Session1520
TitleThe Dangerous Other: Transgressing Gender in Medieval English Hagiography
Date/TimeThursday 6 July 2017: 09.00-10.30
 
OrganiserMeg Gregory, Department of English, Illinois State University
Sarah Schäfer-Althaus, Fach Anglistik, Universität Koblenz-Landau
 
Moderator/ChairElizabeth Keohane-Burbridge, Department of History, Woodward Academy, Georgia
 
Paper 1520-a (Un)Holy Unions: Bodily Enmeshment in the Old English Life of Mary of Egypt
(Language: English)
Meg Gregory, Department of English, Illinois State University
Index Terms: Gender Studies; Hagiography; Language and Literature - Old English; Women's Studies
Paper 1520-b Gender Identity and the Cross-Dressed Body in the Lives of St Pelagia and St Margaret-Pelagia
(Language: English)
Vanessa Wright, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Index Terms: Gender Studies; Hagiography; Women's Studies
Paper 1520-c Crucifying Hairiness: Gender Hybridity in the Life of St Wilgefortis
(Language: English)
Sarah Schäfer-Althaus, Fach Anglistik, Universität Koblenz-Landau
Index Terms: Gender Studies; Hagiography; Sexuality; Women's Studies
 
AbstractThe effect of sexual and gender hybridization, of 'inbetweenness', is a frequently employed theme in the construction of the unexplainable Other in medieval English literature and in particular in women's hagiography. These hybrid figures are beings on the border, who perform as men. As such, these women highlight hierarchies inherent in the patriarchal system and also through their very existence challenge and transgress them, making these women threats to the social environment. This panel explores the monstrous or dangerous hybridity (physical and otherwise) of those female saints who stand between the human and the non-human world, femininity, and masculinity.