I will be presenting a short paper on a panel at the 57th International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan on Thursday, 12 May 2022 at 9 am EST.
The panel, Revisiting Romances from Trans and Genderqueer Perspectives, will be hosted by Amy E Brown, a researcher at the University of Bern, and will feature talks by Miles Smith of Fordham University, François.e Charmaille of Christ’s College at the University of Cambridge, as well as myself.
My paper is titled “Thinking through Silence and Transness in Medieval Literary Texts,” and looks at the Roman de Silence, a thirteenth-century verse romance whose titular character was formed by Nature to be feminine, but instead is nurtured from birth in masculine pursuits. He was baptized with the masculine name Silentius, he is referred to most constantly in the narrative as “Silence,” a gender-neutral version of his name. Silence chooses masculinity, but is undone in the poem’s ambiguous conclusion.