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George Greenia

Professor Emeritus

Mailing Address: 636 Counselors Way, Williamsburg, VA 23185-4059 USA
E-mail: [[gxgree]]

Areas of Specialization

The languages, literatures and cultural history of Medieval Iberia from the 6th through the 15th centuries, Pilgrimage Studies, medieval book culture and the archeology of the manuscript book, manuscript illuminations, and linguistics.


George D. Greenia retired in 2016 after 34 years of fulltime teaching at William & Mary.  He continues to publish widely on Pilgrimage Studies and the Spanish Middle Ages, its literature, language, art and social history.  For fourteen years he was Editor (now Editor at Large) of the journal La corónica, devoted to Medieval Iberia. He is Co-Editor of a two volume encyclopedia on Castilian Writers, 1200-1500.  In 2007 Greenia was named Editor of the Year by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals.  In the field of Spanish language teaching, Greenia is the author of the textbook Generaciones. Composición y conversación en español.

His courses include Pilgrimage in Spain; Love & Prostitution in Medieval Spain; Spanish Language, Epic & Nationalism; Medieval Pilgrimage; Hispanic Folktales; The Medieval Book; and a summer Apprenticeship in Archival Skills for Medieval and Renaissance Studies taught at St. John’s University in Minnesota.  Strating in 2005 he guided William & Mary undergraduates in retracing the legendary routes of the Camino de Santiago across northern Iberia.

Greenia served for ten years as Director of William & Mary’s Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.  In 2011 he founded the William & Mary Institute for Pilgrimage Studies and in 2015 the Institute created Research Fellowships named in his honor.

Three times Greenia has been honored by the William & Mary Office of Residence Life with the Crystal Apple Award for Outstanding Faculty Service to the Community.  In 2006 the William & Mary Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae Association presented Greenia with the Founders’ Cup for Outstanding Lifetime Service to the Gay and Lesbian members of the College of William & Mary Community.

For his promotion of Spanish culture in the United States, in 2007 Greenia was knighted by order of King Juan Carlos I of Spain and granted the Encomienda de la Orden de Isabel la Católica.  Sir George Greenia is a co-founding member of the International Fraternity of the Camino de Santiago, headquartered in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and inducted by cathedral officials as a member of the Archconfraternity of the Apostle St. James.  In 2010 the Concejo de la Enxebre Orden de la Vieira, a confraternity of Galicians in the diaspora who support the Camino de Santiago, named him an “Ángel del Camino”.  In 2016 Greenia was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award from American Pilgrims on the Camino for playing a “significant role … in building the pilgrim community within the United States”.

In 2009 Greenia was elected to the national Senate of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and served six years on the Society’s Executive Committee.  In 2015 Phi Beta Kappa honored him with the President’s Award and Judith F. Krug Medal “given in recognition of truly outstanding and extraordinary service to Phi Beta Kappa as a national organization”.  Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and largest undergraduate honorary society in America, was founded in 1776 at William & Mary, home to the Alpha Chapter of the Society.  Greenia serves as the Chapter's corresponding Secretary.

In Spring of 2016 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from American Pilgrims on the Camino for “the significant role you have had in building the pilgrim community within the United States”.

In 2017 Greenia elected Honorary Fellow of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP).

In March of 2018 he received a Joint Resolution of Commendation by the Senate and House of Delegates of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In 2019 Greenia was the recipient of the international Compostela Prize, a reward granted annually by the Compostela Group of Universities to one person or institution that has stood out due to work in favour of the diffusion of international projects or ideas, dealing specially with the promotion of the European common ideal, the education and the preservation of our cultural heritage.

“Modern Pilgrimage and the Quest in the Guest”: TEDx William & Mary 2020, “The Time is Now” – February 21, 2020

George Greenia CV

Download complete current CV (pdf).

