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Dr. Erik Wade


Phone: +49 (0)228-737841

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Office hour by appointment.


I received my PhD from Rutgers University, and I specialize in the global Middle Ages, medieval English literature, and the history of sexuality and race. My book project, Lust in Translation: Sexuality, Race, and National Identity in Early Medieval English Literature, explores how authors in the British Isles from approximately 500-1000 AD used sexual practices to signal racial belonging, and to construct social and spiritual hierarchies that could be used for consolidating English identity. By tracing how early medieval writers depicted race as essential (though not necessarily embodied or visible) group differences, I reveal how race and sexuality ultimately became categories inseparable from that of nation. My project shows that the earliest English literature used depictions of rape and sexual practices including sodomy, adultery, masturbation, wet dreams, and chastity, to construct racial differences rooted in a straightforward binary between an emergent (Christian) English self and an immoral, sexualized (usually pagan) Other.



PhD., English, Rutgers University (2018)

M.A., English, University of Oregon (2011)

B.A., English and History, SUNY Oswego (2009)



Advisory Board Member, Exemplaria: Medieval, Early Modern, Theory, 2021-present




Lust in Translation: Sexuality, Race, and National Identity in Early Medieval English Literature.


(with Mary Rambaran-Olm) Race in Early Medieval England (Elements series). Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.



“Skeletons in the Closet: Erasing Queer and Trans Issues in Early Medieval Scholarship.” — ELH, forthcoming.


“The Birds and the Bedes: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Bede’s In Cantica Canticorum,” postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies 11.4, 425-33 (2020).


“The Pig’s Doom: Animal Butchery, Gender Relations, and a New Solution for Durham Proverb 10.” — SELIM. Journal of the Spanish Society for Medieval English Language and Literature 25, 187-92 (2020).


“The Beast with Two Backs: Bestiality, Sex Between Men, and Byzantine Theology in the Paenitentiale Theodori.” — Journal of Medieval Worlds 2.1, 11-26 (2020)


“Representation and Inclusion in the Old English Classroom.” Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching 27.2, 19-40 (2020).


“Ower Felaws Blake: Blackface, Race, and Muslim Conversion in the Digby Mary Magdalene,”

Exemplaria 31.1, 22-45 (February 2019).


Pater Don't Preach: Byzantine Theology, Female Sexuality, and Histories of Global Encounter in the ‘English’ Paenitentiale Theodori,” The Medieval Globe 4.2, 1-29 (November 2018).


“Language, Letters, and Augustinian Origins in the Old English Poetic Solomon and Saturn I,” The Journal of English and Germanic Philology 117.2, 160-184 (April 2018).


“Historicism and Its Discontents.” B urn After Reading: Tiny Manifestos for a Future Post/medieval Studies + The Future We Want, ed. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, Eileen Joy, and Myra Seaman, Punctum Books, 113-18 (2014).



Medieval literature and culture; Old and Middle English literature; the global Middle Ages; history of the English language; eroticism and sexuality; queer theory; women’s and gender studies; critical race theory; postcolonial theory; poetry and poetics; critical theory.



* Lane Cooper Dissertation Completion Fellowship, New York Community Trust (2017 – 2018)

* Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University (2015)




Early Middle English Society

Modern Language Association

New Chaucer Society

Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship

Colloquium for Early Medieval Studies