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Join us for a Medieval & Early Modern Seminar on "Reproducing Wenches: Labor, Race, Consent" with Professor Carissa Harris.



Professor Harris’s research and teaching focus on gender and sexuality in medieval England and Scotland. She earned her Ph.D. from Northwestern University and her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. In 2016, she won Temple’s CLA Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award. Her research has been supported by fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Institute for Citizens and Scholars (formerly the Woodrow Wilson Foundation), and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Her first book, Obscene Pedagogies: Transgressive Talk and Sexual Education in Late Medieval Britain (Cornell University Press, 2018), analyzes sexual education, consent, and rape culture from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to the Access Hollywood tape. Obscene Pedagogies won the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship’s 2020 biennial prize for Best First Book of Medieval Feminist Scholarship. Her current book projects are titled The Poetics of Rage: Women’s Anger, Misogyny, and Political Power in Premodern Britain and Medieval Reproductive Justice. She is co-editor, with Sarah Baechle and Elizaveta Strakhov, of a volume of essays and medieval poems titled Rape Culture and Female Resistance in Late Medieval Literature (Penn State University Press, 2022). Her contributions to the volume include an edition of sixteen medieval pastourelles and rape songs specifically tailored for the undergraduate classroom as well as an essay about intersectionality and survival.

She is lead editor for the journal Exemplaria: Medieval, Early Modern, Theory and as well as an editorial board member for Medieval Institute Publications’ Premodern Transgressive Literatures series, Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Press, and The Chaucer Review. In addition, she is currently a member of the MLA Chaucer Forum’s Executive Committee and a trustee of the New Chaucer Society. Her work has been published in Studies in the Age of ChaucerJournal of the Early Book SocietyNew Literary HistoryJournal of Medieval and Early Modern StudiesReview of English StudiesThe Chaucer Review, the Open Access Companion to the Canterbury Tales, and Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality. She also writes public-facing essays on topics such as medieval rape culture, the history of “Teen Mom” entertainment programming, medieval drug-facilitated sexual assault, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, medieval impotence trials, and the history of the word “wench” for outlets including AvidlySlateVoxElectric LiteratureThe Washington PostNarratively, and others.

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