IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 606: Living in a Material World: Space, Objects, and the Loss of Gendered Identity in Medieval Romance

Tuesday 4 July 2017, 11.15-12.45

Organiser:Morgan Boharski, School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures - French, University of Edinburgh
Moderator/Chair:Greg Walker, Department of English Literature, University of Edinburgh
Paper 606-aCan't See the Wood for the Trees: Trees as Markers of Gendered Identities in Middle English Romance
(Language: English)
Danielle Howarth, School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures, University of Edinburgh
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Middle English
Paper 606-b'Sole par nuit': Invisibility and Misrepresentation in Textiles in Old French Literature
(Language: English)
Morgan Boharski, School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures - French, University of Edinburgh
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - French or Occitan
Paper 606-cMateriality and the Ungendering of Magical Women in Middle English Romance
(Language: English)
Jane Bonsall, School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures - English Literature, University of Edinburgh
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Middle English
Abstract

This session will explore the formation and dissolution of gendered identity in Middle English and Old French romances through the relationships between bodies, objects, and spaces. Close-readings of such romances as Sir Launfal, Sir Orfeo, and Piramus et Tisbe will illustrate the significance of gendered identity insofar as it is understood as permeable, transferable, and spatially related. As objects become symbolic bodies, there is a radical potential for them to subvert cultural norms of identity and permit destabilising readings of these characters and texts. Building on previous explorations of masculinity and femininity in the romance genre, these papers will focus on a loss or change of identity and how that is made possible through the cultural materiality of romance.