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Essays in popular romance
Editor: Nicola McDonald

This collection and the romances it investigates are crucial to our understanding of the aesthetics of medieval narrative and to the ideologies of gender and sexuality, race, religion, political formations, social class, ethics, morality and national identity with which those narratives emerge.

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Old things with new things to say

’ in Reassembling the Social:  An Introduction to Actor-​Network Theory (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2005). See also Lowell Duckert, ‘Speaking Stones, John Muir, and a Slower (Non)Humanities’, in Jeffrey Jerome Cohen (ed.), Animal, Vegetable, Mineral:  Ethics and Objects (Washington, DC: Oliphaunt Books, 2012), pp. 273–​9. 4 Coole and Frost, New Materialisms, p. 6. 5 For an accessible overview of Anglo-​Saxon science, see R. M. Liuzza, ‘In Measure, and Number, and Weight: Writing Science’, in Clare A. Lees (ed.), The Cambridge History of Early Medieval

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture
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On Anglo-Saxon things

states that ‘modernity’ is based on this false binary, this ontological distinction between inanimate objects and human subjects, whereas in fact the world is full of quasi-​objects and quasi-​subjects. 17 Kellie Robertson, ‘Medieval Materialism: A Manifesto’, Exemplaria, 22:2 (2010), 99–​118. 18 Jeffrey Jerome Cohen (ed.), Animal, Vegetable, Mineral:  Ethics and Objects (Washington, DC:  Oliphaunt Books, 2012). See also Jeffrey Jerome Cohen and Julian Yates (eds), Object Oriented Environs (Earth: Punctum Books, 2016), which explores the critical confluence between

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture
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, dynastic, intergenerational, and, perhaps, intercultural. It is a complexity that engages simultaneously multiple emotions, responses, ethics, and interpersonal dynamics. Consequently, despite the partial, unintegrated, and recursive positions at which the infant and childhood micro-narratives of Scyld and Beowulf appear in the poem, Beowulf does not claim the early years of these heroes and kings as founding traumas upon which the poem builds its world. In spite of Scyld's abandonment and ‘destitution’, a ‘comfort’ ( frof ) follows from his foundling state. Whether we

in Dating Beowulf
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towards the touch within deconstructive discourses of ethics because, as Jean-Luc Nancy formulates it, it is ‘touching the limit’ that constitutes ‘the possibility of touch itself’. 66 And for this reason, the intimacy of touch and the touch of intimacy remain disruptive and risky in such discourses in ways that both echo and differ from either more general cultural critique or Serres's account of the parasite. So it is worth noting that even patristic accounts of touch, which shaped Anglo-Saxon evaluations of the

in Dating Beowulf
The lump-child and its parents in The King of Tars

case for distinguishing between the phases of Lacan’s thought is eloquently made in the preface to David Macey’s Lacan in Contexts (London, 1988), pp. ix–xi. Apart from the texts cited below, I have also drawn in my account of the lump on Lacan’s seventh seminar, translated as The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, 1959–60: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book VII, ed. Jacques-Alain Miller, trans. with notes by Dennis Porter (London, 1992). ‘[T]oute l’interrogation freudienne se résume à ceci – Qu’est-ce que c’est qu’être un père?’, Jacques Lacan, Le Séminaire, Livre IV: La

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
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sometimes accommodated, but it is never repressed. And it is with this in mind that I want to return for a moment to the anxieties that exercised romance’s early detractors: popular romance, put simply, is a dangerous recreation. Despite the gulf that inevitably separates us from these medieval narratives, they retain the power to shock us, to unsettle our assumptions about, among other things, gender and sexuality, race, religion, MUP_McDonald_01_Intro 16 11/18/03, 16:56 A polemical introduction 17 political formations, social class, ethics, morality and aesthetic

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
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Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and John Lydgate’s Troy Book

noble household in fifteenth-century England [Aldershot, UK and Brookfield, VT: Ashgate, 1998], 45) or the merely ‘topical expression of (usually false) modesty’ (John Dagenais, The ethics of reading in manuscript culture: glossing the Libro de Buen Amor [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994], 24).  2 For examinations of the humility topos and its classical tradition, see Ernst Robert Curtius, European literature and the Latin Middle Ages, transl. Willard R. Trask (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), 407–13; see also Barbara Newman, who examines its

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
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The Orcherd of Syon, Titus and Vespasian, and Lydgate’s Siege of Thebes

), 112–25, at 123. 41 Schirmer, ‘Reading lessons at Syon Abbey’, at 347. 42 Dagenais, Ethics of reading, 24. 43 For further assessment of the role of affective reading, see Sarah McNamer, who addresses the role of affective meditation practice in late-medieval spirituality in Affective meditation and the invention of medieval compassion (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009). Jennifer Bryan counters the accepted belief that meditation was predominantly practised by women, arguing that devotional literature in general was not ‘the special province of

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England