Colby Eagles Alumni Association
Marsha L. Dutton, 1960
First recipient of Samuel & Susan Crowl Professorship in English Literature at the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University
Nominated by Rich Hawkins
After receiving her B.A. and M.A.T. from the University of Kansas, with her son David born in Lawrence in 1967, Marsha earned her Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan. Her daughter Emily was born in Ann Arbor in 1974. After working at Michigan as an editor on the Middle English Dictionary Marsha became a professor of medieval literature first at Hanover College (Indiana) and then at Ohio University (Athens, Ohio), serving as chair of both English departments. In both schools she taught composition and a broad range of English literature and language; at Ohio University she also taught Old English and Old Norse to graduate students. While at Hanover she was twice named Outstanding Professor, and at Ohio she received two teaching awards from the Honors Tutorial College. In 2010 at Ohio University she was named Samuel and Susan Crowl Professor of Literature.
Copyright Colby Eagles Alumni Association @ 2014
Marsha has been a visiting scholar at the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, at Nashotah House Theological Seminary, and at the University of Toulouse. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was chapter president at both Hanover and Ohio University, and she is a past president of the Guild of Scholars of the Episcopal Church. She was also a member of the Advisory Council of the Alumni Board of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas.
Marsha has published many articles on twelfth-century monastic writing, on English lexicography, and on medieval English authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer and Julian of Norwich. In 2007 she won an award for her article examining the story of Arthur’s pulling the sword that made him king of Britain, identifying the story’s source as a saint’s life by the English monk Aelred of Rievaulx (“The Staff in the Stone: Finding Arthur’s Sword in the Vita Sancti Edwardi of Aelred of Rievaulx”). She has also edited several books of English translations of Aelred’s works and another five collections of essays on medieval topics. She is completing a critical edition of the sermons and letters of Gilbert of Hoyland. In addition, she has presented papers at conferences around the US and in England, Australia, France, Italy, and Switzerland as well as regularly lecturing on monastic topics to monks and nuns in the US and England, Norway, Israel, Australia, and France. She was for some years associate editor of Dictionaries, the Journal of the American Dictionary Society, and associate editor of Cistercian Studies Quarterly. She has been a member of the Publications Board of Cistercian Publications since 2005 and is now Executive Editor of Cistercian Publications.
In addition to teaching and writing, Marsha has been actively involved in ecumenical work as a representative of the Episcopal Church. She was a member of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Consultation in the United States for seventeen years as well as serving on the Ecumenical Commission on Globalization and Catholicity and editing the book produced by the Commission’s three years of meetings. She was also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Friends of the Anglican Centre in Rome, a member of the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission of Ecumenical Relations, and a member of the board of the Ohio Council of Churches. Having retired from Ohio University in 2015, she continues to live in Athens, Ohio.