Reconsidering Consent and Coercion in Global Medieval Texts

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Hannah Piercy and Jane Bonsall





We invite proposals for an edited collection of essays reconsidering consent and coercion in global medieval contexts. We encourage contributors to use this theme as a starting point to open up an intersectional discussion about the interplay of gendered power and sexuality in medieval literatures, with particular interest in those instances that expose the gaps in our perceptions of premodern sexual dynamics. How do medieval texts negotiate (medieval or modern) readers’ expectations, generic norms, and hegemonic power structures? And how might engagement with overlooked or marginalised medieval sexual experiences challenge us to reexamine corresponding misconceptions and elisions in modern discourses about coercive relationships?


We welcome contributions considering consent and coercion in the global Middle Ages (taking an expansive view of the medieval period); we particularly encourage submissions that centre:


  • Representations of consent and coercion in non-European and/or non-Christian cultures
  • Comparison across genres, cultures, or literary traditions
  • The impact of intersectional models of power on sexual vulnerability (how constructions of race, religion, (dis)ability, and identity impact sexual relationships)
  • LGBTQ+ experiences of consent and coercion in medieval literature
  • Readings of sexual violence through gender, queer, critical race, and/or disability theory
  • Affect and readers’ responses: interpretive possibilities of traumatic narratives
  • Non-canonical texts or under-studied traditions, including non-literary texts, pedagogical material, or practical literature
  • The limitations and/or opportunities of applying modern theoretical views of consent and coercion to medieval material
  • Intersections between medieval scholarship and activist engagement

Proposals (consisting of a 300-500 word abstract and a short biography) should be submitted by email to Jane Bonsall ( and Hannah Piercy ( by 15th March 2022. Notification of accepted proposals will be made by 30th April 2022. We anticipate that the deadline for complete chapters of c. 6,000-9,000 words will be January 2023. Our publication plans are still in development, but we provisionally intend to submit the volume to Brepols, with acceptance dependent on expert peer review of the proposal and the final manuscript. 


We plan to develop these essays in conversation with each other, using online workshop sessions as a platform for discussion and peer feedback. We therefore seek contributors who are interested in collaborative and supportive publication models.


Please feel free to get in touch with any queries via the above email addresses. We look forward to hearing from you!