Cover image for Rape Culture and Female Resistance in Late Medieval Literature: With an Edition of Middle English and Middle Scots Pastourelles Edited by Sarah Baechle, Carissa M. Harris, and Elizaveta Strakhov

Rape Culture and Female Resistance in Late Medieval Literature

With an Edition of Middle English and Middle Scots Pastourelles

Edited by Sarah Baechle, Carissa M. Harris, and Elizaveta Strakhov

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$129.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-09267-6

Available as an e-book

280 pages
6" × 9"
9 b&w illustrations
2022

Rape Culture and Female Resistance in Late Medieval Literature

With an Edition of Middle English and Middle Scots Pastourelles

Edited by Sarah Baechle, Carissa M. Harris, and Elizaveta Strakhov

Rape Culture and Female Resistance in Late Medieval Literature brings a new focus on the sexual violence of the pastourelle genre, which, as the authors note, has often been erased or sidelined in mainstream scholarship. The essays offer a unique contribution by showing how the responses of women to sexual violence in the literature is mirrored by the responses of real women to similar events in our time.”

 

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  • Table of Contents
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Centering on the difficult and important subject of medieval rape culture, this book brings Middle English and Scots texts into conversation with contemporary discourses on sexual assault and the #MeToo movement. The book explores the topic in the late medieval lyric genre known as the pastourelle and in related literary works, including chivalric romance, devotional lyric, saints’ lives, and the works of major authors such as Margery Kempe and William Dunbar. By engaging issues that are important to feminist activism today—the gray areas of sexual consent, the enduring myth of false rape allegations, and the emancipatory potential of writing about survival—this volume demonstrates how the radical terms of the pastourelle might reshape our own thinking about consent, agency, and survivors’ speech and help uncover cultural scripts for talking about sexual violence today.

In addition to embodying the possibilities of medievalist feminist criticism after #MeToo, Rape Culture and Female Resistance in Late Medieval Literature includes an edition of sixteen Middle English and Middle Scots pastourelles. The poems are presented in a critical framework specifically tailored to the undergraduate classroom.

Along with the editors, the contributors to this volume include Lucy M. Allen-Goss, Suzanne M. Edwards, Mary C. Flannery, Katharine W. Jager, Scott David Miller, Elizabeth Robertson, Courtney E. Rydel, and Amy N. Vines.

Rape Culture and Female Resistance in Late Medieval Literature brings a new focus on the sexual violence of the pastourelle genre, which, as the authors note, has often been erased or sidelined in mainstream scholarship. The essays offer a unique contribution by showing how the responses of women to sexual violence in the literature is mirrored by the responses of real women to similar events in our time.”
Rape Culture and Female Resistance in Late Medieval Literature is a timely, cutting-edge collection of essays that contains some of the most forward-thinking work on sexual violence, consent, and agency in the field of medieval literary studies. These essays chart a new, invigorating direction for feminist work that will shape the field for years to come.”

Sarah Baechle is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Mississippi. She is a coeditor of New Directions in Medieval Manuscript Studies and Reading Practices: Essays in Honor of Derek Pearsall.

Carissa M. Harris is Associate Professor of English at Temple University and the author of Obscene Pedagogies: Transgressive Talk and Sexual Education in Late Medieval Britain.

Elizaveta Strakhov is Associate Professor of English at Marquette University. She is the author of Continental England: Form, Translation, and Chaucer in the Hundred Years’ War and a coeditor of John Lydgate’s “Dance of Death” and Related Works.

Acknowledgements

Introduction: Recovering the Pastourelle

Sarah Baechle, Carissa M. Harris, and Elizaveta Strakhov

Part 1: Essays

1. Reassessing the Pastourelle: Rape Culture, #MeToo, and the Literature of Survival

Sarah Baechle and Carissa M. Harris, with Elizaveta Strakhov

2. “You and Me, Baby, Ain’t Nothin’ But Mammals”: Animal Metaphors and Sexual Consent in the Poetry of William Dunbar

Mary C. Flannery

3. Voicing Violence: Reading Rape Survival in Premodern Lyrics

Carissa M. Harris

4. Gentrifying the Pastourelle in the Visual Arts of the Valois Courts and Christine de Pizan’s Dit de la pastoure

Scott David Miller

5. Dismembered Memories: Philomela in Chaucer and Gower

Lucy M. Allen-Goss

6. The Many Wives of Potiphar: Rape Culture in Medieval Romance

Amy N. Vines

7. Legendary Resistance: Critiquing Rape Culture in Virgin Martyr Passions

Courtney E. Rydel

8. Rape, Rapture, and Writing The Book of Margery Kempe

Suzanne M. Edwards

9. “And sok his fille of þat licour”: Maternity, Sovereignty, and Song in the Marian Lyrics of London, British Library, MS Sloane

Katharine W. Jager

10. Response: A Telling Difference; Sexual Violence, Consent, and Literary Form

Elizabeth Robertson

Part 2: English and Scottish Pastourelles and Rape Songs

Edited by Carissa M. Harris

Throughe a forest as I can ryde

Come over the woodes fair and grene

When that byrdes be brought to rest

Be pes, ye make me spille my ale

Quhy so strat strang go we by youe

Hey troly loly lo

I can be wanton and yf I wyll

Beware my lytyl fynger

All to lufe and nocht to fenyie

Commonyng betuix the Mester and the Heure

I met my lady weil arrayit

I saw me thocht this hindir nycht

In somer quhen flouris will smell

Ane fair sweit may of mony one

Still undir the levis grene

Nay pish, nay pew

Bibliography

Contributors

Index

Download a PDF sample chapter here: Introduction