Suzanne Edwards is Associate Professor of English, Director of the Humanities Center, and core faculty in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Lehigh University. She specializes in medieval European literature (written between 1200-1500) and feminist/queer theory.
Her research and teaching explore how the study of the past can help us to think in new ways about ethics and justice in the present. A winner of Lehigh University's Early Career Award for Distinguished Teaching, Professor Edwards teaches a wide range of courses in medieval literature and culture, law and literature, and gender and sexuality studies.
Her book, The Afterlives of Rape in Medieval English Literature, was published in 2016 as part of Palgrave Macmillan's New Middle Ages. This book examines the literary tropes and philosophical concerns associated with surviving sexual violence in a wide range of medieval texts and in contemporary feminist theory. In addition to her work on sexual violence, she has also published essays on early Jewish literature (with Benjamin Wright), reproductive justice, and pedagogy.
Currently, she is working on two new projects. The first, a book, will explore how the medieval dialogue form frames encounters across difference--between bodies and souls, between youth and old age, between vices and virtues, between men and women, between Christians and Jews--in light of contemporary feminist theories of intersectionality and assemblage. The second, an interdisciplinary project with her colleagues in the humanities, arts, and library sciences, focuses on Gloria Naylor's collected papers. Using the arts and digital tools and inspired by Naylor's own political and aesthetic vision, the Gloria Naylor Archive project will this 20th-century writer's papers accessible to audiences inside and outside the academy. Professor Edwards has essays on Gloria Naylor forthcoming in The Chaucer Review and, co-authored with Trudier Harris, in African American Review.