Jacqueline Dragu

Cohort Year: 2015
Research Interests: Middle English literature, queer and transgender studies, psychoanalysis, historical materialism


My dissertation is concerned with the kinds of sinfulness that emerge in late medieval literature when a subject withholds, suspends, or refuses their own enjoyment of something. Reading writers such as Geoffrey Chaucer, Thomas Hocceleve, and Heldris of Cornwall alongside contemporary discourses in psychoanalytic, trans/feminist, and queer theory, I argue for a way of reading premodern texts that is both historically reflexive and literate in formal questions of identification, desire, and ideology. In my teaching, I encourage students to approach their writing as an exercise in risk and speculation, and to understand literature as an epistemologically exciting mode of thought in its own right.