IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 1513: New Perspectives on Women in Medieval Romance, III: (Dis)Abling Bodies

Thursday 5 July 2018, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Institute of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Durham University
Organisers:Olivia Colquitt, Department of English, University of Liverpool
Rachel Fennell, Institute of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Durham University
Hannah Piercy, Institute of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Durham University
Moderator/Chair:Amy Louise Morgan, School of Literature & Languages, University of Surrey
Paper 1513-aPsychosomatic Heredity: Forging Dynasty and Destiny through the Female Body in Mélusine
(Language: English)
Olivia Colquitt, Department of English, University of Liverpool
Index terms: Gender Studies, Genealogy and Prosopography, Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Sexuality
Paper 1513-b'In all hur nobul ryche arraye': Visual Memory and Identity in Le Bone Florence of Rome
(Language: English)
Alice Stamataki, Institute of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Durham University
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Middle English, Lay Piety, Sexuality
Paper 1513-cGender, Age, Status, and Ethnicity: Methods of Marginalisation in Byzantine Romance
(Language: English)
Stephanie Novasio, Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman & Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Greek, Women's Studies
Abstract

This session focuses on female embodiment and (dis)ability, examining the ways medieval writers use female bodies to explore the physical, psychological, and spiritual boundaries of the human. Women’s bodies are both enabling and disabling in romance literature: from the supernatural manifestations of psychosomatic identity in Mélusine to the ever-present ‘ryche arraye’ of Florence’s clothed body, women’s bodies act as a site of memory, a productive space to define the identity of future generations. Other female bodies marked simultaneously by disability and miraculous ability, like that of Hélène de Constantinople, can function as relics, initiating social, political, and spiritual change.