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Title: Queer time and space in some medieval lays and romances
Author: Morgan, Amy L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 5687
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis uses queer theory to examine nonnormative identities and desires in five medieval literary texts: Bisclavret, Lanval, Sir Orfeo, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale. In particular, it uses recent explorations of queer temporalities and spatialities, such as, Judith ‘Jack’ Halberstam’s In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives, Elizabeth Freeman’s Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories and Carolyn Dinshaw’s How Soon is Now?: Medieval Texts, Amateur Readers, and the Queerness of Time to analyse the ways in which queer identity is connected to time and space and how these concepts are used in medieval literature to destabilise heteronormative ideologies. This study is divided into five chapters with each chapter focusing on a medieval romance or lay. Chapter I analyses Bisclavret’s hybrid nonhuman identity in Bisclavret and examines his queer desire for privacy that identifies him as out of time and synchronisation with normative temporalities and life schedules. Chapter II interrogates the ways in which the female characters display female masculinity in Lanval and argues that the Fairy Maiden provides Lanval with a superior, alternative (female) space. Chapter III looks at the destabilising, queer touch of the fairies in Sir Orfeo. It argues that the fairies disrupt the heteronormative life trajectory of Sir Orfeo, Heurodis, and their kingdom. In Chapter IV, the primary focus is on the role of Morgan Le Fay in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. It argues that Morgan orchestrates the narrative to test Gawain, and re-appropriate the courtly ideals of chivalry at Arthur’s court. Finally, Chapter V focuses on Geoffrey Chaucer’s the Wife of Bath. It indicates that Alisoun has a queer relationship with time, and her Tale provides a space for female agency and feminine desires that do not comply with patriarchal heteronormative structures.
Supervisor: Watt, Diane Sponsor: University of Surrey
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available