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Seeta Chaganti

  • Associate Professor of English
275 Voorhies
Office Hours: on leave spring 2015
Phone: (530) 752-1696


Ph.D., Yale University, 2001

M.A., Georgetown University, 1995
A.B., Harvard University, 1989

Interview, Dr. Andy's Poetry and Technology Hour, KDVS: Chaganti Seeta Interview - 2015-05-20

Seeta Chaganti joined the faculty of the UC Davis English department in 2001. She specializes in Old and Middle English poetry and its intersections with material artifacts, including sculpture, metalwork, and wall painting. Her current research focuses on poetic and visual representations of dance in the late Middle Ages. Media, performance, and movement studies, along with poststructuralism and theories of poetics, all inform her perspective on the Middle Ages as deeply as do historicist methodologies.

szittya cover

Medieval Poetics and Social Practice: Responding to the Work of Penn R. Szittya
 This collection responds to the critical legacy of Penn R. Szittya, the recently retired former chair of Georgetown University's English department. At a moment in contemporary culture when poetry finds its value increasingly challenged, Medieval Poetics and Social Practice looks to the late Middle Ages to assert the indispensability of poetry and poetics in the formation of social structures, actions, and utterances. The essays offer new readings of canonical late-medieval English poetic texts, such as Langland's Piers Plowman and Chaucer's Parliament of Fowls, and, of equal importance, explore texts that have hitherto not held a central place in criticism but make important contributions to the literary culture of the period. Introduced by Seeta Chaganti, the collection includes work by Richard K. Emmerson, J. Patrick Hornbeck, John C. Hirsh, Moira Fitzgibbons, John T. Sebastian, Nick Havely, Kara Doyle, Anne Middleton, Jo Ann Moran Cruz, and Mark McMorris.

Selected Publications:

  • "Figure and Ground: Elene's Nails, Cynewulf's Runes, and Hrabanus Maurus's Painted Poems." The Arma Christi in Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture. Ed. Lisa H. Cooper and Andrea Denny-Brown. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014. 53-82
  • "The Platea Pre- and Postmodern: A Landscape of Medieval Performance Studies." Exemplaria 25.3 (2013): 252-64.
  • "Proleptic Steps: Rethinking Historical Period in the Fifteenth-Century Dance Manual." Dance Research Journal 44.2 (2012): 28-47.
  • (Editor) Medieval Poetics and Social Practice: Responding to the Work of Penn R. Szittya. New York: Fordham University Press, 2012.
  • "Danse macabre and the Virtual Churchyard," postmedieval 3.1 (2012): 7-26.
  • "Under the Angle: Memory, History, and Dance in Nineteenth-Century Medievalism." Australian Literary Studies 26.3-4 (2011): 147-62.
  • "The Space of Epistemology in Marie de France's 'Yonec.'" Romance Studies 28.2 (2010): 71-83.
  • "Vestigial Signs: Inscription, Performance, and The Dream of the Rood.PMLA 125.1 (2010): 48-72.
  • The Medieval Poetics of the Reliquary: Enshrinement, Inscription, Performance. New York: Palgrave, 2008.
  • "'A Form as Grecian Goldsmiths Make': Enshrining Narrative in Chrétien de Troyes's Cligés and the Stavelot Triptych." New Medieval Literatures 7 (2005): 163-201.
  • Faculty Research Fellowship, Davis Humanities Institute (2015)
  • Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award, Undergraduate, UC Davis (2014)
  • Faculty Development Award, UC Davis (2013-14)
  • Outstanding Mentor Award, UC Davis Consortium for Women and Research (2012)
  • Society for the Humanities Fellowship, Cornell University (2009-10)
  • Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities, Yale University (1999-2000)



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