I write essays, criticism, and a column at the Times Literary Supplement. I’m working on a book about how medieval literature helps me understand — and move past — my own perfectionism. It was the subject of a one-hour radio special on CBC Ideas.

Topics I write about include: distraction, education, literature (medieval and beyond), food, dance, celebrity, language and migration. In much of my work, I try to show how older stories and ideas still resonate today.

Mary Wellesley and I developed and presented the London Review of Books podcast miniseries, Close Readings: Encounters with Medieval Women; our new series, Medieval Beginnings, is streaming now.

I am the professor for medieval English literature at the University of Bonn. My first book, on teacher-student relationships in early medieval literature, was published by Cambridge. My second scholarly project is on the medieval roots of celebrity. I also edited a collection on the value of literature and art in times of crisis called Rumba Under Fire: The Arts of Survival from West Point to Delhi.

If you’d like to read my occasional thoughts on creativity, writing, and reading, please subscribe to my newsletter, The Process. This profile at New York Review of Books reveals how I went from academia to writing, and some of my enduring obsessions. And you can learn more about my scholarship here.

You can reach me via irinaalexandradumitrescu (at) gmail.com. I’m represented by Charlotte Merritt at Andrew Nurnberg Associates.