Caltech Home > HSS Home > People > Jennifer A. Jahner
open search form

Jennifer A. Jahner

Professor of English
Jennifer (Jen) Jahner headshot
Contact information for Jennifer A. Jahner
Contact Method Value
Mail Code: MC 101-40
Office: 212 Dabney Hall
Phone: 626-395-6985
Administrative Assistant:
B.A., Western Washington University, 1998; M.A., University of Colorado at Boulder, 2005, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2012. Assistant Professor, Caltech, 2012-19; Professor, 2019-.

Research Interests

Late Medieval Literature; Law; Poetics; Multilingualism; Manuscript Study; Gender; Histories of Medievalist Scholarship and the Reception of the Middle Ages


Literature and History; Visual Culture


Jennifer Jahner's research focuses on the interaction of literary, legal, and textual cultures in the high and later Middle Ages, especially in Britain and France. She is the author of Literature and Law in the Era of Magna Carta, forthcoming from Oxford University Press, which explores the ways that literary training shaped political vocabularies and legal communities in twelfth- and thirteenth-century England. With Emily Steiner and Elizabeth Tyler, she is the editor of Historical Writing in Britain and Ireland, 500–1550, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. Her current research considers how multilingual book production in later medieval England made use of the burgeoning concept of the "experiment." Research for this project is currently supported by a Graves/ACLS Award in the Humanities (2018–2019).

At Caltech, Jahner teaches courses on Geoffrey Chaucer, on poetry and theories of justice, on premodern sexualities, and on medieval romance. She is recipient of the ASCIT Teaching Award (2013) and the HSS Division Teaching Award (2015). In January 2019, she will join Studies in the Age of Chaucer as the book review editor.

Selected Publications

    Literature and Law in the Era of Magna Carta (Oxford UP, forthcoming)

    Historical Writing in Britain and Ireland, 500–1550, co-edited with Emily Steiner and Elizabeth Tyler (Cambridge UP, forthcoming)

    "Literary Therapeutics: Experimental Knowledge in MS Digby 86," in ed. Susanna Fein, Manuscript Digby 86: Devotion, Science, and Literary Diversions for a Worcestershire Household c. 1280 (York Medieval Press, forthcoming)

    "Chaucer's Aesthetic Resources: Nature, Longing, and Economies of Form," in ed. Thomas Prendergast and Jessica Rosenfeld, Chaucer and the Subversion of Form (Cambridge UP, 2018), pp. 38­–60.

    "Verse Diplomacy and the English Interdict," Thirteenth Century England 15 (2015): 99–114.

    "Reading for the End: Prescriptive Writing and the Practice of Genre," Exemplaria 27 (2015): 18–27.

    "The Mirror of Justices and the Art of Archival Invention," Viator 45 (2014): 221–46.