Medieval Membership

August 21, 2007

Sarah-Jane Murray, assistant professor in the Great Texts program of the Honors College at Baylor University, has been elected to membership into one of the leading medieval research communities in French academia. She is the first member invited from outside the French-speaking world.
Earlier this year, Murray gave a guest lecture at the Sorbonne in Paris for the Centre d'Etudes du Moyen Age (CEMA) of the Sorbonne Nouvelle. Soon thereafter, Murray was informed that the committee had decided to extend her permanent member status to become one of only 18 current members worldwide.
"For Dr. Murray to be asked on the strength of this ... [lecture] and the weight of her scholarship to become a 'membre permanent' of the CEMA research team is comparable to a scholar in philosophy or classics being asked to become an adjunct professor at one of the most venerable and prestigious colleges in Oxford. ... It rarely happens to a senior scholar of eminence coming from abroad; it is really an astonishing accomplishment for one so young as Dr. Murray," said David Jeffrey, distinguished professor in the Honors program.
Tom Hibbs, dean of the Honors College, believes that Murray is helping to fulfill Imperative III of Baylor 2012, to develop a world-class faculty.
"It gives us pleasure to see our younger colleagues setting such a high standard of excellence in their scholarship as well as in teaching. Dr. Murray exemplifies much of what the Honors College seeks to foster in our graduates. As the first-ever U.S. member of the CEMA, Professor Murray will increase her international standing in the field of medieval French literature and bring attention to the fine work being done here in the Honors College at Baylor," Hibbs said.
Murray intends to work toward plans for long-term collaboration between Baylor and the CEMA.
"I envision strong links between Baylor and France that will permit us to understand more about medieval manuscripts and the evolution of medieval textuality," she said.
Among Murray's current research endeavors is the Digby 23 project, an electronic archive devoted to the study of Oxford Bodleian MS Digby 23. It is a codex containing two works, copied during the 12th century and assembled at a later date: Plato's Timaeus in the Latin translation by Calcidius, and the Old French Chanson de Roland.
She also is involved in the Charrette Project, a complex, scholarly, multimedia electronic archive of Chrétien de Troyes' Le Chevalier de la Charrette, which she discusses in her forthcoming book, From Plato to Lancelot: A Preface to Chrétien de Troyes. 
Murray teaches several courses in the Great Texts program through the Honors College and in the French department. Two of her recent students have been named Fulbright scholars and another is a Marshall Scholarship recipient.
Murray received a bachelor's degree in French and philosophy from Auburn University in 1996, a master's degree in French and Italian literature from Princeton in 2000, a diploma in French and linguistics from the École Normale Superieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines in France in 2001, and a PhD in romance languages from Princeton in 2003.
At Baylor, she was named an Outstanding Faculty Member in 2005, recognized for teaching by Phi Beta Kappa in 2006 and given a Circle of Achievement award by the Mortar Board in 2005 and 2006.