Welcome to the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

  • Portrait

Associate Professor

Department of English

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Tel: 848-932-7913

Office: Murray Hall, Room 010


Ph.D., Ohio State University

M.A., University of Sussex

B.A., Dartmouth College

Research Interests

Anglo-Saxon Literature and Culture, Later Medieval Literature, Gender and Sexuality, Poetry and Poetics

Biographical Notes

Professor Klein has written articles on Old English poetry, early medieval biblical translation, and Anglo-Saxon femininity. She published Ruling Women: Queenship and Gender in Anglo-Saxon Literature (2006), which explores how legendary women of extreme social privilege functioned as imaginative figures in early medieval literature and culture. Her current research interests include Anglo-Saxon literature and religious iconography, medieval hagiography, the history of sexuality, feminist theory and criticism, and medieval social reforms and institutions that emphasize the maintenance of hierarchy.

Awards, Fellowships, and Grants

  • Solmsen Fellow, Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2012-13
  • International Society of Anglo-Saxonists Biennial Publication Prize in 2005 for “Reading Queenship in Cynewulf’s Elene
  • Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, 2005-06
  • Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars, American Council of Learned Societies, 2005-06
  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 2001-02
  • Outstanding Faculty Recognition Award, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Rutgers University, 2000-01
  • Visiting Scholar, Harvard University, 2001-03
  • NEH Fellowship for seminar “Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts and Texts,” British Library, London, Summer 2001

Selected Publications


Ruling Women: Queenship and Gender in Anglo-Saxon Literature
University of Notre Dame Press, 2006










Article, Book Chapters, and Edited Collections:

  • The Maritime World of the Anglo-Saxons, co-edited with William Schipper and Shannon Lewis-Simpson, forthcoming from the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2013
  • “Navigating the Anglo-Saxon Seas,” in The Maritime World of the Anglo-Saxons (forthcoming)
  • Anglo-Saxon England and the Visual Imagination, co-edited with John Niles and Jonathan Wilcox, forthcoming from the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2014
  • “Anglo-Saxon Pedagogy and the Circle of Shame,” forthcoming in a special issue of Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching, ed. Heide Estes and Haruko Momma  
  • Gender,” in A Handbook to Anglo-Saxon Studies, ed. Jacqueline Stodnick and Renée R. Trilling, Wiley-Blackwell Critical Theory Handbooks (Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 39-54
  • “Gender and the Nature of Exile in Old English Elegies,” in A Place to Believe In: Locating Medieval Landscapes, ed. Clare A. Lees and Gillian R. Overing (Pennsylvania State UP, 2006), 113-31
  •  “Centralizing Feminism in Anglo-Saxon Literary Studies,” in Readings in Medieval Texts: Interpreting Old and Middle English Literature, ed. David F. Johnson and Elaine Treharne (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005), 149-65
  • “Beauty and the Banquet: Queenship and Social Reform in Ælfric’s Esther,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 103 (2004): 77-105
  • Reading Queenship in Cynewulf’s Elene,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 33 (2003): 47-89 (Winner of International Society of Anglo-Saxonists Biennial Publication Prize for Best Essay on an Anglo-Saxon Topic, 2005)

Courses Offered


  • Medieval Autobiography and Life Stories
  • Medieval Poetry and Poetics
  • Theorizing Gender Before 1500 (cross-listed in Women’s and Gender Studies)
  • Feminist Perspectives, Medieval Interventions (cross-listed in Women’s and Gender Studies)
  • Medieval Methodologies
  • Sexual Difference in Medieval Literature


  • Old English Language and Literature I: the Shorter Poems
  • Old English Language and Literature II: Beowulf
  • Old English Language and Literature II: Anglo-Saxon Hagiography
  • Seminar: Humanity and the Beowulf Manuscript
  • Seminar: Representing Change in Anglo-Saxon England
  • Seminar: Medieval Family Dramas
  • Seminar: Sanctity and the Self in Medieval Literature
  • Medieval Court Literature
  • Chaucer
  • Principles of Literary Study for Majors: Poetry
  • Textual Representation and the Female Body (First-Year Byrne Seminar)

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