Chelsea Silva

Position title: Solmsen Fellow (2023-2024)

Pronouns: She/her

Assistant Professor, Department of English, Oklahoma State University

A black-and-white image of a woman with long dark hair and glasses, standing inside with a plain wall behind her.

Bedwritten: Middle English Medicine and the Ailing Author

This in-progress monograph project explores the intersection of medical care and authorial self-representation in Middle English literature, reading canonical literary works and medical texts together to reveal the shaping influence that healthcare practices and literary production exerted on each other. Informed by medical humanities methodologies, this project argues that just as popular medical texts made use of literary techniques and conventions, so too did literary authors turn to medical discourses to communicate experiences of illness or impairment. Approaching these two practices as inextricable enables an exploration of medieval authorship that accounts for the entangled nature of cultural care and medical cure.

Chelsea Silva is Assistant Professor of English Literature at Oklahoma State University, where her research focuses on literary representations of popular healthcare in late medieval England. She received her PhD from the University of California–Riverside in 2020, and her work has been supported by fellowships from the Huntington Library, the Medieval Academy of America and the Richard III Society, the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship, and a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship.