Natasha Sumner


  • Associate Professor of Celtic Languages & Literatures



Natasha Sumner joined the faculty of Celtic Languages and Literatures at Harvard in 2015. Her research focuses on the Gaelic narrative corpus about the hero Fionn Mac Cumhaill, with particular regard for Fenian folklore. She is interested in the historical development of the corpus, as well as the conditions for transmission and narration of the folklore. She has also worked on intertextuality in eighteenth-century Scottish Gaelic literature. She teaches courses in Irish and Scottish Gaelic language, post-medieval literature, and folklore. Natasha Sumner holds a PhD in Celtic Languages and Literatures from Harvard.


Selected publications:

“A Night of Storytelling and Years in the ‘Z-Closet’: The Re-discovery and Restoration of Oidhche Sheanchais, Robert Flaherty’s ‘Lost’ Irish Folklore Film,” Folklore 126.1 (2015), 1-19. (With Barbara Hillers and Catherine McKenna)

“How Popean was Rob Donn?: A Study in Intertextuality,” Aiste: Rannsachadh air Litreachas Gàidhlig / Studies in Gaelic Literature 4 (2014), 96-113.

Laoidh an Tàilleir ‘The Ballad of the Tailor’: Sartorial Satire and Social Change in Eighteenth-Century Scotland,” in Celts and their Cultures at Home and Abroad: A Festschrift for Malcolm Broun, ed. Anders Ahlqvist and Pamela O’Neill (2013), 327–47.

“The Ceudach Tale in Scotland and Cape Breton,” in Celts in the Americas, ed. Michael Newton (2013), 218–47.

“Women’s Conduct and the Poetry of Sìleas na Ceapaich,” Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 32 (2013), 304–24.
“James Thomson’s The Seasons, Gone Gaelic: The Emergence of a Poetic Trend,” Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 30 (2011), 236–58.