IMC 2009: Sessions

Session 1004: Unorthodox Domesticity: Familial Relations in Middle English Romance

Wednesday 15 July 2009, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Medieval Romance Society
Organiser:Chloe Morgan, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Moderator/Chair:Amy Burge, Centre for Women's Studies, University of York
Paper 1004-aOpposing Forces: The Foundation and Destruction of the Family in The Romauns of Partenay
(Language: English)
Sarah McLoughlin, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Middle English
Paper 1004-b'And sigge it is mi kinswoman': Monasticism as Alternative Family in Middle English Romance
(Language: English)
Chloe Morgan, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Lay Piety, Religious Life
Paper 1004-c'This maiden he loved als his lif': Fatherly Obsession, Daughterly Dysfunction, and the Consequences of Paternal Tyranny in Middle English Romance
(Language: English)
Rachel E. Moss, Université de Paris I
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Middle English, Sexuality
Abstract

‘The family’ is central to many Middle English romances, providing both a domestic point of departure for the hero or heroine, and an ideal goal towards which the narratives strive. Yet these narratives, whilst simultaneously idealising familial ties, also problematize these relationships by featuring implicit and explicit threats to the domestic order. The bonds between family members are tested and restructured by factors such as atypical sexuality, geographical displacement, mistaken identity, and intergenerational conflict. This session will ask why romance, a genre ostensibly invested in orthodox family models, is so willing to include these subversive and dramatic elements, and what effect they have on readings of the texts.