Feminist Approaches to Early Medieval English Studies
Feminist Approaches to Early Medieval English Studies
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Introduction (Robin Norris, Rebecca Stephenson, and Renée R. Trilling)
Metacritical Considerations
1. The Lost Victorian Women of Early Medieval English Studies (M. J. Toswell)
2. Embroidered narratives (Christina Lee)
3. Remembering the Lady of Mercia (Scott Thompson Smith)
Affect Theory
4. Be a Man, Beowulf: Sentimental Masculinity and the Gentleness of Kings (E.J. Christie)
5. Shame, Disgust and Ælfric’s Masculine Performance (Alice Jorgensen)
Treatments of Virginity
6. The Ornament of Virginity: Aldhelm’s De uirginitate and the Virtuous Women of the Early English Church (Emily V. Thornbury)
7. Chaste Bodies and Untimely Virgins: Sexuality, Temporality, and Bede’s Aethelthryth (Lisa M.C. Weston)
Medical Discourse
8. Mona.gecynd and flewsan: Wanted and Unwanted Monthly Courses in Old English Medical Texts (Dana M. Oswald)
9. Dangerous Voices, Erased Bodies: Reassessing the Old English Wifgemædla and Witches in Leechbook III (Erin E. Sweany)
10. Women and “Women’s Medicine” in Early Medieval England, from Text to Practice (Christine Voth)
Women’s Literacy
11. The Literate Memory of Hugeburc of Heidenheim (Aidan Conti)
12. A Road Nearly Taken: An Eighth-Century Manuscript in a Woman’s Hand and Franco-Saxon Nuns in Early Medieval English Intellectual History (Matthew T. Hussey)
13.”Historical Accuracy,” Anonymity, and Women’s Authorship: The Case of the Case for Beowulf (Stephen Yeager)

Feminist Approaches to Early Medieval English Studies

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Scholarship on early medieval England has seen an exponential increase in scholarly work by and about women over the past twenty years, but the field has remained peculiarly resistant to the transformative potential of feminist critique. Since 2016, Medieval Studies has been rocked by conversations about the state of the field, shifting from #MeToo to #WhiteFeminism to the purposeful rethinking of the label “Anglo-Saxonist.” This volume takes a step toward decentering the traditional scholarly conversation with thirteen new essays by American, Canadian, European, and UK professors, along with independent scholars and early career researchers from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Topics range from virginity, women’s literacy, and medical discourse to affect, medievalism, and masculinity. The theoretical and political commitments of this volume comprise one strand of a multivalent effort to rethink the parameters of the discipline and to create a scholarly community that is innovative, inclusive, and diverse.

Robin Norris

Robin Norris is a Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Carleton University. She has published on Beowulf, hagiography, and litanies of saints. Along with Johanna Kramer and Hugh Magennis she co-edited Anonymous Old English Lives of Saints (Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library 63, Harvard University Press 2020).

Rebecca Stephenson

Rebecca Stephenson is Associate Professor of Old and Middle English at University College Dublin. She researches literature associated with multilingualism and monasticism in early medieval England with particular emphasis on scientific texts and computus. She published The Politics of Language: Byrhtferth, Ælfric, and the Multilingual Identity of the Benedictine Reform (2015) and has co-edited several collections of essays on Old English and Anglo-Latin literature.

Renee Trilling

Renée R. Trilling is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Program in Medieval Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of The Aesthetics of Nostalgia: Historical Representation in Old English Verse (Toronto, 2009) and the Oxford Bibliography of Old English Literature and Critical Theory (Oxford, 2016). She is also Editor for Old English of JEGP, published by the University of Illinois Press.