"This collection will contribute significantly to how we approach sensitive materials in the classroom. Gulley has assembled a dynamic mix of scholars and institutions - universities, colleges (including a military school), and community colleges - that broaden the academic audience and offer instructors of medieval literature a view of what it is like to teach to differing constituencies under differing circumstances. On testing it in the classroom, I found students were more aware of sexual assault and the challenges of interpersonal relationships and responded to scenes of violation in ways I’ve not seen in prior years of teaching." - Eve Salisbury, Western Michigan University
Teachers of medieval literature help students bridge the temporal, contextual, and linguistic gulfs between the Middle Ages and the twenty-first century. When episodes involving rape are thrown into the mix, that task becomes even more difficult. The essays in this volume approach these difficult texts in ways that are both academically and ethically sound, recognizing that students and teachers bring a variety of experiences to the classroom that necessarily color the reception of a given work. At a time when colleges and universities are tasked with finding new solutions to the problem of sexual violence, this volume proposes ways educators can help students navigate the perceived divide between in- and out-of-class experiences. The contributors“from community colleges, small liberal arts colleges, and large state universities“offer suggestions for classroom activities and assignments for a range of medieval texts, as well as insight into the concerns of students in various settings.
Alison Gulley is associate professor of English at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. She is the author of The Displacement of the Body in Ælfric's Virgin Martyr Lives.