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Katherine Crassons, Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University

Katherine Crassons

Associate Professor

0035 - Drown Hall

PhD, Duke University, 2004

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Research Statement

Crassons’ research focuses on both disability studies and late medieval literature and culture with a particular emphasis on religion. Often making connections between medieval and modern society, she has published work on a variety of topics including poverty, Christian subjectivity, and neurodiversity. In addition to completing recent articles at the intersection of medieval studies and critical autism studies, she is also currently working on a new book project concerning faith, epistemology, and miracles in late medieval and early modern England.


Crassons is a New Orleans native. Before coming to Lehigh in 2004, she earned a Ph.D. in English from Duke University, a Master's degree in English from the University of Colorado-Boulder, and a Bachelor's degree in English and Spanish from Louisiana State University. Crassons has served as the director of Lehigh University Press since 2014. 

Selected Publications


The Claims of Poverty: Literature, Culture, and Ideology in Late Medieval England (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame, 2010). 

Right from the Start: A Practical Guide for Teaching Young Children with Autism, co-authored with Karin Donahue, Ph.D. (Landham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). 


"Going Forth in the World: Piers Plowman and Service Learning,"in Approaches to Teaching Langland's Piers Plowman (New York: MLA Publications, 2019), 197-208. 

“Margery Kempe and the Paradoxical Presence of God,” in Gender, Poetry, and the Form of Thought in Later Medieval Literature: Essays in Honor of Elizabeth A. Robertson, eds. Jennifer Jahner and Ingrid Nelson (Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh University Press, 2021), 67-88. 

“Allegorical Investigations: Neurodiversity, Medieval Poetry, and the Early History of Applied Behavioral Analysis.” Literature and Medicine 41, no. 1 (Spring 2023): 63–92.

"Personification, Ethics, and Disability in Piers Plowman and Beyond," forthcoming in the Yearbook of Langland Studies.


Crassons teaches courses in medieval studies and beyond. Her pedagogy is highly interdisciplinary, seeking to examine literary texts in relation to larger ethical, political, and theological questions. At the graduate level, she has recently taught the following courses: Literature and Justice in Late Medieval England, Days of Miracle and Wonder, and Critical Autism Studies. Her recent courses at the undergraduate level include Introduction to Literary Theory, Premodern Disability, and Sinners, Saints, and Heretics.