IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 317: Women In and Out of Rules: The Representation and Perception of 'Marginal' Females in Medieval England

Monday 9 July 2012, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Birmingham Journal of Literature and Language
Organiser:Sarah Macmillan, Department of English, University of Birmingham
Moderator/Chair:Lisa Viktoria Kranzer, Department of English / Department of History, University of Birmingham
Paper 317-aPresence and Absence: Gendered Landscapes in Old English Poetry
(Language: English)
Charlotte Ball, School of Historical Studies, University of Leicester
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Old English, Sexuality
Paper 317-bNon-Courtly Love: Marginal Ladies in the Lais of Marie De France
(Language: English)
Ayşegül Keskin Çolak, Department of History, Bilkent University, Turkey
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Women's Studies
Paper 317-c'Governd aftyr the rewelys of the Chirch': Making and Breaking the Rules of Late Medieval Asceticism
(Language: English)
Sarah Macmillan, Department of English, University of Birmingham
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Lay Piety, Religious Life, Women's Studies
Abstract

From inside, outside and the margins of social and religious structures, medieval women both challenge and reinforce established rules. Addressing the ‘female’ from these three perspectives, this session firstly considers womanhood and gendered landscapes in the Anglo-Saxon imagination, understood in terms of its ‘absence’ and existence outside homo-social masculine society. It then turns to Marie de France’s femino-centric reaction to the fixed gender roles of courtly love conventions and the marginalisation of the female, and finally to late-medieval devotional works concerned with asceticism and women’s often overly literal concern to play by its apparent rules.