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Michelle M. Sauer
Office: Merrifield 9
Phone: (701) 777-2783
- B.A. Purdue University, English
- M.A. Loyola University Chicago, English
- Ph.D. Washington State University, English
I grew up in Fargo, ND, but have lived in several places throughout my life as I attended different universities, including Indiana, Illinois, and Washington. Still, of all the places I have lived, I love North Dakota the most.
I have been lucky in my academic career, since I have held two different tenured positions at universities in my home state of North Dakota. I taught at Minot State University in Minot, ND from 2000-2008, where I founded the Gender/Women's Studies program and the Safe Space Program, and was responsible for the diversity requirement for graduation. I also taught early British literature, gender studies, and linguistics.
I joined the faculty at UND in 2008 as an Associate Professor, and was promoted to Professor in 2011. Here I have been able to expand the offerings of medieval literature and language courses. I've also taught a number of popular culture classes that connect with early British literature as well as gender studies courses.
I believe learning should be as enjoyable as possible, and strive to make my classes both challenging and engaging. Even if you don't think you like medieval literature, you will when I'm done with you!
While I teach all areas of medieval literature and language, my academic specialty is devotional literature of the 13th and 14th centuries, particularly in connection to anchoritism, eremiticism, and monasticism. I am especially interested in women's religious experiences and the intersection of sexuality and spirituality, particularly same-sex relations and other forms of queer sexuality.
My main books include:
- Gender in Medieval Culture. Bloomsbury, 2015.
- How to Write About Chaucer. Chelsea House, 2009.
The Lesbian Premodern. Co-edited with Noreen Giffney and Diane Watt. Palgrave, 2011.
**Nominated for a Lambda Literary Award*
Forthcoming books (selected):
- A Companion to Sexuality in the Western Medieval World. ARC Humanities Press, 2018.
Articles & essays (selected):
- "Architecture of Desire: Mediating the Female Gaze in the Medieval English Anchorhold." Gender & History. 2013.
- "Divine Orgasm and Self-Blazoning: The Fragmented Body of the Female Medieval Visionary." In Sexuality, Sociality and Cosmology in Medieval Literary Texts. Ed. Jennifer N. Brown and Marla Segol. Palgrave, 2013. 123-43.
- "Devotional Literature: Performance & Performativity." In The History of British Women's Writing: Volume 1, 1350-1500. Ed. Diane Watt & Liz Herbert McAvoy. Palgrave, 2011. 103-111.
- "Uncovering Difference: Encoded Homoerotic Anxiety within the Medieval English Eremitic Tradition." Journal of the History of Sexuality. 19.1 (2010): 133-52.
- "'Þe blod þ[at] bohte': The Wooing Group Christ as Pierced, Pricked, and Penetrated Body." 'May your wounds heal the wounds of my soul': The Milieu and Context of the Wohunge Group. Ed. Susannah Mary Chewning. University of Wales P, 2009. 123-47.
- "'Where are the Lesbians in Chaucer?': Lack, Opportunity, & Female Homoeroticism in Medieval Studies Today." The Journal of Lesbian Studies. 11.3/4 (2007): 331-45.
- "Representing the Negative: Positing the Lesbian Void & Medieval English Anchoritism." thirdspace 3.2 (2004): 70-88 [print], 26 par. [web]<http://www.thirdspace.ca/articles/3_2_sauer.htm>
**Winner: LGBT-Religious Archives Network Award: Best article on LGBT Religious History.**
Selected Articles, Peer-Reviewed Journals & Blogs:
- “Audiotactility & the Medieval Soundscape of Parchment.” Sounding Out!: A Peer-Reviewed Sound Studies Blog. [posted October 17, 2016] https://soundstudiesblog.com/2016/10/17/audiotactility-the-medieval-soundscape-of-parchment
- “Touching Jesus: Christ’s Side Wound & Medieval Manuscript Tradition.” Women’s Literary Culture and the Medieval Canon. A peer-reviewed blog. [January 2016] http://blogs.surrey.ac.uk/medievalwomen/2016/01/05/touching-jesus-christs-side-wound-medieval-manuscript-tradition
- Medieval Academy of America
- International Anchoritic Society (Vice President)
- Society for the Study of Homosexuality in the Middle Ages (Executive Board Member)
- Hagiography Society
- Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship
- Medieval Association of the Midwest
- International Courtly Literature Society
- Modern Language Association
- Thomas J. Clifford Faculty Achievement Award for Excellence in Research, UND, 2016.
- Fellowship in Garden & Landscape Studies. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection (Harvard University). 2016. “Gardens, the Rhetoric of Desire, & Lesbian Space in Late Medieval Dream Visions.”
- Finalist, UND Undergraduate Teaching Award (2012-13).
- Faculty “Star.” 2011 & 2012, UND.
- Nominated, Outstanding undergraduate advisor, UND, 2009-10.
- LGBT-Religious Archives Network prize, December 2005. For: “Representing the Negative: Positing the Lesbian Void & Medieval English Anchoritism.”
Graduate & Dual Level:
- Medieval Dream Visions
- Medieval Women & Religion
- Anglo Saxon Poetry
- Medieval Monsters
- Saints & Sinners in Medieval Literature
- Medieval Trans* Literatures
- Medieval Drama
- History of the English Language
- British Literature I
- Medieval Sex
- Women of the Pre-Modern World
- Arthurian Romances
- Harry Potter: Origins & Influences
- The Works of JRR Tolkien
- Vampires in Literature & Film
- Gender & Language
- Introduction to Linguistics
- Faculty Co-Advisor, Adelphi Literary Society
- Faculty Co-Advisor, Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society
- Faculty Advising Board, Phi Beta Kappa
- Book Talk leader for ND Humanities Council
- Reading leader for Northern Lights Arts Council (Langdon, ND)
- Grant Reader for NEH and AAUW
- Vice President, International Anchoritic Society
I am married with two cats, and am blissfully child-free. I am a Star Trek fanatic, and generally like science fiction, fantasy, and horror. I travel a lot, usually by myself, and appreciate every experience. I also enjoy sarcasm, dark humor, oddities, wine collecting, and Goth/heavy metal music. I wear black because nothing darker has been invented yet.