Rachel Kessler graduated from Kenyon College in 2004, majoring in English and philosophy. After college, Rachel moved to Toronto, Ontario, where she earned her Master's of Divinity from Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, in 2011. Rachel was ordained a deacon in 2011 and a priest in 2012 within the Anglican Church of Canada. She was appointed priest-in-charge of Harcourt Parish and chaplain at Kenyon College in the fall of 2015.

Before attending seminary, Rachel earned a master's degree and a Ph.D. from the Centre for Medieval Studies in the University of Toronto, specializing in Old English and Anglo-Latin literature. In her free time, Rachel enjoys baking, books and movies, obscure board games and hanging out with her border collie/lab/beagle mix Bilbo.

Courses Recently Taught

This course is a seminar in the general field of Old and Middle English literature. Class meetings are conducted in a combination seminar and workshop fashion. The primary work of the course is reading and translating Anglo-Saxon prose and poetry, supplemented by readings in Anglo-Saxon culture and history. First-year and sophomore students with an interest in medieval literature are particularly welcome, but this course is open to all without regard for major or class year. This counts toward the pre-1700 requirement for the major.

Individual study in English is a privilege reserved for senior majors who want to pursue a course of reading or complete a writing project on a topic not regularly offered in the curriculum. Because individual study is one option in a rich and varied English curriculum, it is intended to supplement, not take the place of, coursework, and it cannot normally be used to fulfill requirements for the major. An IS earns the student 0.5 units of credit, although in special cases it may be designed to earn 0.25 units. To qualify to enroll in an individual study, a student must identify a member of the English department willing to direct the project. In consultation with that faculty member, the student must write a one- to two-page proposal that the department chair must approve before the IS can go forward. The chair’s approval is required to ensure that no single faculty member becomes overburdened by directing too many IS courses. In the proposal, the student should provide a preliminary bibliography (and/or set of specific problems, goals and tasks) for the course, outline a specific schedule of reading and/or writing assignments, and describe in some detail the methods of assessment (e.g., a short story to be submitted for evaluation biweekly; a 30-page research paper submitted at course’s end, with rough drafts due at given intervals). Students should also briefly describe any prior coursework that particularly qualifies them for their proposed individual studies. The department expects IS students to meet regularly with their instructors for at least one hour per week, or the equivalent, at the discretion of the instructor. The amount of work submitted for a grade in an IS should approximate at least that required, on average, in 400-level English courses. In the case of group individual studies, a single proposal may be submitted, assuming that all group members follow the same protocols. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the seventh class day of each semester, they should begin discussion of their proposed individual study well in advance, preferably the semester before, so that there is time to devise the proposal and seek departmental approval.