Ruth Feiertag's picture

Real name: 

Primary Discipline

Primary Discipline: 

  • Old HierarchyLanguage and LiteratureEnglish
Secondary Discipline

Secondary Discipline: 

  • Old HierarchyHistory


In grammar school, Ruth Feiertag's father started handing her Great Works of English Literature with the admonition, "Here—read this before they ruin it for you in school." After that there was nothing for it but to major in English Literature, and Ms. Feiertag got a B.A. from the University of California Santa Cruz and eventually an M.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She meandered towards a Ph.D. but arrived in the realm of independent scholarship and NCIS instead. She finds Medieval and Renaissance literature (mostly poetry and drama) endlessly fascinating, and anyone who wants to be treated to a long monologue should ask her about bastards from the Middle Ages through the Early Modern period. At the moment, Ms. Feiertag is attempting to make a living as a freelance editor (; she is one of the NCIS members participating in the
Manuscript Review Service) to support her addiction to writing literary criticism.

Current research areas: 

The Metamorphoses of Bastardy (and Other Illegitimacies) from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance: a book-length study of the ways the concepts of bastardy changed from around 1350 to 1600, and the relationship those changes had to women.
“Hearsay and Gender in Shakespeare’s Plays”: an article-in-progress looking at the way our good opinion of several of Shakespeare’s male “heroes” is left to depend on the report of others, while our favourable perception of female characters is almost always confirmed by their actions.
“Contexts of Sir Orfeo”: an examination of the lingering influences of other tales from Ovid’s Metamorphoses on the Medieval version of “Orpheus and Eurydice.”
Betrayal in "Wynnere and Wastoure"

Recent scholarly activity: 

"The Werewolf of Winchester Woods: The Shifting Shape of Identity in Sir Orfeo" for the Mid-America Medieval Association, University of Missouri-Kansas City, February, 2015. "Betrayal and Treason in “Wynnere and Wastoure” at Medieval Association of the Pacific, San Diego, March 2013. “Medieval Dream Visions Hang Ten: Tropes on Board with the Beach Boys” for The Pseudo Society at The 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies, at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 10-13, 2012.

“Point, Counterpoint, and Precedent: Female Literacy, Legality, and Legitimacy in Lydgate’s Disguising at Hertford Castle” presented at the 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies, at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 10-13, 2012.

“Medieval Dream Visions Hang Ten: Tropes on Board with the Beach Boys” presented at the 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 10-13, 2012.

"Betrayal and Treason in ‘Wynnere and Wastoure’" to be presented at the 2013 Medieval Association of the Pacific Conference in San Diego, California, March 21-23, 2013.

Other activities: 

Editing/ Journal Experience:
PenKnife Writing and Editorial Services, LLC
As the proprietor of PenKnife Writing and Editorial Services, I offer significant developmental and copy editing to academic and creative authors, with extensive experience in scholarly writing. I am also available to write content for websites, letters, and articles. As an editor, my goal is always to help authors produce their best, most readable works.
Senior Editor at Regal House Publishing
Working with Regal House gives me opportunities to exercise my editing skills on several levels, to read manuscripts under consideration, and to be part of creating Regal's incipient blog. The position is evolving as Regal grows.
Shakespeare/ Renaissance Drama • Poetry • Medieval Literature • Bastardy andLegitimacy • Women’s Issues
Certificate from the University of California at Berkeley Extension’s Professional Sequence in Editing. The Professional Sequence in Editing builds from grammar and usage to editing for various goals and audiences and culminates in the art of substantive editing to refine an author’s style. Courses are taught by working professionals and are geared to lead students to an editing career as freelancers or in publishing. Certificate expected: May 2013.
Proofreader for A Blackbird Sings. Edited by Fiona Robyn and Kaspalita. Malvern, England: Woodsmoke  Press, 2012.
Editor of The Independent Scholar: The Newsletter of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars at June 2010 to June 2012. The Independent Scholar is the quarterly publication of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars. 
Book Review Editorial Assistant, English Language Notes, August 2000 to December 2005: Primary responsibilities were preparing review articles for publication by proofreading and lightly editing them. I also kept track of books received for review, sent books out to reviewers who requested them, solicited reviews from scholars, corresponded with reviewers and publishers, and provided general support and assistance to the Book Review Editor.
Free-lance proofreader for Berg Publishers, Inc., Providence R.I., 1990-1992. I proofread page proofs and galleys for such works as Marxist Historiography in Transformation, The Social Production of Indifference, and Dress and Gender: Making and Meaning in Cultural Contexts
Related Experience
Editing courses taught by Alice Levine of the Denver Publishing Institute:
“Word War 1: The Art of Copyediting” September 2011
“Discerning Eye” October 2011
“Beyond the Basics: Intermediate Lessons for Copy Editors and Proofreaders” October 2011
“The Comma Unveiled” October 2011
“Editors and Writers: The Dynamic of the Duet” March 2012
Enrolled in Brown University’s “Workshop in Teaching Composition,” Spring 1988, a graduate course devoted to learning how to edit freshpersons’ papers and how to teach them to edit their own. The final project for this class was to have a syllabus and materials planned out in preparation to teach an actual composition course.
Enrolled in “The Craft of Editing,” Spring 1989, a course offered by Brown University’s extension program that taught proofreading, copyediting, content analysis, and the protocols of editing. 

Contact us

National Coalition of Independent Scholars