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IMC 2009: Sessions

Session 1601: Pagans and Sexuality, II: Geographies

Thursday 16 July 2009, 11.15-12.45

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:Clare A. Lees, Department of English Language & Literature, King's College London
Paper 1601-aComparative Conversions: The Conversion of Northumbria in Chaucer's Man of Law's Tale and Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica
(Language: English)
Mary Kate Hurley, Department of English & Comparative Literature, Columbia University
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Middle English, Language and Literature - Latin, Pagan Religions
Paper 1601-bAlexander Penetrated and Undone: Queer Orientations in the Old English Letter of Alexander to Aristotle
(Language: English)
Eileen A. Joy, Department of English Language & Literature, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Pagan Religions, Sexuality
Paper 1601-cStrange Bodies: Visualising Pagan and Monstrous Sex in Travel Writing
(Language: English)
Sarah Salih, Department of English Language & Literature, King's College London
Index terms: Art History - General, Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Middle English

The figure of the 'pagan' was a valuable repository for Christian doubts, questions, and anxieties about sexuality. These papers examine narratives which use unsettled geographies to explore the alterity of pagans and their sex. Hurley studies the seduction, taming, and conversion of pagans in locations which are not yet Christian; Joy Alexander's vulnerability to interpenetration by the exotic landscape he aims to possess; Salih the use of pagan and monstrous sexuality to explore the limits of the human in travel texts and their illustrations.