Suzanne Edwards specializes in medieval literature and feminist theory. Her research and her courses in medieval literature and culture consider how study of the distant past can help us to think in new ways about ethics and justice in the present. A winner of Lehigh University’s Junior Award for Distinguished teaching, Professor Edwards has taught a wide range of courses on medieval literature (Medieval Pagans, Muslims, and Jews; Dream Visions and Revelations; Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales; Gender and Genre in Medieval Literature; Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in the Middle Ages; and Getting Medieval: Representations of Violence in the Middle Ages). In addition, she is affiliated with the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program, where she teaches courses on feminist and queer theory.
Professor Edwards is currently completing her book manuscript, The Afterlives of Rape in Medieval England, which examines the gendered forms of agency, consolation, and embodiment associated with surviving sexual violence in medieval culture. The book considers the literary tropes and philosophical concerns associated with surviving rape in a wide range of medieval texts—theological treatises, saints’ lives, romances, political manuals, letters of spiritual advice, and legal cases—and in contemporary feminist theory. In addition, she has also written essays on the Wife of Bath’s Tale (in Exemplaria), on reproductive justice and motherhood (Salon.com), and on women’s bodies in early Jewish literature (forthcoming in Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature Studies, with Benjamin G. Wright).
Professor Edwards received her MA and Ph.D in English literature at the University of Chicago and completed a BA in Music and English at Amherst College.