The Medieval Gender Reading Group

Sponsored by TORCH

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By A.G. Walker, in Sunday Reading for the Young (London, 1905)

Scholars of all disciples are very welcome to join this informal reading group for interdisciplinary discussion related to gender and sexualities in the middle ages. Graduate students are encouraged to attend. A free sandwich lunch is provided.

Location: Radcliffe Humanities Building (see map:  http://www.ox.ac.uk/divisions/humanities_division.html)

Next meeting: Thursday Week 8 (13th March), Seminar Room (note different location), 1-2pm.

THEME FOR THIS TERM: HOMOSOCIAL SPACE

Although ‘homosociality’ has become a critical buzzword, methods of creating and maintaining homosocial spaces in the middle ages have received little attention. Homosociality does not just manifest in a vaccuum: it is introduced, maintained, and developed in a variety of social contexts. We will also consider ways in which scholars outside the field of literary studies can use literary texts in their work on gender. 

Thursday Week 8: Bromancing the Middle Ages

In recent years, the concept of ‘bromance’ – intense friendship between two men – has received a great deal of attention both within the mainstream press and the academy. Many medievalists have examined friendships between exceptional men, both real and fictional, in the middle ages. In this session we will look at the romance Amis and Amiloun, which has variously been interpreted as hagiography, queer narrative, and sceptical response to mainstream ethics.  

Reading: Amis and Amiloun, available online at http://d.lib.rochester.edu/teams/publication/foster-amis-and-amiloun-robert-of-cisyle-and-sir-amadace. If you have time, also John Ford, ‘Merry Married Brothers: Wedded Friendship, Lovers’ Language and Male Matrimonials in Two Middle English Romances’, available online: http://www.sfsu.edu/~medieval/Volume3/Brothers.html 

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