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Corey Wronski-Mayersak
  • Associate Professor
  • Director, Honors Program

English
Corey Wronski-Mayersak

Contact Prof. Wronski-Mayersak

Majoring in English was actually my “back up” plan. I wanted to be a professional ballerina. When that didn’t work out due to medical problems, I wanted to major in dance and become an art critic. When that still didn’t work out due to medical problems, I activated the back up plan. In the meantime, though, I was falling in love with medieval literature and culture, and a year abroad at Oxford with a “deep dive” into medieval texts cemented those interests. I was fortunate: a liberal arts education was preparing me to be resilient and able to pivot when necessary, during those college years and many times in life since then! I love my work as a professor, even though it wasn’t what I originally planned (there were, however, early warning signs: as a child I used to line up my stuffed animals and read to them), and I have one of the best jobs in the world. I get to be a part of students’ growth as thinkers and support their discovery of the best of what the arts and humanities have to offer, including reflection on the human condition, development of self-understanding, and inspiration for lifelong curiosity.

Education

2011
Ph.D., Cornell University
2008
M.A. en passant, Cornell University
2004
M.A., Georgetown University
2002
B.A., Goucher College

Research Interests

  • Medieval literature

  • Comparative mysticism

  • Devotional culture

  • Drama (especially medieval and early modern)

  • Viking Age Icelandic literature

  • Critical theory (especially theories of performance, psychoanalysis, semiotics, and phenomenology)

  • Immersive pedagogy

Recent Courses

  • ENG 2229: Medieval Visions & Visionaries

  • SIS 2038: Monsters Medieval Style

  • ENG 1T01: Viking Myth and Sagas

Selected Publications

  • The McDaniel Medieval Ghost Mapping Project, a Digital Humanities Project 

  • Optical Illusions of Speech: Signification in Medieval English Marian Drama. Text & Presentation 10 (2014): 36-53.

  • Dialogic Melting: Representing Mystical Union and its Instability in Marguerite Porete's Mirror of Simple Souls. Viator 42, no. 2 (Autumn 2011): 157-182.

  • Review of Dance: American Art, 1830-1960, ed. Jane Dini. The Key Reporter "Life of the Mind" series, 2017.

  • Review of Irina Baronova and the Ballets Russe de Monte Carlo by Victoria Tennant. The Key Reporter "Life of the Mind" series, 2016.

Clubs and community involvement

  • Faculty Advisor to the Hispano-Latinx Alliance

  • Organizer of "Grendel and the Green Terror" Beowulf Celebration

  • Former President of Delta of Maryland Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa

  • Faculty Inclusion & Diversity Committee

  • Book Reviewer for Phi Beta Kappa Key Reporter "Life of the Mind" series (often my chance to write about dance!)

Awards and Honors

  • Acceptance for Participation in the The School of Criticism and Theory

  • Nomination for the Dean's Prize for Distinguished Teaching, Cornell University

  • Martin Sampson Teaching Award, Cornell University

  • Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines Teaching Portfolio Award, Cornell University

  • Caplan Scholarship for Study Abroad

Corey Wronski-Mayersak

Contact Prof. Wronski-Mayersak

"In one of the medieval books that I often teach, Langland’s Piers Plowman, the protagonist takes a dream journey to Truth, and Langland composes this as a dialogue with a cast of figures; the allegorical personifications that the protagonist meets each challenge his perspectives and problematize his pilgrimage as much as they aid it. This is a model for my teaching: my role is not to hand students some objective truth, but rather, I hope our dialogues inspire them to think critically for themselves, to seek answers, and to appreciate the complexity and beauty of the journey itself."