Steven Kruger

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Klapper Hall 638 718-997-4661

Research Interests

I am currently working on a new book tentatively titled The Perpetual Convert: The Identity Politics of Medieval European Religious Conversion, which considers both fictional/poetic representations of conversion and the (mostly Latin) writings of medieval Jewish converts to Christianity. Conversion experience and its representation provide a kind of X-ray of how medieval subjects conceive their (religious, racial, class, gender, sexual) identities within a broader socio-political field. I also continue to be interested in the literary genre of medieval dream vision, which was the subject of my earliest publications. And I have recently published on how medieval material gets taken up on the Internet – specifically in the form of erotic stories addressed to an audience (primarily) made up of gay men.

Teaching Interests

I teach courses that include the whole range of medieval writing in English (from Beowulf to Chaucer to fifteenth-century drama and poetry) and in the continental European languages. A particular interest in my teaching is medieval religious interaction (among Christians, Jews, Muslims, and pagans), and I also teach the English Department’s courses on the literature of the Bible. I have, as well, longstanding teaching interests in the history of the English language; in literary theory, especially feminist and queer theory; and in contemporary queer fiction, drama, and poetry.

Selected Publications

The Spectral Jew: Conversion and Embodiment in Medieval Europe. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006.

Queering the Middle Ages. Ed. Glenn Burger and Steven F. Kruger. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001.

Approaching the Millennium: Essays on Angels in America. Ed. Deborah R. Geis and Steven F. Kruger. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997.

AIDS Narratives: Gender and Sexuality, Fiction and Science. Gender and Genre in Literature Series. New York: Garland Publishing, 1996.

Dreaming in the Middle Ages. Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature 14. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. [Italian translation: Il sogno nel medioevo (Vita e Pensiero, 1996). Paperback, 2005]


“Race and Sexuality.” In A Cultural History of Race in the Middle Ages (vol. 2). Ed. Thomas Hahn. Marius Turda, general ed. London: Bloomsbury, 2021. 153-70.

“Gay Internet Medievalism: Erotic Story Archives, the Middle Ages, and Contemporary Gay Identity.” American Literary History 22 (2010): 913-44. [with response: Scott Herring. “Erotic Uncreativity: A Response to Steven F. Kruger.” ALH 22 (2010): 945-50.]

“The Times of Conversion.” Philological Quarterly 92 (2013): 19-39.

“Claiming the Pardoner: Toward a Gay Reading of Chaucer’s Pardoner’s Tale.” Exemplaria 6 (1994), 115 39. Reprinted in Critical Essays on Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. Thomas C. Stillinger (New York: G. K Hall & Co., 1998), 150-72.

“Mirrors and the Trajectory of Vision in Piers Plowman.” Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies 66 (1991), 74-95.