People / Graduate Students

Adrienne merritt

Adrienne Merritt

Research Areas

medieval literature, comparative philology, Middle Dutch, Germanic languages, turn of the century literature and film, difficulties in translation, allegory in medieval literature, religious movements of the 12th and 13th centuries

Recent Courses

German 1 (UC Riverside), R5A and B (UC Berkeley), German 2 and 3 ( UC Berkeley), German 1001-1002 (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities)


Adrienne (Damiani) Merritt began the journey into Medieval Studies at the University of Minnesota, completing coursework in Paleography, Medieval Text Editing, Latin, and several historical Germanic languages. At that university, she completed her bachelors in German and History, with a minor in Medieval Studies, as well as a Masters in the Germanic Philology program. Upon arriving at UC Berkeley in 2008, she has continued studies in all things medieval, but also pursued research interests in nineteenth and twentieth century subjects, in particular fin de siècle Viennese culture and literature, early twentieth century sexuality and the nuanced changes of perception and reception of literary works over the ages.

Adrienne’s research interests include historical Germanic languages (Old Norse, Old Saxon, Old and Middle High German, Middle Dutch, Old and Middle English), Old French texts and translations, vernacular and Latin traditions, beguine mysticism, lay religiosity, Medieval Latin, and portrayals of the ineffable and sensory experiences in literary and visual culture. Her current projects include Old French and Middle Dutch comparative works (Le roman de la rose and Die Rose), apocalyptic imagery in beguine mystical texts and an investigation in the portrayal and subtle words and actions of female characters within courtly romance.

Adrienne has been fortunate enough to receive a variety of funding over the years, including the Chancellor’s Fellowship, Voices of Vienna scholarship, and the FLAS summer award to study Dutch. She is now working to complete her dissertation with the working title, “Recalling the Word: the Germanic Beguine ‘Sisters’ and the Question of Genre.”