Jes Battis

Associate Professor
PhD (Simon Fraser University); MA (Simon Fraser University); BA (University of the Fraser Valley)

Office: AH 366
Phone: 306-585-5616
Pronoun(s): they/them

Current classes
On Sabbatical

Research interests

  • Medieval Literature and Medievalism
  • Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature
  • LGBTQ2+ Histories and Cultures
  • Creative Writing
  • Children’s and Young-Adult Literature
  • Fantasy and Speculative Fiction
  • Neurodiversity and Disability Studies

I completed my undergraduate degree at a community college—a queer kid in a small town—and that experience was formative because I was able to learn from dedicated college instructors in diverse classrooms. My SSHRC-funded PhD focused on medievalist fantasy literature, and I described it at parties as “my gay wizard dissertation.” I pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at CUNY, which resulted in the publication of Homofiles, an edited volume collecting the voices of LGBTQ2+ graduate students and their experiences in the classroom.

My research is often divided between historical analysis and genre studies, though there are connections between the two (i.e., discussing medievalism in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or eighteenth-century sexualities in historical fiction for young adults.) I also teach hybrid creative writing classes that blend literary analysis with fiction and poetry workshops. Much of my recent work has focused on the history of sexuality, as well as diversity within the young-adult genre (particularly queerness and neurodiversity, since I’m on the spectrum). I’ve also been writing on anxiety/sadness in medieval literature, and how Old English poetry can be therapeutic.

I’ve written two fiction series with Ace/Penguin. The first is the Occult Special Investigator, which focuses on a paranormal detective working in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Night Child, my debut novel, was shortlisted for the Sunburst Award, and the OSI series is optioned as a television project. My second series, Parallel Parks, is set in Regina and follows a group of graduate students who discover a parallel dimension at the heart of the city.

In 2021 I published Thinking Queerly, a study of queerness and neurodiversity in medievalist texts, with the Medieval Institute Press. The book was nominated for the Margaret Wade Labarge Prize in Medieval Studies.


My newest queer urban fantasy novel, The Winter Knight (ECW Press 2023) is a re-telling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight with an autistic protagonist. I'm also working on an academic monograph, Molly Cultures, which focuses on queer and trans liberation movements of the long eighteenth century.

Recent Classes

Links to Syllabi

English 390: History of Criticism
English 300: Chaucer
English 331AC: Eighteenth-Century Sexualities
English 387AH: Reading Buffy the Vampire Slayer
English 387AN: Teen Fiction
English 395: Queer Theories
English 475: Writing Fantasy
English 820: Medieval Materialisms

Areas of Supervision

Academic: Fantasy and Speculative Fiction; Medieval (Middle English, Old English, Latin); Long Eighteenth-Century; Children’s and Young-Adult Fiction; Sexual Diversity Studies; Disability Studies; Television and Pop Culture; Neurodiversity

Creative: Genre (Fantasy/SF, Young-Adult, Horror, Mystery); Creative nonfiction; LGBTQ+ fiction/poetry


Books (co-edited with Dr. Susan Johnston). Mastering the Game of Thrones: Essays on A Song of Ice and Fire. McFarland, 2015.

Supernatural Youth: The Rise of the Teen Hero in Literature and Popular Culture. Rowman & Littlefield, 2013 (2nd printing)

Homofiles: Theory, Sexuality, and Graduate Studies. Rowman & Littlefield, 2011.

Investigating Farscape: Uncharted Territories of Sex and Science Fiction. Bloomington, 2007.

Blood Relations: Chosen Families in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. McFarland, 2005.

Recent Articles and Essays

“Blue Histories: Thinking With Sadness in the Middle Ages,” in Re/Visioning Depression. Edited by Robin McDonald. Palgrave, forthcoming 2021.

“Teaching the Pop Cultural Middle Ages,” in Out of the Cloister: The Lone Medievalist Anthology. Edited by Dr. Kisha Tracy and Dr. John Sexton. Punctum Books, forthcoming, 2021.

“Residual Lo-Fi: Queer and on the Spectrum.” Medium, April 2020,

“Breaking Bread: Queer Foodways and the Nonhuman,” in Canadian Culinary Imaginations. Edited by Dr. Shelley Boyd and Dr. Dorothy Barenscott. McGill-Queen’s University Press, pp. 632-661, July 2020.

“How Medieval are the Eunuchs in Game of Thrones?” The Public Medievalist, November 2019,

“’No Crime to Be Bashful’: Social Anxiety in the Drama of Margaret Cavendish,” in Mosaic, Volume 51, Number 3, forthcoming Spring 2019.

“Lizards and Brokenhearts: Reading in the Teenage Wasteland.” Plentitude. March 2016,

"Molly Canons: The Role of Slang and Text in the Formation of Queer Eighteenth-Century Culture," in Lumen: Journal of the Canadian Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, Volume 36, Number 1, 2016, pp. 129-141.

“Being Green: Sex and Tadpoles in the Drama of Juan Rana,” in Outspoken: Perceptions on the Creation and Reception of Queer Identities. Edited by Jean Hillabold and Dr. Wes Pearce. University of Regina Press, 2013.