Suzanne Akbari

Professor of Medieval Studies
Institute for Advanced Study

Suzanne Conklin Akbari is professor of medieval studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Her books are on optics and allegory (Seeing Through the Veil) and European views of Islam and the Orient (Idols in the East), and she’s also edited volumes on travel literature, Mediterranean Studies, and somatic histories, plus the Open Access collections How We Write and How We Read. Her most recent book is The Oxford Handbook of Chaucer (2020), co-edited with James Simpson. Akbari is involved with two global medieval studies projects, “The Book and the Silk Roads” and “Practices of Commentary." She is especially interested in how living and working on Lenapehoking inflects our academic research and the communities we form. Her work in this area includes “The Gift of Shame,” published in postmedieval 11.2 (2020), and a public-facing piece on Indigenous writers and the genre of the essay. A co-editor of the Norton Anthology of World Literature, Akbari co-hosts a literature podcast called The Spouter Inn (see especially episodes 23, 29b, 35, 35b).