Gendered Violence in Old English Literature

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Melissa Ridley-Elmes and David Johnson, Old English Forum and Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship, Modern Language Association
contact email: 

The Old English MLA forum and the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship are proposing a jointly-sponsored session on gendered violence in Old English literature. The last decades have witnessed an increased interest in research on the relationship between gender and violence in the Middle Ages, with new studies exploring the construction of gender through violence and women as its victims. Gender theory and feminist studies have done much to refine methodologies used in this research, especially in the late Middle Ages. Still, there is a great deal of work to be done in the area of gendered violence, in particular in the literature of the early English era. Some of the questions that panelists in this jointly sponsored session might wish to address include: How/is violence gendered in early medieval English literature? Is there an expressly gendered aspect to violence, or should we be looking at other factors in these investigations? What role does violence play in constructions of gender in these texts? What are the intersections of power and gender in terms of depictions of violence in early English texts? How/is gender featured, understood, interpreted and applied in legal contexts featuring violence? Are there indications of gender as a significant factor in the violence of these texts from an expressly linguistic standpoint? With what other categories of individual, socio-cultural, and political classification does gender intersect in depictions of violence in early medieval English texts? Please send a 300-word abstract and a short bio to Melissa Ridley-Elmes (<>) or David F. Johnson (<>) by March 15, 2021
Panel co-sponsored by the Old English Forum and the Society for Medieval Feminist Studies. This panel is not guaranteed.