Dr. Sarah Downey

Associate Professor

Department of Culture, Media, and Performance


Dr. Downey grew up in Erie, Pa. Her early love of J.R.R. Tolkien's works led to a lifelong interest in language history. She studied Latin and Greek as an undergraduate at Sewanee (The University of the South), then completed a Ph.D. in Old English and Anglo-Latin at the University of Toronto's Centre for Medieval Studies. After teaching Medieval Literature and Latin language courses for four years at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, she returned to her home state of Pennsylvania in 2009 to teach English and Linguistics at PennWest California.

Selected Publications

  • with Michael D. C. Drout, Veronica Kerekes, and Doug Raffle.  “Lexomic Studies of Medieval Latin Texts.” The Journal of Medieval Latin 24 (2014), 225-74. 
  • with Michael D.C. Drout, Michael J. Kahn, and Mark D. LeBlanc. “Books Tell Us: Lexomic and Traditional Evidence for the Sources of Guthlac A.” Modern Philology 110 (2012): 1-29. 
  • “Cordial Dislike: Reinventing the Celestial Ladies of Pearl and Purgatorio in Tolkien's Galadriel." Mythlore 29:3/4 (Spring/Summer 2011), 101-117. 
  • “Too Much of Too Little: Guthlac and the Temptation of Excessive Fasting.”  Traditio 63 (2008): 89–127.
  • B.A.: Latin, University of the South
  • Ph.D.: Medieval Studies, University of Toronto

Email: downey@pennwest.edu

Phone: 724-938-4719

Office: Azorsky Hall Room 223