Misty holds a Ph.D. in Old and Middle English Literature from Cornell University and has published articles on medieval romance, medieval women, world literature, and European history. Her scholarly books focus on monstrous women like the legendary half-fairy, half-snake Melusine.

Melusine’s Footprint: Tracing the Legacy of a Medieval Myth

Edited by Misty Urban, Deva F. Kemmis, and Melissa Ridley Elmes (Brill, 2017)

“This enthralling work contributes extensively to Melusinia, presenting a figure who clearly continues to escape prescribed boundaries.”

Gillian M.E. Alban, author of “melusine the serpent goddess in A.S. byatt’s ‘possession’ and in mythology”

An invigorating international and interdisciplinary examination of the legendary fairy Melusine. Along with fresh insights into the popular French and German traditions, these accomplished essays investigate Melusine’s English, Dutch, Spanish, and Chinese counterparts and explore her roots in philosophy, folklore, and classical myth.

Read review in Medieval Feminist Forum

Monstrous Women in Middle English Romance

Edwin Mellen Press, 2010

Winner of the D. Simon Evans Prize for Medieval Studies

“Dr. Urban’s study is at once an elegantly provocative yet accessible introduction to these unusual works, and a many-sided consideration of the challenge that all these works raise.”

Professor Andrew Galloway, Cornell University

Building on current monster theory and adding to research on medieval women in literature, this study reclaims the Middle English romance as a sophisticated literary strategy that, in its narrative reflexivity—and its use of a fictionalized thirdspace—reveals how medieval rhetoric essentially makes women into monsters.

Book Chapters

Book cover: Teaching Rape in the Medieval Literature Classroom

“Sexual Compulsion and Sexual Violence in the Lais of Marie de France” in Teaching Rape in the Medieval Literature Classroom: Approaches to Difficult Texts, ed. Alison Gulley, ARC Humanities Press, 2018

Book cover: The Ballad of the Lone Medievalist

“The Unicorn Learns Accountability” in The Ballad of the Lone Medievalist, eds. Kisha G. Tracy and John P. Sexton, Punctum Books, 2018

“Women’s Weapons in The White Queen” in Premodern Rulers and Postmodern Viewers, eds. Janice North, Karl C. Alvestad, and Elena Woodacre, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018

“Magical Fountains in Middle English Romance” in The Nature and Function of Water, Baths, Bathing, and Hygiene from Antiquity through the Renaissance, eds. Cynthia Kosso and Anne Scott, Brill, 2009