into college teaching?:
I have always wanted to teach and pursued secondary education certification, but then decided I really wanted to focus on Medieval and Renassance literature and was no good at classroom discipline, so I went to graduate school in order to teach at the college level. I love sharing the literature of the early periods with my students and helping them get to know this famliar yet alien culture.
Describe the ways in which you mentor students interested in your department:
I regularly hire one or more students as research and course assistants, advise students about graduate school possibilities and preparation, take students to academic conferences, encourage them to present papers whenever possible, and take students on experiential learning trips out of town, out of state and out of
the country to broaden their horizons and deepen their experiential understanding of the literature we are studying.
If you weren't teaching what would you be doing?:
Being a stay at home mom raising 8 children!
What do students like best about your class?:
They like the interactive nature of our discussions, the feeling of accomplishment they get from having worked hard, and the experiential learning activities we do to help us imagine the literature more fully.