Elizabeth  Hebbard

Elizabeth Hebbard

Assistant Professor, French and Italian


  • Ph.D., French, Yale University, 2017
  • B.A., French and German, University of Georgia, 2007
  • B.Mus., Music Performance (bassoon), University of Georgia, 2007

Research areas

  • Medieval French and Occitan literature, particularly lyric and romance
  • Relationship between text and music
  • Medieval manuscripts, book history, paleography and codicology, manuscript fragments
  • Medievalism, reception of the Middle Ages, history of Medieval Studies

About Elizabeth Hebbard

My work primarily concerns medieval French and Occitan lyric composed in the 12th and 13th centuries and transmitted in manuscripts copied in the 13th and 14th centuries. My research explores notions of authorship and the relationship between lyric text and melodic setting. I investigate the fundamental tension between song as an ephemeral performance and as a fixed, written text, including the mise en page and manuscript context of song. On this last point, my work on lyric intersects with my other main research focus: medieval manuscripts and the history of the book. I have trained extensively as a paleographer of both Latin and vernacular writing systems, and as a codicologist studying the construction and production of medieval manuscript and early print books. I am particularly interested in manuscript fragments, and in using digital tools to virtually reassemble books that have been dismantled and libraries that have been dispersed.

I have two separate yet related book projects. The first is a new catalogue of troubadour lyric manuscripts, which, as my work demonstrates, are more numerous than previously thought. My second book project is a critical history of the troubadour lyric archive based on the revised and updated material record presented in the catalogue. I show that lesser-studied manuscripts challenge traditional notions of lyric authorship by demonstrating the extent to which these notions are rooted in the study of one kind of manuscript: the songbook.

Selected publications


  • “Thibaut de Champagne and the Troubadours." TENSO : Bulletin de la Société Guilhem IX. Vol. 36 (2021) : 77-100.
  • “Troubadours and Trouvères,” Oxford Bibliographies in Music. Co-authored with Ardis Butterfield. 2020.

Book reviews

  • Lais, épitres et épigraphes en vers dans le cycle de Guiron le Courtois, ed. Claudio Lagomarsini. Bulletin Codicologique. Forthcoming.
  • Andrew Dalby, The Treatise of Walter of Bibbesworth. Medium Aevum 82/1 (2014), p.185.

Courses taught

  • F225 : Scenes from the South of France
  • F225 : The Book Lab (in the ASURE program)
  • F300 : La littérature française à l’opéra
  • F330: La femme fatale / Dangerous Women
  • F361: La France médiévale
  • F410: Légendes d’Arthur
  • F451: Notre-Dame de Paris
  • F501: Survey of Medieval French Literature
  • F615: Lyric Traditions of the Medieval Mediterranean
  • F615: Medieval Manuscripts
  • F615 : The Troubadours
  • COLL-S103 : AD FONTES / Back to the Sources (in the Intensive Freshmen Seminar program)

Honors, fellowships, + awards

  • 2023 Presidential Arts & Humanities Fellow
  • 2022 IU College Arts and Humanities Institute Research Fellow
  • 2022 IU College Arts and Humanities Institute Conference Grant for the symposium “To Assemble the Fragments: Rereading the Medieval Miscellany” (April 2022) organized with Prof. Shannon Gayk (Dept. of English, IU).
  • OVPR Public Humanities Grant. Awarded in August 2020 to found The Book Lab at Indiana University. Role: Co-Investigator, with Patricia Clare Ingham (IUB English, Institute for Advanced Study)
  • Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Collections Grant, “Peripheral Manuscripts: Digitizing Medieval Manuscript Collections in the Midwest.” Grant awarded January 2020 for $286,437. Role: Primary Principal Investigator. Grant term: June 1, 2020 – May 31, 2024.
  • IU College Arts and Humanities Institute Conference Grant (Indiana University College Arts & Humanities Institute) for the symposium, “Lyric Landscapes: A Symposium on Poets and Their Places Across the Medieval World” (Feb. 28, 2020) organized with Prof. Akash Kumar (Dept. of French and Italian, IU).
  • Primary Source Immersion Grant (Indiana University Archives, the Lilly Library, and the Department of Teaching & Learning, Indiana University), summer 2019.