Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index

Article of the Month

Indexers select an article or essay at the beginning of each month that is outstanding in its line of argument, wealth of significances, and writing style. We particularly look for pieces that will be useful as course readings.

March 2023

A figure of a valkyrie, carved from silver.
Valkyrie figure, silver, 800-1099, Viking age, Sweden, Stockholm, History Museum (Source: Wikimedia Commons, C.C. 2.5 license)

Varnam, Laura. "Poems for the Women of Beowulf: A 'Contemporary Medieval' Project." Postmedieval 13, 1-2 (2022): 105-121.

Abstract: "This article is centred upon seven new poems from my poetry project inspired by the women of Beowulf. To contextualise the project, the poems are framed with a creative-critical reflection on their genesis in my undergraduate Beowulf class, where I teach the original poem through modern translation, adaptation, and creative response. I discuss my indebtedness to feminist scholarship on the 'overwhelmingly masculine' nature of Beowulf (Overing 1990) and briefly survey recent feminist translations and adaptations. I propose my poetry as a form of creative close reading and an example of Lees and Overing's 'contemporary medieval in practice' (Lees and Overing 2019). I also offer short notes on the poems and their relationship to questions of gender, voice, and autonomy." — [Reproduced from the article page in Springer Link]