Gender and the Body
Texts for discussion:
- Apollonius of Tyre - text and translation available in Old and Middle English c.890-c.1400 An Anthology, ed. Elaine Treharne, published by Blackwell.
- The Life of Saint Euphrosyne in Ælfric's Lives of Saints, ed. W. W. Skeat, p. 334 ff.
- Read as many as you can of Louis Rodrigues, ed., Anglo-Saxon Didactic Verse. You should read at least Precepts, Maxims I and II, and The First Dialogue of Solomon and Saturn
- Frantzen, Allen J. 'When Women Aren't Enough.' Speculum 68 (1993): 445-71.
- Szarmach, Paul E. 'St. Euphrosyne: Holy Transvestite.' in Holy Men and Holy Women: Old English Prose Saints' Lives and Their Contexts, edited by Paul E. Szarmach, 353-65. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996.)
Further reading on Gender and Sex:
- Bullough, Vern L., and James A. Brundage, eds. Handbook of Medieval Sexuality. New York and London: Garland, 1996.
- Calder, Daniel Gillmore, Carol Braun Pasternack, and Lisa M. C. Weston, eds. Sex and sexuality in Anglo-Saxon England: essays in memory of Daniel Gillmore Calder. Tempe, Ariz.: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2004.
- Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome, and Bonnie Wheeler, eds. Becoming male in the Middle Ages. New York and London: Garland, 1997.
- Damico, Helen, and Alexandra Hennessey Olsen. New Readings on Women in Old English Literature. Bloomington, Ind: Indiana University Press, 1990.
- Withers, Benjamin C., and Jonathan Wilcox, eds. Naked before God : Uncovering the Body in Anglo-Saxon England. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2003.
Write an essay on one of the following questions:
- "Whatever the claims of some scholars to the contrary, the world of Old English literature is resolutely masculine." Debate the issue.
- "None of the poetry is titled in the manuscripts: all the titles and most of the familiar layout of Old English verse is editorial" (JONATHAN WILCOX). What are the implications of this for our interpretation of Old English verse?
- "Frailty, thy name is woman". Is Hamlet's observation borne out by the women in Old English literature?