Recent publications

Greenia, George; Xosé M. Sánchez Sánchez. “Pilgrim Song, Silence and Noise on the Camino de Santiago.” Al limina 12 (2021). [forthcoming]

“Santiago de Compostela.” Medieval Travel Writing: A Global History. Ed. Sebastian Sobecki. Cambridge UP. [forthcoming]

“Linda Kay Davidson (1946-2017).” Ad limina: Revista de Investigación del Camino de Santiago y las Peregrinaciones. [forthcoming]

“La resonancia del Camino de Santiago en la imaginación norteamericana.” Actas del XI Congreso Internacional de Asociaciones Jacobeas. Antequera, octubre de 2017. Málaga: Diputación, 2019. [forthcoming]

“Literacy, Sanctity and Stumbling to Santiago.” CSJ Bulletin. The Confraternity of St. James Quarterly 145 (April 2019). [forthcoming]

“Bartered Bodies: Medieval Pilgrims and the Tissue of Faith.” The Pilgrim Body: An Anatomy of Intentional Move­ment. Eds. Matthew Anderson & Sara Terreault. International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage1 (2019): 38-51. Available at

“Humanities, good for a laugh.” Humanity 101: Creating a Movement. Neal A. Lester, Intro­duc­tion John Churchill.  Tempe: Arizona State Univ., Project Humanities, 2019. [forthcoming]

“The Papal Bull Deus Omnipotens: A New English Translation.” Annuarium Sancti Jacobi 4 (2019). [forthcoming]

“What is Pilgrimage?” International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage, 6.2 (2018): 7-15. Available at  [Rpt. and expansion of “What is Pilgrimage?” A Sociology of Pilgrimage: Embodiment, Identity, Transformation. Ed. Lesley D. Harman. London, Ontario: Ursus Press, 2014. 8-27.]

George Greenia, Eileen Quin Moore, Ian McIntosh, Robert Nickerson, Eds. “Introduction to Special Issue of What is Pilgrimage.”  International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage 6.2 (2018): 1-6.  Available at

“Pilgrimage and the Economy of Salvation.” Pilgrim Libraries: books & reading on the medieval routes to Rome & Jerusalem (2017-07-24). On-line.

“Travelers’ Texts: pilgrims and their textual accessories.” Pilgrim Libraries: books & reading on the medieval routes to Rome & Jerusalem (2017-05-19). On-line.

“Pilgrims as readers & writers: some reflections.” Pilgrim Libraries: books & reading on the medieval routes to Rome & Jerusalem (2017-01-27). On-line.

“Faith and Footpaths: Pilgrimage in Medieval Iberia.” The Routledge Companion to Iberian Studies. Eds. Javier Muñoz‑Basols, Laura Lonsdale, Manuel Delgado. Oxford, UK: Rout­ledge, 2017. eISBN 978-1-315-70989-5. 16-26.

“Humanities, good for a laugh.” Humanity 101: Creating a Movement. Neal A. Lester, Introduction John Churchill.  Tempe: Arizona State Univ., Project Humanities, 2017. [forthcoming]

“The Papal Bull Deus Omnipotens: A New English Translation.” Annuarium Sancti Jacobi 4 (2017). [forthcoming]

“Learning to Walk” (April 18, 2016) and “Learning to Cherish the Dumb Question” (July 11, 2016) under Teaching Lessons in The American Scholar on-line.

George Greenia and Jacob H. Rooksby. “Digital Cocoons and the Raw Abroad.”  Inside Higher Ed (April 15, 2016). Web.

“The Lakota Future Generation Ride of the Lakota Sioux”. Pilgrimage in Practice: Narration, Reclamation and Healing. Eds. Ian S. McIntosh, E. Moore Quinn and Vivienne Keely. Wallingford, Oxfordshire: CABI, 2018. [18 pp., pagination forthcoming]

“Santiago de Compostela.” Regeneration: A Literary History of Europe, 1348-1418. Ed. David Wal­lace. 2 vols. Oxford University Press, 2016. Vol. 2: 94-101.

“Foreword”. The Camino de Santiago in the 21st Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Global Views. Eds. Samuel Sánchez y Sánchez and Annie Hesp. Oxford, UK: Rout­ledge, 2015.  ix-xi.

“Pilgrimage and the American Myth.” Redefining Pilgrimage. New Perspectives on Historical and Contemporary Pilgrimages. Ed. Antón M. Pazos. Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate, 2014. 47-70.

“The Lost Privilegio de Alcalá de Henares de 1295.” La pluma es lengua del alma: Ensayos en honor de E. Michael Gerli. Ed. José Manuel Hidalgo. Newark, Delaware: Juan de la Cuesta, 2011. 179-200.

“Down for the Count: The Limits of Numerology”. ‘Recuerde el alma dormida’: Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Essays in Honor of Frank Frank A. Domínguez. John A. Moore and Adriano Duque. Newark, Delaware: Juan de la Cuesta Press, 2009.  141-51.