María Rosa Menocal received her Ph.D. in Romance Philology from the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught at Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pennsylvania and, for the last sixteen years, at Yale, where she is the R. Selden Rose Professor of Spanish and Portuguese. She is also the Director of Special Programs in the Humanities and of the Whitney Humanities Center.
Her writing and teaching is in the field of medieval literatures and cultures, with special focus in recent years on the vibrant mixed cultures of medieval Spain. Her books include The Arabic Role in Medieval Literary History: A Forgotten Heritage, Writing in Dante's Cult of Truth: From Borges to Boccacio, and Shards of Love: Exile and the Origins of the Lyric. She is the co-editor of The Literature of Al-Andalus in the Cambridge History of Arabic Literature series. The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Christians and Jews Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain has recently been published by Little, Brown.