IMC 2005: Sessions

Session 707: Representing Women

Tuesday 12 July 2005, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Carolyn B. Anderson, Department of English, University of Wyoming
Paper 707-aCourt and Gender in the Reign of Edward II, 1307-1327: Queen Isabella and Gender Roles Redefined
(Language: English)
Elizabeth Allenby, Independent Scholar, Castleford
Index terms: Gender Studies, Politics and Diplomacy, Social History, Women's Studies
Paper 707-bWomen in Middle English Romances and Traditional Japanese Folk Narratives
(Language: English)
Masaji Tajiri, Department of Area Studies, Osaka University of Foreign Studies
Index terms: Language and Literature - Comparative, Language and Literature - Middle English, Women's Studies
Paper 707-cJulian of Norwich, Adam Easton, and the Story of St Cecily
(Language: English)
Juliana Dresvina, Magdalene College, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Hagiography, Lay Piety, Religious Life, Women's Studies

Abstract – a: The object of our study deals with an analysis of female social roles in the four Cycles of Corpus Christi Plays (York, Chester, N-Town and Towneley). This analysis will serve as a basis for a panorama of sociocultural references to the various roles performed by women in later medieval England. Therefore, we will tackle issues such as marriage, motherhood, work, education, marginal women, etc. Besides doctrinal matters and patterns of social behaviour aimed at women in the audience, the cycle also offered women a chance to see their world reflected on the stage and allowed them to participate in the history of Human Redemption.

Abstract – b: Middle English didactic tail-rhyme romances and traditional Japanese narratives known as ‘sekkyo’ share some traits, including densely formulaic style and popular motifs. What is more striking, however, is the role women play in the two genres. Female protagonists in some ME romances are mostly persecuted ladies, and hence symbolise, it is sometimes argued, the predicament medieval women were actually in. Viewed from another angle, however, they generally contribute to restoring order once disturbed by men. Essentially the same can be said about the ‘sekkyo’ heroines, though they are more strong-willed than English counterparts and even posthumously deified as Buddhist goddesses.

Abstract – c: The paper is going to deal with Julian of Norwich’s modelling herself on St Cecily (among many others saints), her possible connexions with Adam Easton, a Norwich Benedictine monk and later the Cardinal of Santa Cecilia in Rome, and suggest some explanations as to why Julian removed the name of Cecily from the Long Text of her Revelations of Divine Love.