Teaching Rape in the Medieval Literature Classroom

Teaching Rape proposes strategies for teaching episodes of rape, attempted rape, and false accusations in medieval texts in a politically-charged teaching and learning environment.


£90.00 ISBN-13: 9781641890328
SKU: T-84101-116115-81-6513 Category: Tags: , , ,

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Alison Gulley

Teachers of medieval literature help students bridge the temporal, contextual, and linguistic gulfs between the Middle Ages and the twenty-first century. When episodes involving rape are thrown into the mix, that task becomes even more difficult. The essays in this volume approach these difficult texts in ways that are both academically and ethically sound, recognizing that students and teachers bring a variety of experiences to the classroom that necessarily color the reception of a given work. At a time when colleges and universities are tasked with finding new solutions to the problem of sexual violence, this volume proposes ways educators can help students navigate the perceived divide between in- and out-of-class experiences. The contributors—from community colleges, small liberal arts colleges, and large state universities—offer suggestions for classroom activities and assignments for a range of medieval texts, as well as insight into the concerns of students in various settings.


1. Introduction: Teaching Rape: Challenges in the Twenty-First-Century Classroom by Alison Gulley
2. Medieval Saints and Misogynist Times: Transhistorical Perspectives on Sexual Violence in the Undergraduate Classroom by Suzanne Edwards
3. Teaching Medieval Rape Narrative Across Genre: Insights From Victimology by Christina DiGangi and Wendy Perkins
4. Bringing the Bystander into the Humanities Classroom: Reading Ancient, Patristic, and Medieval Texts on the Continuum of Violence by Elizabeth Hubble
5. From Bystander to Upstander: Reading the Nibelungenlied to Resist Rape Culture by Alexandra Sterling-Hellenbrand
6. Speech, Silence, and Teaching Chaucer’s Rapes by Tison Pugh
7. Classroom PSA: Values, Law, and Ethics in “The Reeve’s Tale” by Emily Houlik-Ritchey
8. “How do we know he really raped her?”: Addressing Student Resistance to the “Wife of Bath’s Tale” with the BBC’s Canterbury Tales by Alison Gulley
9. Teaching the False Accusation Motif in Lanval by Elizabeth Harper
10. Sexual Compulsion and Sexual Violence in the Lais of Marie de France by Misty Urban
11. Troubadour Lyric, Fin’amors, and Rape Culture by Daniel E. O’Sullivan
12. The Knight Coerced: Two Cases of Raped Men in Chivalric Romance by David Grubbs
13. Teaching Rape to the He-Man Woman Hater’s Club: Chrétien de Troyes at a Military School by Alan Baragona
14. Rape, Identity, and Redemption: Teaching “Sir Gowther” in the Community College Classroom by William H. Smith