Nevertheless, She Resisted: Will and Consent in Medieval Rape Narratives (essay collection)

deadline for submissions: 
August 31, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Alison Langdon
contact email: 

Call for Papers: Nevertheless, She Resisted: Will and Consent in Medieval Rape Narratives (essay collection) 

As Amy Vines notes, rape in medieval literature often functions as a “chivalric necessity,” a means of articulating masculine identity that elides or ignores questions of female bodily sovereignty and autonomy of will in favor of the male protagonist’s development. Yet we also find instances where texts implicitly or explicitly call attention to the act of rape as a violation of female will—whether in dread of the act, in the face of its perpetration, or in its aftermath—or explore the nature of consent and its often problematic conditions or interpretation.

Building on recent work by scholars such as Vines, Elizabeth Robertson, Christine Rose, Suzanne Edwards, and Carissa Harris, this essay collection seeks chapters of 6000-9000 words exploring narratives of resistance in medieval literary portrayals of rape or coercive sex. In what ways might we see such narratives recentering female will and consent? What different modes of resistance to sexual violence do they articulate? To what extent do they return agency to survivors of sexual violence? In what ways do these narratives arouse or disarm resistance on the part of female readers? How might we make issues of will and consent more legible in these texts? Most importantly, what might it mean to read from the woman’s subject position and resisting a masculinist hermeneutic?

Proposals of 300-500 words should be submitted by e-mail to Alison Langdon at alison.langdon@wku.edu. Deadline for proposals is 31 August 2019. Notification of accepted proposals will be made by 30 September 2019, with complete chapters due by 1 June 2020. The volume has been invited for submission to Medieval Institute Publications for its new Premodern Transgressive Literatures series.