Session Title

Gender and Voice in Medieval French Literature and Lyric

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Special Session

Organizer Name

Rachel May Golden, Katherine Kong

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Tennessee-Knoxville, Independent Scholar

Presider Name

Daisy Delogu

Presider Affiliation

Univ. of Chicago

Paper Title 1

"I will suffer just as I am": Gendered Expression and Self-Awareness in Crusade Laments

Presenter 1 Name

Rachel May Golden

Paper Title 2

What Is "Self Representation" in Female-Voiced Troubadour Poetry?

Presenter 2 Name

Gale Sigal

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Wake Forest Univ.

Paper Title 3

"Mon Chans, Ma Chansso": Language, Gender, and Performance in the Troubadour Tornada

Presenter 3 Name

Anne Levitsky

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Columbia Univ.

Paper Title 4

Lancelot in Prison: Fictions of Power in Le chevalier de la charrette

Presenter 4 Name

Katherine Kong

Start Date

12-5-2017 10:00 AM

Session Location

Schneider 1130

Description

This session employs gender as a critical category of analysis to examine the voiced nature of, and expressions of emotion in, medieval French literature, lyric, and song. In so doing, the panel seeks to bring together interdisciplinary approaches, such as from literature, musicology, gender and sexuality studies, philology, and history.

While studies of gender often focus on women’s experiences, this session proposes to employ gender inclusively to consider masculinities, femininities, their intersections, marked absences, and manifestations. This kind of analysis is particularly apt for medieval French literatures because of the explicitly voiced quality of these repertories and texts. From the first-person desires of the troubadours, to the gendered dialogues of the chanson de geste, medieval French texts powerfully speak in ways that continue to influence western cultural assumptions and inspire new intellectual investigations.

In particular, we aim to examine how writers, texts, and songs encode or shape gendered positions, variously complying with or subverting cultural expectations. Further, we seek to interrogate how emotion is voiced and enacted in gendered ways, especially emotions that are typically coded as masculine or feminine, such as epic grief, maternal lament, the sufferings of fin’amour, or knightly bravado and camaraderie. In dialogue with current scholarship on emotions in the Middle Ages, we are also interested in how issues of gender might inflect the very understanding of medieval emotions themselves—as rhetoric, as performance, as affect, or as transformation. Finally, we also welcome interrogations of how gendered voices are both performed and embodied as sites of desire, violence, dominance, and power.

Rachel M. Golden

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May 12th, 10:00 AM

Gender and Voice in Medieval French Literature and Lyric

Schneider 1130

This session employs gender as a critical category of analysis to examine the voiced nature of, and expressions of emotion in, medieval French literature, lyric, and song. In so doing, the panel seeks to bring together interdisciplinary approaches, such as from literature, musicology, gender and sexuality studies, philology, and history.

While studies of gender often focus on women’s experiences, this session proposes to employ gender inclusively to consider masculinities, femininities, their intersections, marked absences, and manifestations. This kind of analysis is particularly apt for medieval French literatures because of the explicitly voiced quality of these repertories and texts. From the first-person desires of the troubadours, to the gendered dialogues of the chanson de geste, medieval French texts powerfully speak in ways that continue to influence western cultural assumptions and inspire new intellectual investigations.

In particular, we aim to examine how writers, texts, and songs encode or shape gendered positions, variously complying with or subverting cultural expectations. Further, we seek to interrogate how emotion is voiced and enacted in gendered ways, especially emotions that are typically coded as masculine or feminine, such as epic grief, maternal lament, the sufferings of fin’amour, or knightly bravado and camaraderie. In dialogue with current scholarship on emotions in the Middle Ages, we are also interested in how issues of gender might inflect the very understanding of medieval emotions themselves—as rhetoric, as performance, as affect, or as transformation. Finally, we also welcome interrogations of how gendered voices are both performed and embodied as sites of desire, violence, dominance, and power.

Rachel M. Golden