A woman smiling, with short brown curly hair, wearing black rectangular glasses and blue earrings.

Kristen Allen

Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream (LTA)
Institute for the Study of University Pedagogy

Kristen has a B.A. in History from the University of Rochester and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto. In her doctoral dissertation, she focused on the ways that three medieval writers understood their authorial identity in light of Christian penitential despair. In preparation for her research, she gained expertise in medieval bookmaking and handwriting, giving her valuable insight into how medieval people produced and related to their writing. Her doctoral work also required her to learn Latin as well as four modern languages besides English, which has helped her support writing students from diverse linguistic backgrounds. Her work has been published in the collected volume From Learning to Love: Schools, Law, and Pastoral Care in the Middle Ages (Brepols, 2018), as well as The Sixteenth-Century Journal. Her current research interests include critical language awareness, especially in the humanities, and how academic precarity affects the classroom.

Kristen has lectured in Medieval Studies and History at the University of Toronto, Carlton University, and Sheridan College, and taught in the New College Writing Centre for five years before joining ISUP in January 2022. She seeks to be an approachable and caring instructor that guides students in finding their authorial voice and agency. She is proud to have represented U of T education workers on the Executive Committee of CUPE 3902 for over three years and to have served on four Bargaining Committees. She was also a research administrator for OCAD University’s Writing Across the Curriculum Initiative, helping collect and curate research data on the undergraduate writing experience and coordinate faculty and student programming. Her latest project, a collaboration with Prof. Sheila Batacharya, seeks to use the applied linguistics method of contrastive analysis to help faculty understand their students’ home languages and the barriers they may experience in learning and writing in English.  

Ph.D. (Medieval Studies, University of Toronto)
M.A. (Medieval Studies, University of Toronto)
B.A. (History, University of Rochester)


Current Courses
ISP100 Writing for University and Beyond