Margaret Escher
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PhD   New York University 

BA   St. John's College (Annapolis)


Margaret Escher (Peggy) received her B.A. from St. John's College (Annapolis) and M.Phil and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from New York University. Her research interests include the strategies of tricksters and criminals, ambiguities of agency and gender, and the representation of space and time in Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern literature, focusing on Italy, France, England and the Classical World. During her many years at John Jay, she has taught literature from every period, more recently adding "The Literature of Crime and Punishment" and "Topics in Early Modern Literature: The Art of the Swindle from the Decameron to Othello; literary villains, con artists and early modern case law.”  In addition, she taught a course, "Conscience and Risk," that she designed for the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies (then Thematic Studies). This course reflects her ongoing interest in the intersection of ethics and technological complexity. She is currently writing a book whose working title is Agency, Inconsistency and the Art of the Swindle in the French and Italian Novella based in part on her 2007 dissertation "Configurations of Trickery in Boccaccio's Decameron, Marguerite de Navarre's Heptaméron, Masuccio's Il Novellino and Shakespeare's Othello.”  She looks forward to participating in the coming months in the 46th International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo. Professor Escher has published as both Peggy Escher and Margaret Escher.