Strand Definitions: Gender Studies/Women's Studies

This strand fosters transdisciplinary debate about gender and/or sexuality (interpreting these terms as widely as possible) in relation to medieval culture. Individual papers may be primarily theoretical, empirical, or textual, or they may adopt a more eclectic approach. Sessions or papers may consider issues such as the status, experiences, or representation of men, women, or the 'third sex' in the Middle Ages, and the construction of masculinities and femininities, or they may investigate topics that include the ideologies and realities of marriage and love, chastity and virginity, and homosocial bonds and same-sex desire.

Research in newly-developing areas is particularly encouraged. We encourage scholars working in the above mentioned fields to organize a number of linked sessions on a theme which can be run sequentially at the IMC. In recent years, there have been round tables on aspects of Women's Studies and Feminist and Queer Theory. These have proved extremely popular and we would encourage organisers of a session or series of sessions to submit a proposal in these areas in particular.