IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 1520: The Dangerous Other: Transgressing Gender in Medieval English Hagiography

Thursday 6 July 2017, 09.00-10.30

Organisers:Meg Gregory, Department of English, Illinois State University
Sarah Schäfer-Althaus, Fach Anglistik, Universität Koblenz-Landau
Moderator/Chair:Elizabeth Keohane-Burbridge, Department of History, Woodward Academy, Georgia
Paper 1520-a(Un)Holy Unions: Bodily Enmeshment in the Old English Life of Mary of Egypt
(Language: English)
Meg Gregory, Department of English, Illinois State University
Index terms: Gender Studies, Hagiography, Language and Literature - Old English, Women's Studies
Paper 1520-bGender Identity and the Cross-Dressed Body in the Lives of St Pelagia and St Margaret-Pelagia
(Language: English)
Vanessa Wright, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Index terms: Gender Studies, Hagiography, Women's Studies
Paper 1520-cCrucifying Hairiness: Gender Hybridity in the Life of St Wilgefortis
(Language: English)
Sarah Schäfer-Althaus, Fach Anglistik, Universität Koblenz-Landau
Index terms: Gender Studies, Hagiography, Sexuality, Women's Studies
Abstract

The effect of sexual and gender hybridization, of ‘inbetweenness’, is a frequently employed theme in the construction of the unexplainable Other in medieval English literature and in particular in women’s hagiography. These hybrid figures are beings on the border, who perform as men. As such, these women highlight hierarchies inherent in the patriarchal system and also through their very existence challenge and transgress them, making these women threats to the social environment. This panel explores the monstrous or dangerous hybridity (physical and otherwise) of those female saints who stand between the human and the non-human world, femininity, and masculinity.