Regular Faculty

Sharon Kinoshita
  • Title
    • Professor of Literature
    • Co-director, UCSC Center for Mediterranean Studies
    • Co-director, The Mediterranean Seminar
  • Division Humanities Division
  • Department
    • Literature Department
  • Phone
    831-459-2395 (Office)
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Humanities Building 1, 632
  • Office Hours M 2-3:30 and by appointment via Zoom (
  • Mail Stop Humanities Academic Services
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Courses Medieval French Literature: Courtly Love and Feudal Society, Medieval French Literature: Cultural Contact and Crusades, Medieval Mediterranean Literature, The Worlding of Marco Polo, Introduction to Mediterranean Studies

Summary of Expertise

Old French literature (12-13th century epic and romance), medieval Mediterranean Studies, medieval comparative literature; postcolonial theory. The Global Middle Ages, Marco Polo.

Research Interests

Intercultural relations in 12th- and 13th-century literature; Mediterranean studies; globalism; postcolonial theory; world literature and cultural studies

Biography, Education and Training

Though I was trained as a specialist in medieval French and Comparative Literature, my current work focuses primarily on Medieval Mediterranean Studies and the Global Middle Ages. With Brian Catlos, I co-direct The Mediterranean Seminar (, an umbrella organization whose collaborative activities have included four National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institutes held in Barcelona, Spain; a five-year University of California Multicampus Research Project; an ongoing series of quarterly workshops; and a series, "Mediterranean Perspectives," housed at Palgrave Press. My own work in this area includes, in addition to many essays, a book project on “Boccaccio’s Decameron and the Medieval Mediterranean.” In 2016, I published a new translation of Marco Polo's Description of the World and am currently working on a companion volume tentative entitled "Marco Polo and the Global Middle Ages."

Honors, Awards and Grants

- “Negotiating Identities in the Christian-Jewish-Muslim Mediterranean,” NEH Summer Institute, Barcelona, 2015 (co-director)

-UC President's Fellowship (2012-2013)
-Networks and Knowledge in the Medieval Muslim-Christian-Jewish Mediterranean, NEH Summer Institute, Barcelona, 2012 (co-director)
-Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh Humanities Center (Spring 2011)
-Mediterranean Studies UC Multicampus Research Project, 2010-2015 (co-director)
-Cultural Hybridities in the Medieval Mediterranean, NEH Summer Institute, Barcelona, 2010 (co-director)
-The Medieval Mediterranean & the Emergence of the West, NEH Summer Institute, Barcelona, 2008 (co-director)
-The Medieval Mediterranean, UCHRI (Irvine) Residential Fellowship, Fall 2007 (co-director)
-Residential Fellowship, Camargo Foundation, Cassis, France (Fall 2006)


Selected Publications


Co-editor, with Brian A. Catlos, and contributor. Can We Talk Mediterranean? Conversations on an Emerging Field in Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Mediterranean Perspectives. New York: Palgrave, 2017.

Translator. Marco Polo, The Description of the World. Indianapolis: Hackett Press, 2016.

Co-editor, with Peregrine Horden. A Companion to Mediterranean History. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.

Co-author, with Peggy McCracken. Marie de France: A Critical Companion. Gallica. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2012.

Co-author, with Virginie Greene, Sarah Kay, Peggy McCracken, and Zrinka Stahuljak. Thinking Through Chrétien de Troyes. Gallica. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2011.

Medieval Boundaries: Rethinking Difference in Old French Literature. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania Press, 2006. Honorable Mention, MLA Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Studies.



  • “Romance and the Medieval Mediterranean.” The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Romance. Ed. Roberta L. Krueger. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. Forthcoming, 2022.