Johanna Kramer

Photo of Johanna Kramer
Associate Professor
206 Tate
Areas of Study: 
English Language and Linguistics
Medieval Literature
Research and Teaching: 

Office Hours for Fall Semester 2019: Friday 12:00-12:50 p.m. and by appointment.

Areas of Research and Teaching: Old English language and literature; Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Latin literature and culture; hagiography and homilies; prose writings; folklore and popular religion; proverbs in literature; Germanic languages and literatures; history of the English language

Johanna Kramer is interested in all things Anglo-Saxon, but particularly in Old English religious literature, with a research focus on saints' lives, homilies, expressions of Christian (especially patristic) theology, popular religion, and folklore. She has a collaborative edition and translation of anonymous Old English prose saints' lives forthcoming in Spring 2020 with the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library series: Johanna Kramer, Hugh Magennis, and Robin Norris, eds. and trans., Anonymous Old English Lives of Saints, Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library (Harvard University Press).

Her current book project, expanding beyond Anglo-Saxon England, examines the rhetorical use of proverbs in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. An ongoing interest, explored in article-length work, is the study of Anglo-Saxon anonymous hagiography. She is also involved in the long-term project Sources of Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture (SASLC), which aims to produce a comprehensive and descriptive list of all authors known in Britain between ca. 500 and 1100 C.E.

Kramer Book Cover Between earth and heavenHer first monograph, Between Earth and Heaven: Liminality and the Ascension of Christ in Anglo-Saxon Literature (Manchester UP, 2014; paperback 2017), examines how concepts of space, boundaries, and liminality are employed by Anglo-Saxon authors to teach the theology of the Ascension in a wide range of Old English and Anglo-Latin texts. Between Earth and Heaven won the 2016 Best First Book Prize, awarded by the Southeastern Medieval Association (SEMA). To learn more about the book and Professor Kramer's research, see this article and video presentation in MU's Illumination Magazine.

Prof. Kramer received her Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from Cornell University and has also studied at the University of Munich in her native Germany, the University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK), and Oregon State University. At MU, she is a member of Medieval and Renaissance Studies (to learn more about MARS at MU, click here). She serves on the Advisory Board of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists.

Besides rummaging through dead languages, she enjoys collecting sands and eating German (especially Swabian) foods.

  • PhD Medieval Studies, Cornell University, 2006
  • MA Medieval Studies, Cornell University, 2002
  • MA English, Oregon State University, 1998
  • BA English, Oregon State University, 1995
Select Publications: 


Selected Other Publications

  • Johanna Kramer. "Mapping the Anglo-Saxon Intellectual Landscape: The Old English Maxims I and Terence's Proverb ‘Quot homines, tot sententiae.’" Anglia: Zeitschrift für Englische Philologie 128 (Oct. 2010): 48-74.
  • Johanna Kramer. "The Study of Proverbs in Anglo-Saxon Literature: Recent Scholarship, Resources for Research, and the Future of the Field." Literature Compass 6.1 (2009): 71-96. Abstract here. 
  • Johanna Kramer. "'Falsett no feit hes'—A Proverb in William Dunbar's 'In vice most vicius he excellis.'" English Studies 89.3 (June 2008): 263-72.
  • Johanna Kramer. "Thu eart se weallstan': Architectural Metaphor and Christological Imagery in the Old English Christ I and the Book of Kells." Source of Wisdom: Old English and Early Medieval Latin Studies in Honour of Thomas D. Hill, ed. Charles D. Wright, Frederick M. Biggs, and Thomas N. Hall (U of Toronto P, 2007). 90-112.
Awards and Honors: 
  • SEC Faculty Travel Grant, 2016-17
  • Dumbarton Oaks Library Short-Term Residential Fellowship, Spring 2016
  • Research Board Grant, University of Missouri, 2016
  • Large Grant and Summer Research Fellowship, Research Council, University of Missouri, Summer/Fall 2015
  • Research Leave, Research Council, University of Missouri, 2015-16
  • Faculty International Travel Grant, University of Missouri, 2009
  • Research Board Grant, University of Missouri, 2008-09
  • EGSA Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award, 2008
  • Summer Research Fellowship, Research Council, University of Missouri, Summer 2007
  • Center for Arts and Humanities Travel Grant, University of Missouri, 2006
  • Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, 2004-05