Visiting Assistant Professor

I am fascinated by the long view of English literature, approaching antique and medieval literature as the beginning of an enduring (if rocky) trajectory of Anglophone literary endeavor that is culturally, socially, and historically inseparable from the study of later periods.

More specifically, my research focuses on the intersection of religious worldviews and verbal art, with particular attention given to the exegetical and contemplative aspects of monastic culture in Old and Middle English poetry. In this vein, my first book makes available for the first time in Modern English St. Æthelwold of Winchester's tenth-century Old English Rule of St. Benedict (Cistercian Publications, 2017). In addition, my current monograph project isolates and describes what I call the Old English meditative verse prayers, a group of poems that are often overlooked, in order to see how they contribute to a performative process of self-fashioning in their early medieval milieu. As I continue to concentrate my efforts on the exploration of Old English literature, my recent work also includes an essay on Middle English poet John Lydgate, an edition and translation of two fourteenth-century Latin treatises for Benedictine novices at Lydgate’s monastery of Bury St. Edmunds, and the first translation of the collected French poems of the Benedictine monk Swami Abhishiktananda (Resource Publications, 2018).

As a teacher and publishing poet, my interests broaden to include especially the mutual influence of literature and social realities upon one another throughout history, the history of poetics, contemporary poetry, and the visionary and contemplative aspects of literature more generally.

I also head up a medieval English reading group for interested students at Marquette that meets weekly throughout the year (please feel free to email me if you would like more information).

If you would like information on any of my ongoing projects, my website is jacobriyeff.com.

Teaching Fields

Office Hours

Fall 2018

Teaching Schedule

Fall 2018

Research Interests

Selected Publications



English Department

Marquette University, Marquette Hall 115 (campus map)
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
(414) 288-7179
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