Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 2746
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Rulon-Miller , Nina.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: A Woman Screams: A Feminist's Introduction to Old English [suggests ways in which to make Anglo-Saxon studies more welcoming to female students].
  • Source: Old English Newsletter 29, 3 (Spring 1996):
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Conference Paper Abstract
  • Subject (See Also): Feminist Theory Medieval Studies Old English Language Women in Literature
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: General
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  • Abstract: Like Medieval Studies in general, Anglo-Saxon Studies would benefit from more input from women. But this will never happen if they feel marginalized from the start in their introductions to Old English. This paper is a call to instructors of Old English, both in the classroom and on ANSAXNET, to make the study of Old English more welcoming to female students. Suggestions for the classroom include adding to the traditional offerings, such as those available in Mitchell and Robinson's popular "Guide to Old English," by offering more selections with female narrators and protagonists; teaching and encouraging literary criticism; alerting students when they come to what is their first encounter with an Anglo-Saxon woman in most Old English primers, "Cynewulf and Cyneheard," to the persistent and perverse equation of female sexuality and whoredom given in notes to the text that uncritically present Œthelweard's "translation" of "on wifcyppe" as "cum quadam meretrice morando"; and adding riddles, such as those traditionally solved as "Onion" and "Dough," that allow students at least to imagine an Anglo-Saxon writer who wished to celebrate sexuality rather than condemn it. The author also discusses the suspicion and hostility with which seveeral Anglo-Saxon scholars have responded to feminist issues on ANSAXNET and urges feminist scholars to participate in discussions on this and other medieval forums to demonstrate the many students quietly listening-in that there is more to Medieval Studies than history and philology [Reproduced by permission of Robert Schicler, the “Abstracts of Papers in Anglo-Saxon Studies” editor, and the editors of the “Old English Newsletter.”].
  • Author's Affiliation: Drew university
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1996.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00301973
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