New Queer Medievalisms

Series introduction

New Queer Medievalisms explores new directions in the study of queer, gay, lesbian, transgender, intersex, and asexual medieval identities and simultaneously expands the work of the queer Middle Ages beyond early English and continental studies. This series extends the important work of investigating the intersection of queer theory with the study of the Middle Ages by expanding the conception of queerness and queer identity. Almost every area of Medieval Studies has a dedicated group of scholars interrogating the connections between medieval topics and Queer Studies. This series will provide these scholars with a new venue dedicated to their work while also bringing new scholarly and geographic specialties into the conversation.

Keywords: Queer, gender, medieval, medievalism, transgender, sexuality, religion, history.

Geographical Scope: Global

Chronological Scope: 400-1500 CE

See forthcoming titles in this series.

Series editors and Advisory board

To submit a proposal or completed manuscript to be considered for publication by Medieval Institute Publications or to learn more about New Queer Medievalisms, please contact Ilse Schweitzer Van Donkelaar, acquisitions editor for the series.

The series' Advisory Board comprises:

  • Christopher Roman, Kent State University, Series Editor
  • Will Rogers, University of Louisiana at Monroe, Series Editor
  • Michelle M. Sauer, University of North Dakota
  • Anna Klosowska, Miami University
  • Gabrielle Bychowski, Case Western Reserve University
  • Bill Burgwinkle, King's College, Cambridge


Cover image of Medieval Futurity: two male figures embracing, one with a demonic lower half and one with a foliate lower half, with the cover on a purple background

Medieval Futurity: Essays for the Future of a Queer Medieval Studies

Edited by Will Rogers and Christopher Michael Roman

This collection of essays asks contributors to take the capaciousness of the word "queer" to heart in order to think about what medieval queers would have looked like and how they may have existed on the margins and borders of dominant, normative sexuality and desire. The contributors work with recent trends in queer medieval studies, moving away from imposing modern concepts of sexuality and desire onto the Middle Ages, and instead mapping the queer configurations of eroticism, desire, and materiality as they might have existed for medieval audiences.

ISBN: 978-1-58044-327-2 (clothbound), 978-1-50151-370-1 (PDF), 978-1-50151-397-8 (EPUB) © 2020

Pre-order from De Gruyter Online

Forthcoming in this series

Postmodern Poetry and Queer Medievalisms: Time Mechanics

Edited by David Hadbawnik

The poets under consideration in this volume demand that readers grapple with the ways in which we are still “medieval” – in other words, the ways in which the questions posed by their medieval source material still reverberate and hold relevance for today’s world. They do so by challenging the primacy of present over past, toppling the categories of old and new, and suggesting new interpretive frameworks for contemporary and medieval poetry alike -- in short, by “queering” our poetic past.

Sadomasochistic Beowulf: Psychic and Somatic Dispersal in Old English Literature

By Christopher Vaccaro

Sadomasochistic Beowulf applies gender/queer theory to the study of Old English literature, advancing the knowledge of both fields. Its arguments are formulated through the works of Sigmund Freud, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Roland Barthes, Judith Butler, Leo Bersani, Georges Bataille, and others. The project explores a field of queer pleasures associated with the dispersal of the self, the extinguishing of the ego, the submission to a more dominant psyche, the postponement of jouissance, and with what Volker Woltersdorff calls “masochistic self-shattering.” The book covers a range of Old English texts from heroic verse narratives to the prose texts of devotional and penitential anthologies and relates these to the poem Beowulf.