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Scott D. Westrem
Research Interests: Medieval Literature, Specifically Germanic and English Literatures, Travel and Pilgrimage Accounts

Scott D. Westrem’s principal area of scholarly interest is the variety of ways in which Europeans described or depicted their surrounding world--among other features its inhabitants, creatures, resources, and landscapes--before 1400. He is thus especially (but not exclusively) interested in travel narratives (including pilgrimage accounts), geographical treatises, and maps produced in or for Europe before the fifteenth century.

Recent courses in Comparative Literature:

Comparative Literature 80700: "International Chaucer" (Spring 2001)

Recent Courses with Substantial Registration by Comparative Literature Students:

English 70600: "Medieval Speculations: English Literature, 700-1400" (Fall 1999)

Medieval Studies 803: "The Lost Legend of Alexander the Great" (Spring 1998)

English 708: "Medieval Wonders and Marvels" (Fall 1997)

English 890: "Old Norse" (Spring 1995)

English 705: "Chaucer’s Ends: The Canterbury Tales and The Book of the Duchess" (Fall 1995)

English 706: "The World of the Medieval Text" (Fall 1994)


Recent Teaching Experience Outside CUNY


2000-01    Visiting Professor (Maître de conférences associé), University of Paris IV—La Sorbonne (Spring/Fall Semesters).



Recent Awards

2000    Annual Faculty Mentoring Award, Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools.

1998    Excellence in Teaching Award [Teacher of the Year] (Lehman College).

1996-97    James Merrill Scholar-in-Residence (Stonington, Connecticut):

In conjunction with a Scholar’s Incentive Award from the City University of New York.

1996    Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) Summer Study Award (July-October):

Research on geographical treatises, travel reports, and maps in German libraries.


Recent and Immediately Forthcoming Publications


2001 Broader Horizons: Johannes Witte de Hese’s Itinerarius and Medieval Travel Narratives (Cambridge, Mass.: The Medieval Academy of America, forthcoming summer).

"Learning from Legends on the Hereford Mappamundi," in Proceedings of the Hereford Mappa Mundi Conference 1999, ed. P. D. A. Harvey and Peter Barber (London and Toronto: The British Library, forthcoming summer).

"Africa Unbounded on an Unstudied European Mappamundi (c. 1450), in Making Contact: Maps, Identity, and Travel, ed. Lesley Cormack and Natalia Pylypiuk (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, forthcoming summer), ch. 1.

The Hereford Map: A Transcription of the Legends with Translation and Notes, The History of the Representation of Space in Text and Image 1, gen. ed. Patrick Gautier Dalché (Turnhout: Brepols Publishers).

"Dutch ‘Discovery’ of the East Indies in the Fifteenth Century," in The Low Countries and the New World(s): Travel, Discovery, Early Relations, ed. Johanna C. Prins, Bettina Brandt, Timothy Stevens, and Thomas F. Shannon, Publications of the American Association for Netherlandic Studies 13 (Lanham, N.Y. and Oxford: University Press of America), pp. 215-26.

2000 Trade, Travel, and Exploration in the Middle Ages: An Encyclopedia (associate editor, with Kristen Mossler Figg, John Block Friedman, and Gregory Guzman) (New York and London: Garland Publishing). Author of entries "Bell Mappamundi" (p. 57), "Claudius Clavus" (pp. 111-12), "Geography in Medieval Europe" (pp. 213-22), "Homo Viator" (pp. 258-59), "Iceland" (pp. 271-74), "The King’s Mirror" (pp. 320-21), "Nicholas of Thvverá" (pp. 449-51), "Scholarship on Medieval European Geography and Travel" (pp. 539-43), "Johannes Witte de Hese" (pp. 649-51), "Zeitz Map" (p. 664).

"Geography and Travel," in A Companion to Chaucer, ed. Peter Brown (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers), pp. 195-217.

Learning from Legends on the Bell Library Mappamundi, The James Ford Bell Lectures 37 (Minneapolis: Associates of the James Ford Bell Library of the University of Minnesota).

1999 The Works of John Chalkhill, ed. with Charles Ryskamp, including introductory essay, commentary, and appendices (New York: The Roxburghe Club; Princeton: Princeton University Press). [Review: TLS, 30 March 2001, p. 31]

1998    "Against Gog and Magog," in Text and Territory: Geographical Imagination and the European Middle Ages, ed. Sylvia Tomasch and Sealy Gilles (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press), pp. 54-75.

1994    "A Medieval Book’s Editors and Translators: Managing Style and Accommodating Dialect in Johannes Witte de Hese’s Itinerarius," in The Medieval Translator, vol. 4, ed. Roger Ellis and Ruth Evans (Exeter: University of Exeter Press), pp. 153-80.

1992    "Two Routes to Pleasant Instruction in Late-Fourteenth-Century Literature," in The Work of Dissimilitude, ed. David G. Allen and Robert A. White (Newark: University of Delaware Press), pp. 67-80.

1991    Foreword and "From Worlde into Worlde," in Discovering New Worlds: Essays on Medieval Exploration and Imagination, ed. Scott D. Westrem (New York/London: Garland Publishing),

pp. vii-xxxiii. (Reviews: Speculum 68[3] [July 1993]: 907-09; Terra Incognita 24 [1992]: 124-25.)


Recent Lectures and Talks

2001    "Departures and Returns in Medieval Travel Narratives," Centre d’Études Médiévales Anglaises, Université de Paris IV—La Sorbonne (24-25 March).

"Western Pilgtrims in Eastern Lands," Keynote Lecture at "East/West: Points of Contact" conference, Lycoming College (16-17 March).

2000    "Place in Chaucer," Twelfth International Congress of the New Chaucer Society, University of London (14-17 July).

"The World of Medieval Drama," Centre d’Études Médiévales Anglaises, Université de Paris IV—La Sorbonne(29 February).

1999    "Mapping Ptolemy in the 1400s," Sixth Biennial Meeting of the Early Book Society, University of Glasgow (8-12 July).

"Lessons from Legends on the Hereford Mappa Mundi," Hereford Mappa Mundi Conference, Hereford Cathedral (27 June-1 July)

"Learning from Legends on the James Ford Bell [Minnesota] Mappamundi," The 37th Annual James Ford Bell Library Lecture, University of Minnesota (6 May).

"Geographical Precision and a Continent of Myths on an Unstudied Fifteenth-Century Mappamundi," Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Honolulu (23-27 March).]

1998    "The Bell Mappamundi: A Fragment of a Fertile Imagination," A keynote lecture at the Minnesota Maps Conference, University of Minnesota (14 November).

"Africa Unbounded on an Unstudied European Mappa Mundi (c. 1450) and in Related Cartography," Conference on Making Contact, University of Alberta (1-4 October).

"‘Maps Lie Flat’: Medieval England Puts Earth on a Page," The Annual Mercator Club Lecture, The New York Public Library (19 May).

"Travelers in an Antique Land: Inhabitants of the Holy Lands in Reports by Three European Pilgrims of the 1330s," A keynote lecture at the Conference on Ways and Wayfarers, Pennsylvania State University (3-4 April).


Current/Ongoing Projects

"The Bell Mappamundi and Its Legends, with Commentary."

"William of Boldensele’s Liber de quibusdam ultramarinis partibus: A Critical Edition, English Translation, and Commentary."