- Visiting Lecturer in French
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Blake Gutt specializes in medieval French literature and trans studies. His work has been published in Exemplaria, Medieval Feminist Forum, and postmedieval. The volume Trans and Genderqueer Subjects in Medieval Hagiography, which he co-edited with Alicia Spencer-Hall (Queen Mary University of London), was published by Amsterdam University Press in 2021. The collection includes Blake’s chapter, “Holy Queer and Holy Cure: Sanctity, Disability, and Transgender Embodiment in Tristan de Nanteuil”. Blake is currently working on a book project entitled The Trans Middle Ages, which analyzes medieval European representations of gender transition and transformation through the lens of modern queer and trans theory, and traces the lineage between the two. The project mobilizes the viewpoint of the modern trans subject to recognize and elucidate the traces of transgender subjectivity that inhere in certain medieval narratives. This literary and theoretical approach enacts a trans poetics that creates a resonant, atemporal moment of affective connection and trans potentiality.
Blake has experience teaching undergraduate courses in French literature and culture – medieval, modern, and cross-temporal – in both French and English. At Pitt, he teaches "French Kiss" and "France in the 21st Century."
He completed his PhD in French at King’s College, Cambridge in 2018. His dissertation, Rhizomes, Parasites, Folds and Trees: Systems of Thought in Medieval French and Catalan Literary Texts, examined modern and medieval conceptual networks, and the ways in which these underlie both text and its manuscript presentation across a range of thirteenth- and fourteenth-century works. The corpus included saints’ lives, an encyclopedic text, and narratives featuring transgender characters. From 2018 to 2022 Blake was a postdoctoral fellow in the Michigan Society of Fellows, affiliated with Michigan’s Romance Languages and Literatures department.