Claire Sponsler


Lieber Memorial Teaching Associate Award (1988)
Indiana University Bloomington
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Comparative Literature


Claire Sponsler earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Indiana University. She has taught at the George Washington University, and the Bread Loaf School of English. She is currently the chair of the Department of English, and a Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Iowa.

Sponsler’s research centers on medieval literature, with a special interest in performance and cultural studies. She has taught numerous courses in fictions of environmental Disaster, Chaucer and Lydgate, literature and culture of the Middle Ages, Medieval drama, introduction to theory and criticism, topics in criticism, East Anglian drama and culture, early travel literature, and Medieval environments.

Sponsler is the author numerous articles and the following books: Drama and Resistance published in 1997, East of West: Cross Cultural Performance and the Staging of Difference from 2000, Ritual Imports: Performaing Medieval Drama in America from 2004, and John Lydgate: Mummings and Entertainments published in 2010.

Sponsler received Fellowships from the Folger Shakespeare Library in 1989, the American Council of Learned Societies in 1999, and from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2005. She won the Gerald Kahan's Year's Best Essay Prize for “The Culture of the Spectator” from the American Society for Theatre Research in 1993 and the Barnard Hewitt prize from the American Society for Theatre Research in 2005. From the University of Iowa, she was the recipient of the Collegiate Teaching Award in 1998, and the Faculty Scholar Award for 2001-2003.