Dr. Nicole Smith of the Department of English has been awarded a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities summer stipend to conduct her Middle English project “A Christian Mannes Bileeve: A Critical Edition.” Dr. Smith specializes in late medieval literature, with special interest in Chaucer, material culture, and vernacular guides of pastoral care. Her book, Sartorial Strategies: Outfitting Aristocrats and Fashioning Conduct in Late Medieval Literature (University of Notre Dame Press, 2012), examines the connection that medieval vernacular texts draw among dress, romance, and moral behavior in their figurations of fashionable aristocrats. In addition to preparing a critical edition of a Middle English guide to penance, The Clensyng of Mannes Sowle, she is presently thinking about the role of pleasure in a variety of vernacular penitential manuals. She has published essays in Studies in the Age of Chaucer and Medium Ævum, and her fellowships include an NEH Summer Seminar on cultural constructions of the seven deadly sins in the Middle Ages. In 2011, she won UNT's J.H. Excellence in Teaching Award. She is continuously inspired by smart students and intrigued by strange texts.