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Full-Text Articles in History

Imperatrix, Domina, Rex: Conceptualizing The Female King In Twelfth-Century England, Coral Lumbley Oct 2019

Imperatrix, Domina, Rex: Conceptualizing The Female King In Twelfth-Century England, Coral Lumbley

Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality

This article draws on methods from transgender theory, historicist literary studies, and visual analysis of medieval sealing practices to show that Empress Matilda of England was controversially styled as a female king during her career in the early to mid twelfth century. While the chronicle Gesta Stephani castigates Matilda’s failure to engage in sanctioned gendered behaviors as she waged civil war to claim her inherited throne, Matilda’s seal harnesses both masculine and feminine signifiers in order to proclaim herself both king and queen. While Matilda’s transgressive gender position was targeted by her detractors during her lifetime, the ...


Opportunism & Duty: Gendered Perceptions Of Women's Involvement In Crusade Negotiation And Mediation (1147-1254), Gordon M. Reynolds May 2019

Opportunism & Duty: Gendered Perceptions Of Women's Involvement In Crusade Negotiation And Mediation (1147-1254), Gordon M. Reynolds

Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality

Women’s involvement in negotiation and mediation during the Middle Ages has received close scrutiny. However, few scholars have concentrated their investigations on the trends in female-led negotiations during the crusades in the Near East, and the significance of the religious connotations of such leadership in this theatre. There were dramatic societal shifts in the Latin East during the twelfth-thirteenth centuries, most significantly in the aftermath of the Battle of Hattin and loss of Jerusalem in 1187. The destruction of much of the Latin East’s crusader states that followed Jerusalem’s fall displaced many individuals, and with a plethora ...


Demonic Pedagogy And The Teaching Saint: Voice, Body, And Place In Cynewulf's Juliana, Christina M. Heckman May 2019

Demonic Pedagogy And The Teaching Saint: Voice, Body, And Place In Cynewulf's Juliana, Christina M. Heckman

Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality

In Cynewulf’s Old English poem Juliana, the saint frames her encounters with her adversaries as pedagogical confrontations, refusing the lessons they attempt to “teach” her and ultimately adopting the identity of a teacher herself. These confrontations depend on three key tropes in the poem: Juliana’s voice, as a material manifestation of language deployed by the saint; her body, both as living body and as relic; and place, especially the place of the saint’s martyrdom and/or burial. Viewed through theories of material feminism, these tropes reveal diverse forms of agency in the poem, as both human and ...


“A Drunken Cunt Hath No Porter”: Medieval Histories Of Intoxication And Consent, Carissa M. Harris May 2019

“A Drunken Cunt Hath No Porter”: Medieval Histories Of Intoxication And Consent, Carissa M. Harris

Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality

This essay traces medieval representations of intoxication and consent and links them to contemporary cases, including Brock Turner’s 2016 rape trial and the 2017 slew of lawsuits filed against Baylor University. Through an examination of medieval texts from a range of genres, including the Biblical stories of Lot and Noah, the Digby Mary Magdalene play, proverbs, Geoffrey Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Prologue, the 1292 legal case of Isabella Plomet, and Robert Mannyng’s Handlyng Synne, this essay explores past views of gender, perpetrators, culpability, alcohol, and consent. It argues that victim-blaming those who have been assaulted while ...