Skip to main content

IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 525: Women Who Hunt: Ecocriticism, Gender Theory, Posthumanism

Tuesday 5 July 2016, 09.00-10.30

Organiser:Sara Petrosillo, Department of English, University of California, Davis
Moderator/Chair:Roberta Magnani, Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Research (MEMO), Swansea University
Paper 525-aHostess or Huntress?: Women and Agency in Feasting Spaces of the Íslendingasögur
(Language: English)
Aidan Holtan, Department of English, Purdue University
Index terms: Daily Life, Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Scandinavian
Paper 525-bQueer/Trans/Butch Hunting
(Language: English)
Anna Klosowska, Department of French & Italian, Miami University, Ohio
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Sexuality, Women's Studies
Paper 525-c'Þer is fair game': Women, Birds, and the Hunt in Sir Orfeo
(Language: English)
Amy Louise Morgan, School of Literature & Languages, University of Surrey
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Middle English, Women's Studies
Paper 525-dThe Falcon's Feast: Falconry as Feminist Poetics
(Language: English)
Sara Petrosillo, Department of English, University of California, Davis
Index terms: Gender Studies

In Diana's Hunt Giovanni Boccaccio weaves a narrative entirely populated by women who hunt. Fearsome, violent, rebellious, seductive, the huntress is a recurrent trope in medieval literary traditions and historical documents testify to women's engagement with hunting practices. As well as disrupting gender dynamics, the figure of the huntress raises important questions about the relation between humans and their environment, and the stability of the boundaries between the two. In Identity Machines Jeffrey Jerome Cohen argues that reading animals as 'insubstantial allegories […] ignores what might occur between animals and humans, what processes, desires, identities might circulate in the interspace where animal and human difference come together and come apart'. Profoundly and often violently imbricated in nature, the huntress also 'circulate[s] in the interspace' of a number of binaries: femininity/masculinity; animal/human; chastity/desire; destructive/generative relationship with the environment etc.