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Lara Farina

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Associate Professor

Ph.D. Fordham University

Office: 335 Colson Hall
Tel: 293-9715
Fax: 293-5380
Curriculum Vitae

Lara Farina specializes in British and continental medieval literature, medieval piety, and histories of gender and sexuality. She is the author of Erotic Discourse and Early English Religious Writing (Palgrave 2006) and has published articles about eroticized reading practices, medieval women’s devotional literature, and queer approaches to the history of sexuality. Her current research focuses on medieval ideas about sensation, particularly the sense of touch. She teaches the undergraduate courses, British Literature to 1800 (ENGL 261), Non-Western World Literature (ENGL 226), and Sexual Diversity in Literature and Film (ENGL 288), as well as courses in Chaucer (ENGL 361) and Literature of the Middle Ages (ENGL 360). At the graduate level, she has offered courses in medieval topics such as “Visions and Wonders,” “Blasphemy,” and “Textual Communities.”


Medieval Literature

Selected Publications


  • Erotic Discourse and Early English Religious Writing. NY: Palgrave, 2006.

Edited Collection:

  • The Intimate Senses: Taste, Touch, and Smell. postmedieval 3.4, 2012.

Recent Articles:

  • “Sticking Together.” in Burn After Reading/The Future We Want. Ed. Jeffrey J. Cohen, Eileen A. Joy, and Myra Seaman. (Punctum, 2014)
  • “Wondrous Skins and Tactile Affection: The Blemmyae’s Touch.” in Reading Skin in Medieval Literature and Culture, ed. Katie Walter. (Palgrave, 2013)
  • “Intimate Senses/Sensing Intimacy.” postmedieval 3.4 (2012).
  • “Once More with Feeling: Tactility and Cognitive Alterity, Medieval and Modern.” postmedieval 3.3 (2012).
  • “Women and Reading.” in History of British Women’s Writing, Vol. 1 (1350-1500). Ed. Liz Herbert McAvoy and Diane Watt. (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012)
  • “Queer History and Erotic Reading.” in The Lesbian Premodern, ed. Noreen Giffney, Michelle Sauer, and Dianne Watt. (Palgrave, 2011)
  • “Money, Books, and Prayers: Anchoresses and Exchange in Thirteenth-Century England.” in Women, Wealth, and Power in Medieval Europe, ed. Theresa Earenfight. (Palgrave, 2010)


“Get a Grip?: The Tactile Object of Handlyng Synne.” In Feeling Thing: Objects and Emotions Through History. Ed. Stephanie Downes and Sarah Randles. (under consideration at Oxford)

“Missing Something? Queer Desire.” in Clinical Encounters: Psychoanalytic Practice and Queer Theory, ed. Noreen Giffney and Eve Watson. (Routledge).

In Progress:

Article: “Vines, Petals, Nerves: Feeling Floral Skins.”

Book: On the sense of touch and medieval culture.

Composition & Rhetoric
Creative Writing
Literary and Cultural Studies
Professional Writing and Editing
the WVU Writing Center

View More Events

September 9: Mark Brazaitis and Faith Shearin Reading in the Robinson Reading Room, WVU Downtown Libary from 7:30-9:00 p.m.

September 11: Student submissions for Sturm Writer-in-Residence Deadline.

September 24: Benedum Lecture by Kirk Hazen in the Rhododendron Room, WVU Mountainlair at 4:00 p.m.

October 7: Alison Bass Reading in 130 Colson Hall from 7:00-8:30 p.m.

October 14: Pizza Party in 130 Colson Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

October 15: Susan Straight Reading in the Robinson Reading Room, WVU Downtown Library from 7:30-9:00 p.m.