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Faculty Leaders

Elaine Treharne

Elaine Treharne is the Roberta Bowman Denning Professor of Humanities, and Professor of English at Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences. She is also the Robert K. Packard University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. She is the director of Stanford Text Technologies, and former director of the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis. Elaine is a medievalist, focused on British manuscripts and handmade books, and she investigates the long history of global information technologies from circa 70,000 B.C.E. to the present day, including an East-West manuscript-to-print-to-digital project. She is an expert in digital and computational humanities and directs multiple data science projects, such as Stanford Global Currents. She has published numerous books and articles—most recently, Text Technologies: A History (StanfordUP). Speaking about early literatures, she states, “The manuscripts and textual objects that survive from the earliest millennia are direct testimonies to a world in which individuals and their communities strove to make sense of their own lives and experiences, providing us with first-hand evidence that would otherwise be impossible for us to imagine.” Professor Treharne is a citizen of the United Kingdom, where she received her education, and where she is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, of the Royal Historical Society, of the English Association, and of the Learned Society of Wales.

"Elaine was the best professor we have ever had on a Stanford trip. She was informative, but also very engaging, had a great sense of humor, and was ready to answer any question any time, whether we were walking, eating dinner, or sitting on the bus."

Leslie Evans, '72, Path to Rome Walk, 2018


At Stanford: 

  • Roberta Bowman Denning Professorship in the Humanities, School of Humanities, since 2013; professor by courtesy of German studies, since 2013; professor of English, 2012; director, Stanford Text Technologies, since 2014; co-director, Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, since 2013; fellow of the science, technology and society interdisciplinary program, 2014
Other Positions:

  • At University of Leicester: visiting professor, since 2013; affiliate faculty, 2009–2011; professor, medieval literature, 2002–2009; dean, faculty of arts, 2006; co-director, medieval research center, 1998–2006
  • Professor, early English and text technologies, 2007–2012, and courtesy professor, since 2007, Florida State University 


  • Author, Oxford Very Short Introduction to Medieval Literature (2015) and Living through Conquest: the Politics of Early English, 1020 to 1220 (2012)—both Oxford University Press; Old and Middle English, An Anthology, 3rd Ed. (Blackwell, 2009)
  • Co-author, The Production and Use of English Manuscripts, 1060 to 1220 (e-book, University of Leicester, 2010)


  • Lecturer, International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 2016
  • Fellow: English Association since 2015; Royal Historical Society, since 2011; Society of Antiquaries, since 2009; and Bibliographical Society, since 2009; the Learned Society of Wales, since 2020

 Academic History:

  • BA, English Language and Literature, 1986, University of Manchester, England
  • MA, Archive Administration, 1987, University of Liverpool, England
  • PhD, Medieval Literature, 1992, University of Manchester, England