Susan Signe Morrison

Fictional and Scholarly Works

Historical Fiction
Grendel’s Mother, the "monster" as portrayed in the Old English epic, Beowulf, has her own story.
Scholarly: Literary History and Ecocriticism; Waste Studies
A major contribution to the growing field of Waste Studies, this comparative and theoretically innovative book confronts the reader with the ethical urgency present in waste literature itself.
Young Adult Nonfiction: Memoir
This recently uncovered diary provides a window into the everyday life of a precocious American girl living in an extraordinary time.
Literary Analysis; Medieval Literature; Waste Studies
Medieval perceptions of filth and waste in the late Middle Ages as applied to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
Medieval History and Literature
Medieval perceptions of pilgrimage, gender and space. Real life evidence for medieval women pilgrims.


Susan Signe Morrison writes on topics lurking in the margins of history, ranging from recently uncovered diaries of a teenaged girl in World War II to medieval women pilgrims, excrement in the Middle Ages, and waste. Susan Morrison is Professor of English at Texas State University. She grew up in New Jersey by the Great Swamp, a National Wildlife Refuge with terrain not unlike that of Grendel's Mother's mere in Beowulf. Committed to bringing the lives of medieval women to a wider audience and making the ethics of waste fundamental to our study of literature, Susan can be found at and

Susan's BA is from Swarthmore College and her A.M./​Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Brown University. She has studied in Germany and taught in the former East Germany. Susan’s publications have appeared in such journals as The Yearbook of Langland Studies, Medievalia et Humanistica, Medieval Feminist Forum, The Chaucer Review, Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, The New York Times, Women In German Yearbook , Journal of Popular Culture , Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik, as well as numerous book chapters. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, daughter and son.