IMC 2009: Sessions

Session 1501: Pagans and Sexuality, I: Exemplars

Thursday 16 July 2009, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Centre for Late Antique & Medieval Studies, King's College London
Organiser:Sarah Salih, Department of English Language & Literature, King's College London
Moderator/Chair:Josh Davies, Department of English Language & Literature, King's College London
Paper 1501-aThe Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions: A Re-Examination of the Motives of Pagan Tormentors in Old English Female Virgin Martyr Legends
(Language: English)
Laura Bailey, Department of English Language & Literature, King's College London
Index terms: Gender Studies, Hagiography, Language and Literature - Old English, Sexuality
Paper 1501-bHrotsvit's Queer Pagans
(Language: English)
Robert Mills, Department of English Language & Literature, King's College London
Index terms: Language and Literature - Latin, Sexuality
Paper 1501-cExemplary Chastity and the Medieval Lucretia
(Language: English)
Lynn Shutters, Department of English, Idaho State University
Index terms: Daily Life, Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Mentalities, Women's Studies
Abstract

The figure of the ‘pagan’ was a valuable repository for Christian doubts, questions, and anxieties about sexuality. These papers examine models of sexual virtue which arise from the confrontation with pagan sexual aggression, but do not discover a straightforward contrast between Christian virtue and pagan wickedness. Bailey studies the perverse desires of the martyrs of Old English hagiographic legends; Mills the interrelation of sexual, religious, and ethnic differences in Hrotsvit’s hagiographies; Shutters the use of the pagan Lucretia as an eroticized exemplar of marital chastity.